10 Questions with ... Brian DiMario
June 11, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Rock WRDX/ Wilmington, DE (1997 - 2002); Promotions Assistant, Producer/On-Air with 'Byrd & The Rock & Roll Morning Show', Night Air Talent (voicetracked)
- Classic Rock WTHK (97.5 The Hawk)/ Trenton, NJ (2003 - 2006); Night Air Talent & Production Dir.
- Classic Hits WFKB (107.5 FRANK-FM)/ Reading, PA (2006 - 2009); APD, Afternoon Air Talent & Production Dir.
- Classic Hits WORK (107.1 FRANK-FM)/Barre-Montpelier, VT (2010 - 2011); Morning Show Host & Production Director
- Country WGTY (Great Country)/ York/Gettysburg, PA ( 2011 - 2012); Creative Services/On-Air (voicetracked)
- News/Talk WWIQ (IQ 106.9)/ Philadelphia (2012-present) Part-time Production
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I wake up every day with cautious optimism, knowing that something has to fall in to place at some point. It may sound weird, but for me, the thrill of the chase and where it might lead me is what keeps me motivated. Don't get me wrong - being on the beach stinks, but it's the moving forward that keeps you from looking back.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
Right now, I'm doing some part-time stuff with IQ 106.9 in Philadelphia. Leigh Jacobs and Bob Walton have been great to me while working there and keeping me busy and not letting me gamble away all my money at the Sugar House Casino, across the street. I've been reading a lot and catching up on all the great Rock biographies that have been coming out. Always prepping...
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.
From the outside looking in, the door that you need to get through seems to be getting heavier to hold open. With so many fellow radio brothers and sisters out of work, you REALLY need to find unique and creative ways to make your profile stand out and get noticed.
4) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
All Access, by far. If you type in 'radio' in a standard job search, you end up with 5,000 listings of jobs having to do with a walkie-talkie.
5) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to say it's a 6. Some have been just plain bizarre. I had one phone interview where the sales manager told me this was her first time doing a round of interviews and she was interviewing EVERYONE who applied. She then said she was only halfway through the 900+ applicants. Needless to say, I thought it would be best to hold off on the topic of relocation until the second interview, which should be sometime around 2032.
6) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
When I apply for a potential position, I always do thorough research into all the variables - cost of living, median income for the area, etc - so I know what to expect going in. Sometimes, I've been surprised, both positively and negatively. Benefits have changed drastically. Again, with the economy being what it is, health benefits have become much thinner than they used to be.
7) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
When it comes to interviews in this business, you need to take every question with a grain of salt. I always ask myself "Was that a trick question or does he really want to know my thoughts on Wonder Woman's magic lasso?" Sometimes, it's not a question, but just a general statement that raises a red flag. Waaaay back in the decade known as "the '90s," I interviewed at a station in Syracuse, where I was brought in for a visit. After going out for dinner, the PD began the interview process, asking me all the standard questions on my philosophies, and it was going great. Then he finished up by saying, "I love everything I see and hear and think you'd be a great fit for our team! I CAN'T WAIT TO HIRE YOU SO THAT I CAN FIRE YOU." Check, please...
8) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
Always keep your materials fresh. Make sure the resume is current and that you take the time to write a sincere cover letter to sell yourself. Having a "cut & paste" cover letter is easy to detect. I can't tell you how many times I've received a cover letter with the wrong name, station or city, because that person forgot to change it before sending it out. Getting into All Access and 'On The Beach' doesn't hurt ... at least it lets the PD know what the guy who's sent him 25 demos looks like.
9) If you were offered a similar position to what you were doing for considerably less money, would you seriously consider taking the job just to stay in the biz?
Absolutely. As long as I can pay my rent and put food in my mouth, I'll listen to anyone. You have to know, by now, that what we do is for the love of the game. Let's be realistic -- most of the '99%' probably work in radio...
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Make sure that your heart and passion are in the right place. Know that you have to pay your dues and that the offers will come eventually with hard work. Listen to the people who have been around and take in everything you hear and use it as a template for building your own philosophies and ideas.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
Carol Miller's "Up All Night". That is a story of a tough woman who put up with a lot of crap, both inside and outside of radio, and is still going strong today.