10 Questions with ... Casey Bartholomew
March 4, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started in Talk radio as a board-op/call screener at KFI in Los Angeles in 1991. Ended up with a weekend show and started moving around. Worked in Orlando, New Jersey, Detroit, Charleston SC, St. Louis, San Francisco and back to Jersey. Since being let go, I've been doing fill-in all over. WOR/New York, WABC/New York, KGO/San Francisco, WPHT/Philly, WIOD/Miami, KOGO/San Diego, KFYI/Phoenix, KMBZ/Kansas City, KIRO/Seattle, KTSA/San Antonio, the nationally syndicated "Schnitt Show," The nationally syndicated "America Weekend," and a ton more.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I work all the time. I got an ISDN line in my house, and I do as much fill-in work as I can. So, that really helps keep my mind off the fact that I don't, technically, have a job. While it would be VERY nice to have a home base, again, it's a lot of fun to go on all these other stations, and talk to people in all these different markets. I also have a five- year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. I don't really have time to sit around and feel sorry for myself.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
The kids are a lot of work ... and I mean that in a good way. One of them is always doing something. But, anyone who is looking for a job will tell you that THAT is a full-time job, all by itself. Plus, again, I do a lot of fill-in. So, I don't always have a ton of down time. If I did, I'd probably be watching a lot of reality TV, and feeling sorry for myself. But, again, I don't really have the time.
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, it's easier to see how the industry is changing. I mean that both good and bad. Since I'm on in a lot of different markets, I get to hear a lot of different shows, and hear what a lot of different places are trying to do. Both good and bad. It's nice because I don't have to work under the same type of pressure that the people with actual jobs do. So, I can have a different perspective. Sometimes I go on a station and think, "Man, everyone should be doing what this place is doing." Then, sometimes I hear a place that seems kind of lost. But again, I don't have people breathing down my neck 24/7. So, it's easy for me to assume a lot. Either way, I still love radio. I'm not discouraged. Sometimes you just have to find a way to stick with it. Luckily, I've been able to do that.
4) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
That's the plan. Ultimately, it may not be up to me. But, radio is still fun and exciting, and is still the most immediate way to connect with people. I like it too much. So, unless I get to a point where no one wants me to do it, anymore, then I'm sticking with it.
5) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
Well, officially, it's this one. About 16 months without being on anyone's payroll. But right after I lost my job, I got an ISDN line put in my house. So, again, while I don't technically have a job, and I am always looking for a regular gig, I'm always working. I don't really consider myself unemployed. But, officially, I guess I am. Now I'm depressed. Thanks.
6) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Like everyone says, it's all about who you know and maintaining those contacts. That's more true, now, than I think it ever has been. If you are a good person and treat other people with respect, then they will pass your name along. I still get help from people I haven't worked with for 15 years, because I never walked around like a jerk at any station I worked at. On the flip side of that, I know some guys who can't even get a simple phone call returned. Especially these days, every job at a radio station is important. If you treat everyone good, they'll help you down the road. If you don't, they won't. Luckily, I have a pretty solid foundation of friends in radio, so I've been able to benefit from that. AND when I'm able to land a job, I'll try to help the people who are on the beach. It's a two-way street.
7) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
All Access, and the people you know.
8) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
I've got a really good track record. I don't have a huge ego. I'm happy to have you call any boss I've ever worked for. Plus, I'm a team player. I'm not going to pretend to be something I'm not. So, I lay it all out on the table. Also, you have to understand, and be willing to use, everything at your disposal. Blogs, YouTube, Vine, Twitter, Facebook. Then, you have to be willing to adapt to whatever the next thing is. This isn't brain surgery.
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
I'm actually pretty proud of being able to make a living at this since I was 21. Outside of that, I think it would be the "Flying Pig Rally" in New Jersey. Governor Corzine had proposed a massive toll increase that would have led to a massive tax increase. During his State of the State address, he made some comment about how "Pigs would fly over the state house before spending cuts will solve our problems." Something like that. We happened to be on the air, and immediately latched on to the "Flying Pig" aspect. It got so big, based on what we did on our show, that we had a massive rally in Trenton, NJ. It was the dead of winter, but THOUSANDS of people came out, I gave a big speech, and we got the whole plan stopped. It got national coverage. That was nice. A little more than a year after that, we did another rally at the state house, where we had people send in their empty wallets. We put them in a coffin and had a hearse there. It was a big "Funeral for The Middle Class." Again, a HUGE turnout. I gave the eulogy, and we got more national coverage out of it. Not long after that, Corzine got voted out of office. And all that started on my show. So, that's always fun, when you can actually have an impact on people lives, and show them how they can use their power.
10) What have you learned about yourself, others, or life in general in your downtime?
When you are down, you learn who your friends are. I've been pretty lucky, in that regard. But, there are a few people out there, and they know who they are, who have shown their true colors.
Seen any great movies recently?
LOL...I have kids. I saw "Frozen." That was good. I long for the days of seeing movies with actual humans in them.