10 Questions with ... Todd Theodoro "Theo"
November 20, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Mine's the classic story of: "Golf pro gives PD golf lessons, golf pro is so bad at it the PD tells him to get into radio, golf pro begins his radio journey." One day I'm giving the PD of KZON (then The Zone in Phoenix) golf lessons, a few months later I'm doing overnights for the guy who forgot to show up for work! I was hooked.
A few months later I landed my first full-time air gig at KWOD/Sacramento where I did anything they told me to ... literally. Later, when Entercom purchased KWOD, I joined the KRXQ 98 Rock team in Sacramento, where I worked for the legendary Pat Martin.
Having grown up in St Louis, my dream was to work for KPNT (105.7 The Point), so when a job opened up there, I had to go home to the Lou. I was the local producer for the Howard Stern Show and did every air shift I could get my hands ... or voice ... on. I soaked up every bit of production and programming knowledge I could, then headed to Champaign, IL to become the Radiostar cluster Production Dir. and take over APD/afternoons at WEBX, where I learned more in a year than I could have imagined.
Then Dave Hill at WIYY (98 Rock)/Baltimore had a momentary lapse of reason and hired me to drive his new morning show at night, "Irresponsible Radio!" Three incredible years later my family and I moved our gypsy caravan to Columbus, OH where I landed at WRKZ 99.7 The Blitz as midday weirdo and resident metal-head. So, basically a story you've heard a thousand times...
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
Friends and past listeners have really been my biggest source of support and encouragement. Nothing keeps you more motivated than e-mails and Facebook posts from people you didn't even know you'd influenced who are excited to get you back on-air.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I'd never had more than a few days off in my 13 years in radio, so I really used this to make up for time I'd missed with my family. But you can only play so much Wii bowling!
3) 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.
It's been a new experience to see it from the other side, as a listener. I've found that live and local is NOT dead and seems to be making a comeback. I've also found that radio DOES still matter to people and we as the radio industry owe it to them to improve it.
4) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
Eight months and counting! This is my first stay on the beach ... it's not as sunny as you'd expect :)
5) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
Not to be a kiss-up, but AllAccess! I've been able to make some really valuable contacts through the site. And, as always, past co-workers are always on the lookout for me.
6) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I'm really open to that. Being on-air and entertaining listeners is my passion, but I love all of the programming aspects that go on behind the scenes, too. Since I've done basically every position at a station it leaves it pretty open!
7) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied?
I've experienced the gamut! Everything from bounce-back e-mails to calls from major market PDs just to say "thanks for the package but we're not hiring right now." I've been surprised ... both pleasantly and not so pleasantly.
8) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
Salaries seem lower, which I did expect, although some smaller markets have really surprised me with really nice compensation packages. There doesn't seem to be a rule anymore. The old adage "you're worth what they're willing to pay you" certainly applies.
9) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
"Can you grow your hair out more?" Sorry, my genes say no. Bald is my only option. At least no one has asked me to be taller.
10) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
One word: humility. You realize when you're away from it for an extended period of time that you were just one piece in a much bigger machine.
What's your handicap now that you've had time to practice?
Back to "moderately terrible"... down from "injures others."