10 Questions with ... Jim Irizarry "Maximus"
March 25, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
2/13-1/14, WRBR/South Bend, IN (103.9 The Bear), nights/social media; 3/08-10/09, WRBR/South Bend, IN, APD/MD/middays; 5/05-2/08, WFGA (Froggy 106.7)/Auburn-Fort Wayne, IN, Production Dir./afternoons; 7/04-5/05, WLDE/Fort Wayne, IN, PT on-air; 5/04-5/05, Metro Networks, Fort Wayne, IN, Traffic Anchor/Producer; 5/02-1/04, WBYR (98.9 The Bear)/Fort Wayne, IN, nights, then afternoons; 10/99-5/02, WKHY-WXXB/Lafayette, IN, morning show co-host/News & Public Affairs Dir.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
When you're not the biggest fan of the winter months and you're living in an area that this winter has gotten WAY MORE snow than it's used to, staying positive can be very trying some days. Fortunately, I have the greatest girlfriend in the world, a great family, and a great group of friends who know how to cheer me up. Have I mentioned that I know great people?
Also, if you're like me and on the beach right now, keep your social media going. Not only does it keep you connected, but it gives me a boost when I get a message from a listener telling me that things aren't the same since I went away. That's a great ego boost.
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.
It discourages me when I tune in and hear someone who is clearly just reading the liner card and sounds like they're bored or have better things to do. Don't get me wrong. I know that some days, you just don't have it or you have some things that actually are more important. However, when I tune in to the same jock every day and they sound like that, it drives me nuts. Nothing is more important than your show. Give a crap or get out.
3) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
Three years. The first year of that stretch, I was part of so many second and third interviews that I actually got really depressed when nothing came of them. After that year, I thought I was don
4) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
Cooking. After being accused by my girlfriend of not being able to cook, I've been doing a lot more of it. I do make some awesome crock pot chicken and dumplings. That's good soul food during the many Snowpocalypses that everybody's endured this winter.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
As you can tell from my "brief" synopsis, I've done a little bit of everything in my career. I'd LOVE to get to do mornings or afternoons again on a Rock or Alternative station. Maybe tack on some APD or MD stripes again.
6) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
You mean besides THE best resource that is AllAccess.com? (Have I mentioned that I'm not above some cheap, occasional brown-nosing?) LinkedIn has been helpful. Also, look at Indeed.com. It takes a lot of jobs that are posted on the careers pages from a lot of radio companies and puts them in one place.
7) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, emails, rejection letters, etc.)
It's in short supply. It's a little bit frustrating, but with so many PDs taking on duties at multiple stations, and in some cases, multiple markets, I understand why it's in short supply. I've actually found a good amount of courtesy from some major-market PDs in regards to critiquing my demo, though, especially from PJ at WKQX/Chicago.
8) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
I spend a lot of time listening to radio in other markets. Sometimes, it's to listen to a station to see if I would be a good fit. Other times, it's just curiosity. I find it a good way to justify paying what I pay for data on my cell phone plan.
9) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
This is going to sound very cliché, but I'm not afraid of wearing multiple hats. If there's something that needs to be done on the programming, production, interactive, or promotional sides of things, I can do it and I have to the track record to prove it. Let's chat.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
First, have a backup plan. If you're going the four-year college route, major in something that you can use such as business, then minor in communications and spend a bunch of time at the school's radio and TV stations. Also, it's going to take a little bit of time to get a PD to pay attention to you. It did for me, and that was a guy who was only running one station in one town.
Second, if you find yourself unemployed, don't be afraid to take a job that is completely out of your comfort zone. The last time I was on the beach, I took a job as a custodian at a middle school. Yeah, you might have to stick your arm in a few toilets, but it pays the bills. In fact, I was able to use that job to get myself out from under the debt that the previous 11 years in radio had put me in. Take that for what it's worth.
Care to contribute a recipe for our "On The Beach" cookbook?
Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings:
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 (10.75 oz.) cans of condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 (10 oz.) packages of refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water and milk to cover. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 30 minutes before serving, toss the biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.