10 Questions with ... Josh Holliday
September 2, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I did an On The Beach back in April '06, and I'm here again. Hello. Just to catch you up, since then I landed a gig doing afternoon drive and hosting a Rock magazine show in Calgary (bigger than San Jose, smaller than Dallas). Then, I worked as an Associate Producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – somewhat akin to NPR of the north. I wrote and produced promos and programming with some occasional hosting. While there I co-created Steve and Tawny, a parody of small town radio that's taken on a life of its own. Steve and Tawny are still looking for a syndicated gig.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I'm still active as an actor/comedian, and have done episodes of Rookie Blue, The Firm, and a Cronenberg film. I'm also working on a large project for one of the big banks as a communications coach and simulator. Other than that, loitering in front of 7-11.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
I plan on it, though I need my plan to line up with someone else's plan to have me stick with radio. I love it, and have a genuine passion for the art, but I'm not vanilla, which seems to be a popular flavor of late. Who wants some Rocky Road!?
3) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
My passion and what I'm best at is hosting a daily personality radio-type show. It's in my blood. I've primarily had success in Alt-Rock, but am a good fit for any format valuing smart, entertaining, human radio. Dream gig is Talk radio…well, actual dream gig is travelling carnie who works in an overheated haunted house scaring people, but I have to keep my expectations realistic.
4) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
One might think talent would be the great separator, as it's one of the only things you can't teach, but experience tells me otherwise. I had some very good numbers doing Alt Rock, so there's a history of success. I'm an ideas person, who's spent a number of years doing radio creative, so I have a good feel for the sound of a station as a whole. I've been trying to find the right cologne too.
5) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
In these last few years, it was doing drive for the launch of an Alternative station in Calgary on a previously unoccupied frequency. So basically starting at 0, in two short years, I hit #1 Men 18-34 (20-share), #2 Men 25-54, #2 Women 25-54, and outperformed my station in almost every demo. This in a market with half a dozen outlets chasing male ears: Alternative Rock, Active Rock, Triple-A, Classic Rock, Jack, Country, Sports and Talk. It was such a great experience helping build a station from the ground up, with a savvy PD willing to take creative risks for high reward.
6) What do you miss most about radio? Least?
I really miss the people, and being around a radio station environment on a daily basis. I loved the camaraderie. I also miss making people laugh, and those listener calls from the driveway, sitting in their car, waiting to hear what happens next. I'm a huge animal lover, and had someone from the Humane Society bring a different pet to the station each week. Our adoption rate was phenomenal, and I miss meeting a new dog, cat, or even frog, every week. I don't miss untwisting headphone cables.
7) Is there anything specific that you regret doing while you were still working?
I've got regrets for certain. As a performer, I've always had a bit of an independent spirit, and I'm working hard to be a better teammate. You need to make mistakes to get better, but the key is really analyzing those mistakes to learn and improve.
8) 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. Definitely. I'm just looking for the next opportunity to prove myself. With success, everything else will follow.
9) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
I certainly won't take the gig for granted, and will work my butt off to be excellent both on and off air.
10) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hosting a talk radio show, and leveraging it with TV hosting work to make both properties more successful. Hopefully not filling out one of these for a third time!
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
Everyone in the biz should have a copy of Valerie Geller's Beyond Powerful Radio. It's the most comprehensive and current guide to the industry there is. Comedian Carol Leifer's recent How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying is not just funny, but has really helpful business advice – especially for creative types.