10 Questions with ... Russ Egan
April 19, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Growing up in the '60s and '70s, the radio was my best friend and music dominated my life. Early influences were Dan Ingram on WABC, Dr. Don Rose on WFIL and Scott Muni on WNEW. I got into radio in 1978 at WJRZ in Manahawkin, NJ and never looked back. My travels took me to Atlantic City, Philadelphia, New York City, Columbus, OH and Phoenix (among others), and allowed me to experience just about every role imaginable, from jock to OM, copywriter to sales.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I don't think I "do" anything really. It's just how I am. The passion for radio and music that I developed as a kid remains with me and the simple process of turning on the radio pumps me up.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
Cooking, listening to a lot of radio online, watching too much TV and contemplating my navel.
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Definitely, I signed up for life.
4) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
Best by far is AllAccess.com. Radio group career pages help as well, but are not as timely. I also subscribe to some search engine emails.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
APD at Bonneville's "The Sound" in LA (KSWD). I discovered the station online last year and immediately connected with the music, jocks and attitude. It reminds me of the Muni/Steele/Scelsa/Fornatale/Schwartz/Elsas days of WNEW ... and I would give it my all to help it succeed.
6) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Less than 10% of those who posted a position have responded in some form ... of those who did, all are courteous, professional and supportive.
7) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
More unexpected than unbelievable, but I was asked "How would you screw up this station?" Actually, a great question, but it took me completely by surprise and from that point on, I jabbered like a gibbon.
8) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
Yes, but less time listening to any one station and more time searching for a station that sounds live, relates and entertains. The level of creativity outside of morning drive is depressing. It's funny; most job postings state "no liner readers," yet I would prefer a carefully crafted, creatively delivered liner over what passes for personality in this PPM world. Ken Dashow, Carol Miller, Larry Morgan, Dave-Man and Joe Show are among the top Rock talents worth listening to. I'm hooked on "The Deep End" with Nick Michaels, too.
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
MD/air talent in New York City (my home town).
10) What do you miss most about radio? The least?
I miss spending half of my day with creative, funny, passionate and talented people. There really isn't anything I don't miss.
Uh oh ... now you're on your own for getting new music. If applicable, name your three most recent purchases since leaving the biz.
Elton John/Leon Russell "The Union." I listened to the whole album on NPR prior to its release and immediately pre-ordered it. Not so much for Elton, who is my all-time favorite, but for the tracks that feature Leon, especially "If It Wasn't For Bad." EJ has to be applauded for reintroducing this amazing talent in such an unselfish way.
Joan Armatrading "This Charming Life" is another in a series of underappreciated albums from an incredible talent. From the first time I heard Joan sing "Love And Affection" in the '70s, I fell deeply in love and she did not disappoint on this one.
Rickie Lee Jones "Balm In Gilead." Underappreciated, underexposed and overwhelming! Rickie defies description and personifies the words "American artist."