10 Questions with ... Mike DeBlaey
October 22, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I have been doing radio since 1992. I was living in Grand Rapids, MI and did an internship at WJFM and got my first gig doing overnights plus being a sidekick on the morning show. It was a blast working with great people. I then I moved on to doing overnights at WODJ doing Oldies. I got to meet some great bands like The Guess Who. I then went north to the U.P. of Michigan to do nights and be Promotions Dir. at WMKC. I loved doing promotions where I could be creative by doing things like flying people to Detroit for concerts, and giving away a Jet-Ski that we drove around to remotes. I then came back to Grand Rapids to WODJ under new ownwership. The station did not last long, and I moved on to WPSK in VA for nights and I was also their PSA Director. Along with my normal show I produced a weekly 20-minute interview show where I would interview people from local charities. Then I moved back to Grand Rapids again to work at WLHT, WTRV and WFGR. I also helped produce a local talk show for a friend at WPRR. I have been out of radio since 2011 but I am trying to get back in now.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I have always been an upbeat guy. I love to make people laugh and smile. In return it keeps me positive and that helps me to be motivated about doing radio.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I do some volunteering at my church and hang with my friends,
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.
I think radio sounds a little too packaged, with less personality. Radio needs to go back to local and live personality shows. Syndicated jocks have a harder time making that personal contact with listeners, and the remaining live jocks have so many restrictions on them it makes it hard to stretch and show their creativity.
4) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
I am in my longest time now. It's been a couple years now. I moved to Florida to try to make a new start but it did not work, so I came back home and I'm trying to get back in.
5) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
It used to be getting in part-time and working any slot, or if you know someone in the biz. Nowadays, at least in this market, part-timers are being used less and less. They just have the full-timers voicetrack, or no jock, or a canned show. If you know somebody, that still works.
6) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
I have offered my dad's sports car if they hired me.
7) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I would be very happy to do middays or to be a sidekick on a morning show. Market size does not matter.
8) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
Money is lower due to the cost cutting that is happening, but it varies from market to market.
9) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
Yes. Radio is a love of mine and even with all the ways music can be delivered I like finding that jock that is fun and entertaining. That's important to me.
10) 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?
Yes. Money is not my driving force in doing radio.
My favorite new diversion is ...
I collect rare The Who albums.