10 Questions with ... "Big" Jim Murray
January 4, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Like many others in this business, I started on "the street team." (For WZLX/Boston, summer of '97.) From there, I ended up landing an internship at WFNX in 1998, and made it a personal mission to pretty much never leave. During my off-'n'-on stay there (I literally signed the hiring paperwork three different times) I worked on-air on many permutations of morning shows (Jaxon & The Pharmacist being my favorite ... and I owe those guys a lot), worked weekends, overnights, became the Production Director, and landed the afternoon-drive shift. (Those last two, all thanks to Max Tolkoff and Keith Dakin, two men with managing skills and eating habits that I admire like you wouldn't believe.) In between my employment with WFNX, I did afternoons at WGIR/Manchester NH, also lucked into an on-air hosting job for G4TV (we covered the 2003 Madden Challenge), became the public address announcer for a few local pro sports teams, and just this past summer, was the runner up for the "You think you can talk sports?!" contest on the MadDog Channel on Sirius Satellite Radio.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
Well, I do my best to try n' stay active. The last time I was unemployed for an extended stretch, I got sucked into being depressed, playing videogames, and basically eating a pizza a day (and dipping each slice in bleu cheese dressing. Hideous, I know.) Needless to say, I ended up being a bit of a fatso. So, I go for runs and occasionally take a yoga class ... but I still play me some Madden '11 when I can.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Um, yeah! It's literally the only thing I'm good at, or ever gave a damn about, in regards to employment. Trust me, I've had nearly a HUNDRED awful jobs. The worst day in radio is better than the best day in any of those, by a LANDSLIDE. Cliched, but true.
3) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
AllAccess.com. Thanks to you guys, that's how I landed the afternoon gig at WGIR/Manchester, and some random voiceover gigs, too.
4) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
I sent live lobsters, frozen clam chowder and some steamers to a PD at a station in Colorado. I'm never one for that kind of bribery, but I really wanted the job. Unfortunately, I didn't even get a "thank you" e-mail. Guess he wasn't into crustaceans.
5) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Quite honestly? It's been horrendous. I know that people are busy, but it doesn't take more than :30 to shoot back an e-mail that says "We're not interested" or "you're terrible ... and not what we're looking for." I'm a big boy. I can take rejection. To not write people back is not only rude, it's spineless.
6) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I was really happy with my last title at WFNX (Production Dir./afternoons), and I'd love a chance to reprise that at another Rock or Alternative station.
7) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
It's basically the same amount. I'm a huge Howard fan and Sirius subscriber. On a local level, I listen to a lot of Sports Talk on 98.5 The Sports Hub. They're making great strides.
8) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
The hosting job I landed with G4-TV. I literally had ZERO TV experience, and I was proud of the work I did with them. It was easily the best job I've ever had in my life.
9) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
If you LOVE it, and NEED it like the rest of us who keep on coming back, then just stick to it, and make yourself available and invaluable to your PD or whoever your superior is. Also, acquire a love for Ramen, and live at home until your parents have absolutely had enough.
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?
Surely! As long as said "similar position" was located in any of the following cities: Chicago, San Diego, NYC or New Orleans.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
"Suck it, Wonder Woman!" by Olivia Munn. It's a funny, self-depreciating, quick read. Plus, it's full of pictures of her, which is nice, because she couldn't possibly be any hotter.