10 Questions with ... Tom Ragan
January 10, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WQEQ/WXPX/Hazleton, Pa., WARM/Wilkes-Barre, WZMM/Wheeling, WQWK, State College, PA, WGR/Buffalo, WEDG/Buffalo
1) What was your first job in radio?
Nights while in high school at the local AM station playing Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
2) You were recently put back into the morning slot at The Edge. How long has it been since you did mornings and how does it feel to be back?
Almost six years and it feels like we never left.
3) For the uninitiated, what's the Shredd and Ragan Show like?
Comedy/talk; in addition to the rest of the show, Shredd does sports, I handle the news. Josh Potter adds recorded bits and production elements, and Jim Jacka writes and produces the whole thing with an iron fist. PD Jim Kurdziel contributes ideas, oversees it all and keeps the wolves at bay.
4) What do you like about doing a show like this?
We're at our best when we take a front-page story like sex offenders in Buffalo wanting to run a haunted house at Halloween, and beating on it mercilessly until the guy running the house calls to defend himself and we're tearing him up on-air while Potter and Jacka are in the other room making up a recorded bit on the whole thing to play after the break.
5) What's the toughest thing about this type of show?
Keeping it fresh, making it funny or compelling. And pacing. If it drags, you're dead.
6) Thing you have to work on personally in 2012?
I need to tweet more.
7) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Though I never met him, something I picked up from Dallas legend Ron Chapman who suggested the importance of finding a good city to work in, then embracing it.
8) What radio shows you listened to growing up?
I could pick up Imus and Stern from NYC, and Steve and Gary were great in Chicago on overnight when I could hear them on WLUP.
9) After exchanging time slots with him, again, any tension between you and Bull? I can't imagine you would want to upset a guy named Bull.
None, Bull's a great guy. We've just all resigned ourselves to the idea that we'll be trading time slots every five years.
10) Biggest challenge for the industry?
Quantifying and selling what we know is still true: People listen, it has power, and nothing yet replicates that connection we have with the voice in the speakers.