10 Questions with ... Mike "Hurricane Shane" Schoenherr
March 15, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in the business doing overnights in Southwest Florida at a 72kw Country Station, WHEW Country 102. My first Rock job was with Beasley rocker WRXK 96 K-Rock, and I've programmed Rock, Active Rock, Classic Rock, Alternative and Triple A, and jocked all of those formats in addition to Country and Sports Talk. The business has come a long way from those overnights spinnin' cue-burned 45s and dodging reptiles in and outside of that small trailer off of Hanson St. in Ft Myers.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I am fortunate that I am still able to work in the business, tracking nights on Summit Country WKHK in Richmond, VA; mornings on my iPad for Williams Communications Active Rock Rock 1059 in Gadsden, AB; nights on independent Triple A Birmingham Mountain Radio in town, and fill-in where needed with any of the stations in the Summit cluster here.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I have three monster dogs -- a Boxer, an American Bulldog and an English Bulldog. Just trying to keep hair and slobber off everything I own is a full-time job. Show prep for those other voicetracking jobs takes a surprising amount of time, too.
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.
Radio is like everything, continually evolving. Your knee-jerk reaction is to react negatively to how it's being executed today as to how it was run earlier in my career. But radio is just like everything else in the world ... you either roll with the punches and change with the times or sink in the tar with the dinosaurs. I'm not ready to roll over yet. I love the business too much!
4) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
I continually send out my materials to companies who are looking for and could benefit from my talents, and if one of them bites and brings me on, fantastic. I will make sure it's a decision they will look back on and be proud of. I make a conscious effort to remain optimistic every day. You have to when you're on the beach. But in the meantime, I can't just sit by the window gazing at the clouds, waiting on a phone call from my radio savior. I've got responsibilities that need to be met today, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to meet those responsibilities. Not too proud to take any job, and whatever job I do, I give it my best effort.
5) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Persistence. Managers today are so ridiculously busy, and don't have nearly the time they need to get everything done in a day. There are a couple of folks out there now who I've been pestering every other week with e-mails and my materials for an opening they have, and you just have to be persistent and diligent until those managers either tell you the position's filled, or to bug off.
6) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
When I first hit the beach, it was friends in the business, but as anyone who's been doing this for any amount of time knows, after a couple of months, those calls tend to stop. Thank God for All Access. I get at least one or two ads a week that I feel are good prospects!
7) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
My passion is Triple A and Alternative, although the nine months I had at Active WVRX in Knoxville was a blast. Talk about a station that was set up to fail ... frequency change, no marketing to make the new dial position known to the public, PD and the top air personality moved to the in-house AC ... the station was just pretty much left to die on the vine by the time I got there. The staff that I adopted was a talented group and just wanted a chance to compete, and in my time there we all managed to double the 12+ rating and tripled the core 18-34 men demo. The street buzz on the station that was gone when I got there was coming back, but then the group was purchased by Midwest out of Green Bay, and they had an in-house-produced Classic Country format that could be piped in at little or no cost, so there you go, and there we went.
8) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
My time working with Alternative WRAX 1077 The X has been the highlight. The success that station enjoyed goes to show what can happen if you hire good people and let them do what they do that made you hire them in the first place. Micromanagers kept at a distance, talent and station allowed to grow. It was a pretty amazing time and goes to show what radio can be when given the opportunity
9) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
The friendships you make and the teamwork of everybody coming together and getting the job done. I've been fortunate to work with some really great people -- left a bunch behind in Knoxville -- and the daily interaction is something I miss a lot. What don't I miss? Staring at a computer screen for hours every day and getting beat up on the phone by reps with songs that suck. Daily reports to superiors were a nuisance, too, but I understand why they are necessary. I'd want them too.
10) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
When you have a job, you go to work, do your best, and when it's time to go home, you leave. When you have a career, you never clock watch, you get so involved in what you're doing, or you have a great idea that you want to implement immediately, and the next thing you know it's 9:30 or 10 o'clock and your wife thinks you have a side piece, which might explain the high divorce rate. Nope ... just love what I do
Everyone says the new Star Wars movie was great. I saw the original in the theater when it was new (dating myself there), and a friend of mine, who may be a bigger fan of the genre than I am -- and I'm a borderline geek for it -- described it as "extremely OK." I agree. I've seen some chick flicks with my wife: Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, which was okay, and Joy with Jennifer Lawrence, which was pretty good. Both were rated "U" for uterus. I'm dyin' to see Creed. I saw the first Rocky movie in a theatre, too, when it first came out. Mom gave me and a couple of friends a lift to the theatre to see it. I've seen 'em all, loved 'em all. Even Rocky V. Tommy "Machine" Gunn. Yeah, they didn't seem to try as hard with that one, although I did love the street fight scene.