10 Questions with ... Greg Cypin
October 16, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I began my career at KSFM, a Hip-Hop/Top 40 station in Sacramento. I was thrilled to get my first on-air shift, even if it was 3a-6a on a Sunday morning (hey, gotta start somewhere, right?). I worked there for a few years which was a great way to start because we were dominating the market at the time. It provided a great place for a newbie to learn.
After that I went to work at the newly formed Alt. Rock CBS affiliate Howard 93.7 (KHWD) in Sacramento. Loved that place. Only problem was once Howard Stern was gone, so was the station.
I stayed on with 93.7 for a little while as the station flipped to Jack-FM, but wound up leaving to finish college in Los Angeles. I like to say I'm the only person to move to LA to get AWAY from show business. After I graduated, my career took a total 180 as I went to work for four years at KNX-A. It was great being at a big-market News station and seeing what goes on at a place like that behind the scenes.
When I decided I missed music radio, I started sending out e-mails and making phone calls and after a while I landed a weekend gig at The Mix in the Riverside/San Bernardino market. After some time making the long commute every weekend, I was promoted to afternoon drive. I loved the work and enjoyed showing up every day to do what I love to do. Although unfortunately in July that job came to an end.
Now I'm on the grind everyday as I wait to see where my unpredictable career will take me next.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
You pretty much just have to keep your eyes on the prize and not let yourself get too down. Being negative and pessimistic isn't going to get you anywhere. So I try to surround myself with everything I can that's positive. Whether it's spending time with friends, listening to upbeat music, or really just about anything. Also just doing something like taking my computer to a local Starbucks and looking for jobs while hanging out there helps. Getting out of the apartment and getting outside every now and then really does a lot to keep the spirits up.
2) Some people get discouraged or enlightened with the business when they actually step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.
Probably the best way to describe it is that I feel both discouraged and enlightened with the business. Obviously it's discouraging being out of a job. But I've also been enlightened in that this time has really helped remind me why I got into the business in the first place. Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to get that perspective. When I hear a new song, or a big story happens, I realize how much I miss discussing it and that feeling of involvement that I think you can only get by being in the business.
3) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Really, I think the best way is to reach out to all of your contacts. You never know who they might know and if they might be able to put you in touch with the right people. I once had a very busy PD call me to discuss my aircheck because a contact of mine made a phone call.
4) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
That would be during my intern days. The afternoon jock found out that there were two interns in the station vehicle and sent us on a mission. We went to a local grocery store, found cereal boxes with the cheesiest toys in them, ripped open the boxes, poured the cereal on the floor, grabbed the toys, and ran out of the store. That was fun but I'm hoping it doesn't get to that point again.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I'd like to do afternoon drive again somewhere. That's what I did at my last job and really loved the energy of that timeslot. Everybody who calls in is typically in a good mood probably because they're just getting off of work. Although, of course, I would work another timeslot if offered.
6) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
I guess it's as good as it really can be. Obviously I wish I could hear back from every station I've applied to even if it's just to say, "Sorry, but you didn't get the job." But when there are so many people out of work right now and no doubt so many applicants, I know I have to understand that that's simply not always possible.
7) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
"We'd like you to move to San Francisco for this job and we're thinking about paying you $10 an hour. Do you think you could get by on that?" Had a hard time not letting my jaw hit the floor when I heard that.
8) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
I was lucky in that I've picked up web and social media skills over the course of my career. I've spent a few years working as a web editor for a couple of radio stations and that has been very beneficial especially as more and more importance is being placed on web and social networking sites when it comes to radio. The fact that I have experience in that key area as well as behind the mic helps me stand out I believe.
9) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
ABSOLUTELY! The last thing I wanna do right now is fall behind. So I listen to a bunch of different formats all the time so I can stay up to date. Besides, being an avid radio listener is a tough habit to break.
10) What have you learned about yourself, others, or life in general in your downtime?
I'd say what I've learned about others is that I really have met a lot of great people along the way. I can't say enough about all the people that have reached out to me and offered to help, even though some of them I haven't seen or had much contact with in years. Hopefully that means I had a good impact on them.
What great movies have you seen recently?
Well, I was lucky in that my last job hooked me up with a bunch of free movie passes. So I've checked out a few since then. I've seen "The Amazing Spider Man" (great, by the way), "Ted" (hilarious, by the way), "The Dark Knight Rises" (AWESOME, by the way), and "The Campaign." Still gotta few left but using them sparingly and just waiting for the right movies to come along.