10 Questions with ... Tommy & Joe - Johnson & Johnson Morning Show
March 8, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
We started together in Pittsburgh, then moved on to Charlotte, and for the last 13 years we were at KUBL in Salt Lake City. We were nominated for an ACM Award once ... didn't win.
1) What's the most unbelievable question you've been asked during a job interview?
If we get you tickets to a Barney Show taping, would you sign on the dotted line? (true story)
2) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
A phone interview with the legendary Bill Cosby -- not once, but three times! We had our producer convince his people that our format was Smooth Jazz ... even though we really played Country!
3) Is there anything specific that you regret NOT doing, while you were still working?
Yes. The Johnson & Johnson follow-up show. In the spirit of Oprah's follow-up, we should've dedicated an entire morning to listeners we've had on in the past, to retell their amazing stories and then give us the AFTER-story.
4) Where do you see yourselves in five years? Ten years?
In five years, still showing up to play with our friends on the radio every morning, at the same gig we hopefully will land very soon -- wherever it is. In 10 years, taking a bus to Zihuatanejo, Mexico to meet Tommy, who's painting a boat near the seaside surf. (Answer courtesy of "Shawshank Redemption," now on BluRay or DVD).
5) What is the courtesy level of possible employers?
So far overall, for us, it's been pretty good. PDs and OMs are better able to extend a quick acknowledgement by e-mail or text message or through Facebook. Nowadays, it's so much easier to send a "T&R" without having to mess with packages and postag -- AND to get a response. It seems employers are more sympathetic to out-of-work guys trying to find a job.
6) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
ABSOLUTELY! Where else can you get PAID to play with your friends, talk to them on the air, on the phone, surf the Net/Facebook and laugh the day away?
7) What is your best resource for finding out about job openings?
Allaccess.com, Facebook and all our old friends we've been lucky enough to know in our 16 years together.
8) Some people get discouraged or enlightened about the business when they step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.
Humbled and enlightened for sure. Radio people are a close-knit group and we've heard from all over the nation, from people who we used to work with and for. They're all offering support and concern and when one is "on the beach," just a simple phone call or an e-mail means so very much. THANK YOU.
9) Are you spending as much time listening to the radio as you used to?
No. The only time we've been listening is when we're in the car. For the first time in my (Tommy) daughters' lives, I'm finally able to drive them to school in the morning. Every working morning show should have the opportunity to sit in morning drivetime traffic once every three months, so that you can experience what your listeners are doing when they're listening to you ... what they're doing while driving, sitting in traffic or standing around waiting on a subway, etc.
10) Having been through all you've dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Be willing to "walk uphill, both ways, in the snow, with no shoes -- and be GLAD about it!"
Be ready to sacrifice and do anything. Some beginners aren't willing to start at the bottom and work their way up. They think they can start at the top and then work sideways. We once had a beginner try to call in sick ... from the mall. (True story.)
AND ... having valuable radio skills that are in demand these days means you are a computer geek! If you can design and maintain a website or be a genius at posting videos and audio (as soon as it happens), you are worth far more to a radio station than someone who can "run a good board" or who keeps it "light, tight and bright."
Care to contribute a recipe to our "On The Beach" cookbook?
Joe Johnson's Lemon Water: Squeeze. Stir.