May 15, 2012
PEREZ HILTON -- the man behind PerezHilton.com -- is arguably HOLLYWOOD's original superstar super-blogger. No stranger to radio with his successful "RADIO PEREZ" show, he is about to make a nightly foray into radio with the launch of "PEREZ NIGHTS LIVE, WITH ADAM BOMB" beginning MAY 21st -- syndicated by the CUMULUS MEDIA NETWORKS and debuting on 50+ stations nationwide.
ALL ACCESS caught up with PEREZ, self-proclaimed "Queen Of All Media," who was heading to a studio to cut some radio promos, then a TV interview, and was stuck in one of L.A.'s famous traffic jams. So, he had plenty of time to share what's coming up on his new show, "PEREZ NIGHTS LIVE, WITH ADAM BOMB." Read on and you'll find out what makes PEREZ tick ... and why "nights just got a whole lot louder".
What did you do before blogging and radio?
I did everything! I worked for a gay non-profit and did publicity. But my last job was working freelance for a number of gay magazines in LOS ANGELES. And while I had a great time and learned a lot about writing and interviewing, I'm here to say "gay don't pay" and it forced me to do something else.
PerezHilton.com has become one of the biggest gossip blogging sites on the planet. How did it start? And what's your daily inspiration for it?
It started as a hobby. I discovered the world of blogging 8 years ago - that was before TWITTER and FACEBOOK was only for college students. I knew right away that I wanted to talk about celebrities as they were far more interesting than me.
Over the years, I love how things have changed and grown. My site has changed the way readers consume celebrity news - they want it now - they want it immediately and that's what we provide.
Every day is like surfing the ocean. Some days you have bigger waves, some days the waves are smaller - and each day I try and be a better surfer. Regardless of how big the waves are, I always have things to talk about - politics, social matters and great new music.
You have transitioned from the snarkey gossip blogger, to a kinder, gentler PEREZ. What was the catalyst for this change ? Has it had any effect on the traffic for PerezHilton.com?
The catalyst was organic! It was something I was thinking about for a while - as I grew up. I began blogging when 26 and now at 34 I'm more of an adult than a kid.
The tipping point was in the FALL of 2010 when there was a rash of gay teens committing suicide and it really began with TYLER CLEMENTI and I the first to make an "It Gets Better" video - and while the intentions were from the heart, my critics called me a hypocrite and a bully because of the content on my site.
I was surprised that folks really disliked the fun I was poking on PerezHilton.com, and that in reality I found it was really hurting people's feelings, and what I was trying to do. It's not like I reinvented the wheel. For years I hid behind the character "PEREZ HILTON" and became more of who I really am. I treated folks better like I wanted to be treated, as I really do have a kind heart.
The result is that it's benefitted me and all of those who I write about in every possible way - and I did it as it was the right thing to do. When you do the right thing everything benefits. It was a very valuable lesson.
Tell me about your initial transition to radio with RADIO PEREZ show. And as part of your growth, you are aligned with Steve Lehman, former CEO and Founder of PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS, and ANDY SCHUON, former head of MTV and VH1 programming, former President/CBS RADIO, and now a new TV network partnering with SEAN "DIDDY" COMBS. How did you end up with STEVE and ANDY and C STUDENT ENTERTAINMENT as your radio partners?
My growth was pretty organic. I used to do a call-in to stations with the "sleaze report" and as I evolved and grew that no longer represented me, so our content is more than just that. I was approached by ANDY and STEVE and that led to this new opportunity, and hopefully many more!
You've now been on the radio for four years with RADIO PEREZ. You are now expanding your radio platform and launching this new nightly show from 7-11p (ET) next week -- MAY 21st -- "PEREZ NIGHTS LIVE, WITH ADAM BOMB" across the CUMULUS MEDIA NETWORKS. Tell us how excited you are about this show?
I am thrilled about this! I love radio, and being on so many markets, sharing new music and call on my strengths of interviewing celebrities and getting them to say things they won't tell others. It's so much fun. I wouldn't have done this unless I could do this well.
And, in addition to all the of celebrity news we will play cool remixes and live performances and introduce new artists. It's a thrill to provide music and artists with a new avenue and opportunity to get exposure.
In partnering with CUMULUS, I've got this head start in establishing this show - and would love to do even more on radio - like launch my own radio station/format. As a purveyor and expert on pop culture, there is an opportunity and void in the marketplace. People want variety and pop music in a big way. The "Boy Band' resurgence is part of pop being back - even KELLY CLARKSON and CARLY RAE JEPSEN are part of this resurgence.
In most major markets the Top 40's lean very rhythmic. In L.A., while both owned by CLEAR CHANNEL, KIIS and Z100 are very different, but similar. I would love to create a format with the focus and name "POP FM" -- I'd even play Country, or some cool music from the UK or EUROPE - whatever I thought was cool or popular. I would love to take over a station that's failing and prove the format works.
Then eventually have my own radio network ... that's part one. Part two would be to launch my own musical festival. It would be cool and accessible, called POP FEST, a blend of COACHELLA and SXSW.
I don't even care that I've shared this idea with you - because what makes it special is my vision and execution for the project.
What's going to set "PEREZ NIGHTS LIVE, WITH ADAM BOMB" apart from other syndicated shows? And why do you think it will be such a success?
I am more sassy, opinionated and will push the boundaries. It will be fresh and new and exciting. And a huge amount of credit goes to my amazing producer BRIAN VASQUEZ ... he takes the content and shapes it in a unique manner. And it's live which is very special.
I joked on the demo that ADAM is my straight guy - in many ways. ADAM is great on the air, and he's a wonderful balance to widen our appeal to as many people as possible. I think that we'll have differences of opinion about things, music, politics, whatever is topical -- and that makes for compelling radio.
You are in touch with the world's biggest celebrities! Any clues or hints about some of your first guests?
My first guest is KAT GRAHAM who is BONNIE BENNETT from THE VAMPIRE DIARIES who is signed to A&M/OCTONE. She has song which is about to explode "PUT YOUR GRAFFITI ON ME". I believe she has the potential to be, and is already on the way to being a big pop star.
I gave early support to ADELE, LADY GAGA and KATY PERRY and expect big things from KAT. I hope this helps introduce her to more fans!
As far as other stars and celebs on during the first week? We have plenty - but you will have to tune in to find out who!
What social media/interactive tools are you going to use on "PEREZ NIGHTS LIVE, WITH ADAM BOMB"?
We have some fun things in store interactively. And I have my site PerezHilton.com and twitter @PerezHilton.com where the audience can interact.
You may be the only blogger that has ever successfully expanded his platform to radio, long-term. You are going to be on the season finale of "GLEE" with LINDSEY LOHAN. How do you think this helps your brand overall? And what are the logical extensions?
I am on the CW NETWORK with PEREZ HILTON'S ALL ACCESS KATY PERRY this week and following week with LADY GAGA. I love entertaining on radio and TV. I'm really excited about our new radio show and would love to figure out a more permanent play for TV.
I have started my own TV production company with me as talent and executive producer. RYAN SEACREST is a big inspiration. I love seeing nice, talented and hardworking folks win - and RYAN is all of them.
What are your personal and profession passions that radio helps promote?
My biggest passion is music - and being on the air 5 days a week playing music is huge for me. We're going to play some of the biggest songs and some of my Perez Picks will get heard too. I love exposing new music and watching it take off.
Why does radio continue to be such an important part of everyone's lives, and in particular in the music discovery process?
Radio is free and it's everywhere. I buy music and am a huge supporter of new music too. I really don't spend time with PANDORA or SPOTIFY ... if I'm not listening to radio I'm checking out new songs I've bought from iTUNES.
What are your favorite radio stations to listen to in L.A., online, or when traveling?
My favorite radio station in the US is B96/CHICAGO. They have a great mix of variety and they are carrying our show - thank you! I also love AMP in L.A. as it's fun and fresh. And, I'm obsessed with YouTube.com and discover some new music there.
What music is on your iPod that's in heavy rotation?
KAT GRAHAM - it's all about her. She sent me some of her new songs that will follow her new single - amazing.
And, I will be coming out with my own compilation CD which will have some huge pop artists - that are also in my heavy rotation - available very soon.
Lot's going on ... and I'm so thankful for the opportunities that are coming my way.