10 Questions with ... Stan Nawalaniec & Mark Haney
November 19, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Stan: WFIT Melbourne, Fl. 1982-1984, WUCF Orlando, Fl. 1984-1986, WHOO AM/FM Orlando, Fl. 1986, WUEZ Sanford, Fl. 1986-1987, WMMY/WMMB Melbourne, Fl. 1987-1990, WKIS Ft. Myers, Fl. 1990-1991, WZZR Ft. Pierce, Fl. 1991, WRXK Fort Myers, Fl. 1991 to Present
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
Stan: 3-6a WFIT in Melbourne, Fl. 1982. My earliest influence was longtime morning man Bob Steele on WTIC in Harford. I grew up listening to him in the 1970s. The guy started at the station in the 1930s and retired after 60+ years. As a teen I loved Bill Lenke. He was the Top 40 jock in Hartford in the mid to late '70s.
Haney: I was a deep-voiced 15-year-old at WMMB-A. I was hired part-time and got full-time within two weeks of being there. Influences: Tim Rose at WMMB, Bob and Brian at WMMB and Baxter and Mark, WDIZ/Orlando.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
Stan: It was when I was in college at the University of Central Florida. I was majoring in Psychology and found myself spending more time at the college radio station than working towards my degree. I did get my degree but chose the radio business thinking I could always fall back on my degree if it didn't work out. I haven't had to yet.
Haney: A friend turned me on to what was going on at WMMB. We called it MB 12and1/2. Tim Rose was doing a personality-driven show at night. I called in with a funny voice and we ended up doing phone bits together. I was hooked.
3) A big congratulations on your 5,000th radio show. That's quite an accomplishment. I have a very simple question for you both ... how did you do it?
Stan: A great company, a great friendship with Haney, loyal listeners and a passion for what we do. I often say that when we started here at K Rock I was still in my 20s and now I am over 50. Where does time go?
Haney: To be a true champion it takes drive, vision and perseverance.
4) Stan, I have a question for you ... How did you meet Haney, and when did you know you guys would forge a successful working relationship?
I first met Haney when I was at WMMY in Melbourne, FL in 1987. I was on in the morning and he was the night guy. He often helped us out in the morning doing character voices and other bits. We were not the best of friends in the beginning, but we have gone through so much life together I can't think of a better friend and radio partner.
5) Haney ... same question ... How did you meet Stan, and when did you know you guys would forge a successful working relationship?
Stan in a dark parking lot at around 4a back in 1987. Then there were many strange coincidences from the late '80s through the early '90s. He attended my wedding. And I attended his. He decided to get married in the same church I did with similar, disastrous results. I was there for the birth of his child. None of this was planned and we were not particularly close friends at that time. We are now the best of friends and would not change a thing. Looking back it was absolutely destined to happen.
6) When you guys first started working in radio, jocks literally spun records. There were no computers and you had to be proficient in engineering transmitter readings. How have you and your show evolved to stay on top of the technology and social media changes?
Stan: Our show has basically stayed the same. It's the technology that's changed. In that aspect it has gotten easier. But I do think the profession has changed. In the early days, air personalities were truly artists. Now it has become much more corporate.
Haney: When I first arrived at K-Rock in 1993, I asked for a computer. The response was incredulous. They could not understand why I would need one. I also advised them to put together a web page as soon as possible. They finally did this about a decade later.
7) Describe a typical morning show meeting for you guys. a) What is the process? b) How much show prep do you do and what are some of the key benchmarks of your show?
Stan: I hate meetings. Rarely is anything accomplished in a meeting. Show prep is reading and watching everything you can. I learned early on to live your life and convey your experiences to the audience. Also have the ability to talk about multiple subjects. If you know just a little bit about something, the listener will take it from there. Benchmarks are important to us. Stan's audio grab bag, open phones, Haney's News and radio games for our audience to participate.
Haney: We are not a morning show, thank God. We are on afternoons. We have never been concerned about each other doing prep. We are pros. Prep, for us is a 24-hour job. It is fun and NEVER a burden. I especially love seeking out arcane knowledge.
Our process is that we communicate very little prior to the show. We actually greet each other on the air, and the audience knows it is genuine. And, we tend to surprise each other on the air. For example, "Stan, you are not going to believe what happened to me."
8) To be working together at the same station so long, you must obviously be very involved in the community. What are some of the highlights of your community involvement over the years?
Stan: The Stan and Haney DRAFT fund is our baby. It stands for "Direct Relief and Assistance for Florida Troops." We started it in 2003 when so many families were separated due to the wars in the Middle East and money was tight. We are able to give a service person or family member from our area 100% of the donation. Nobody takes a cut. It all goes to the people in need. To date, we have given out over $17,000 thanks to donations from our listeners.
Haney: We founded a charity to help Florida troops overseas. We have gotten people jobs within minutes of us talking to them on the air. We were among the dignitaries who opened a MAJOR bridge that changed the way people go about their lives.
9) If you could name the one major highlight of your 5,000 shows together, what would it be?
Stan: To pick one would be impossible. This job has given us the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and be a part of a community that has accepted us for so many years. On a personal level having Beasley Owner George Beasley come into the studio (on-air) to recognize our 5,000th was a big thrill. In all our years at the station it was the first time he came on the air with us.
Haney: Making Stan laugh.
10) Okay, last question ... who is funnier and why?
Stan: Haney is. I would not have lasted in broadcasting for as long as I have without the genius comedy mind of Mark Haney.
Haney: I don't believe that "funny" is a competition. We need each other to do what we do.
Stan, what do you like to do to relax when you're not playing radio guy?
I love golf. I would play every day if I could. Keep in mind I'm not very good. I'm a 20 handicapper but when I'm on a golf course, all my problems disappear.
Haney, You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have five CDs with you. What are they?
Johnny Cash reads the Bible.