10 Questions with ... BS In The Morning
July 26, 2016
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
Brittney: I did some copy writing for my hometown radio station (I once wrote a commercial for "Buck Lickers" and "Deer Cocaine" for a Country co-op), but my first on-air radio gig ever was co-hosting a morning show on KISS 95.1 in Charlotte, NC. Yes, I was completely unqualified and had no idea what I was doing (and still don't sometimes as I'm still learning as I go). Don't laugh, but I admired Delilah, in the same way I did Dear Abby. I've always been motivated by helping others (and attention), but mostly by making other people smile.
Sparks: The ol' "set up the tent" guy. It was in Canton Ohio at the Clear Channel cluster while I was still in college. Major influences were 107.9 The End the Alt Rock station in Cleveland I would listen to religiously when I was a kid. Later it would be Krock Cleveland, and Rachel Steel who went from nights to middays. She's a wonderful on-air talent.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it?"
Brittney: This was a hard question for me 'cause I can't really give you a reason, but rather just a person: Otis, formerly MD/afternoons at CBS (slash Beasley) in Charlotte and now the PD for 997DJX in Louisville. I have to credit him for my career in radio because he opened the door for me at (then) CBS/Charlotte, which completely changed my entire career path in life. The first time I saw someone impacted by a radio bit we did, I was hooked -- and now that I'm in the door, I'm not leaving. I was a columnist and TV host when Otis recruited me, but neither medium can compare to radio and the power it has to make a difference. Some mornings I miss having editors filter my words like in writing, and using non-verbal communication like in TV, but radio has allowed me to really get to know myself.
Sparks: My buddy and I have always been idiots. Radio seemed to be a place where idiots could be idiots. We loved that idea and always planned on doing a show together. He went a different way career-wise (still an idiot though) and I went into college radio. It's hard to say the definitive moment, but it was probably getting the feedback on the phone from callers. Just throwing out some jokes and having people call up and say that they were dying laughing is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It's the same feeling comics get when a joke lands on stage. It's pure magic.
3) When did you guys meet and how did you begin working together?
Brittney: We met in Vegas a few weeks before going on-air together. We were an arranged marriage for radio.
Sparks: Brittney and I never met until I came into interview at KOMP. During the interview process we cuts some podcasts together for management at the station to see if we'd gel. We did and now I'm answering this question about how did the show get started via e-mail for All Access.
4) What radio gig did you guys have before you started doing mornings for KOMP in Las Vegas?
Brittney: I was Flash Girl on 610 The Fan (WFNZ) and Lil' Sexy on The New 103.7 (WSOC) at (then) CBS Radio in Charlotte. Essentially I had multiple personalities, which the guys may think I still do sometimes when I bring too much estrogen into the studio.
Sparks: MD/afternoons on KQKQ.
5) How long have you been doing mornings for KOMP and give us some of the ratings highlights during your time in Las Vegas?
Brittney: We are still relatively new, having only been on the air for two years. I thought being #1 in men 25-54 after a year was a miracle but when our PD texted us and said we were #1 in persons 25-54 the last book I was in such disbelief I texted him back and asked, "persons" as in humans, like everyone? He laughed AT me. Meters can move quickly so we have no intention of getting comfortable there; we're more motivated to work harder to stay #1.
Sparks: We're just over the two-year mark on-air and I feel like we're just now hitting our stride. We just had our highest ratings #1 persons 25-54 and #1 men 25-54. We're proud of that and all the work we've put into making the show what it is.
6) 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?
Brittney: You can't really schedule your own creativity, so we aren't formal in our meetings or process. We just share every idea that comes to our warped minds and either laugh at how bad it is or tweak it until it's good. We find life tends to be the best prep site, so we share lots of random stories off mic. Our daily benchmark is "Know BS" that we do for our last break, typically for our biggest giveaway of the day. We ask, "This BS show member (insert some shenanigan that occurred that morning) and the answer is multiple choice: Brittney, Sparks, Dug, Graig (our new producer), or none of the above. So to win they either have to listen all morning, or be good at guessing.
Sparks: Honestly, we don't really do traditional morning show meetings. I think that's because we're constantly kicking around ideas on-air, off air, during the show, outside the show ... I mean all the time. We're always trying to think of way to elevate bits and content. Not just going with the first idea either, but taking a sec to polish it and seeing where that idea could take us. The show is more than just us two. It really takes the rest of the guys on the show to create, polish, and elevate ideas and execution.
BS In The Morning: Left to Right- Dug, Sparks, Brittney
7) Tell us some of the best morning show moments on KOMP during your time there?
Brittney: I can't pinpoint one particular moment per say, but rather the moment I realized I'd be a better radio host if I had no shame, quit worrying about what people thought, and had more humility than dignity. That gave me the courage to do things like debunk the myth that women don't fart, share a humiliating story about pooping my pants on-air, and show all the unflattering sides of myself. As long as people are entertained my pride is irrelevant.
Sparks: Some of my favorite memories on the show are always the bits that take us out of our comfort zone. We brought a body language expert in the show. He works with lawyers and courts to determine if people are lying. Cameras, heart rates ... the whole nine. We made Brittney answer all these questions that she wouldn't have done otherwise. We found out that she thinks I'm gorgeous. She'll say that she doesn't, but remember, the expert said she's lying.
8) You guys are very active with social media such as Facebook and Twitter. How has that benefitted your morning show?
Brittney: It allows us to interact with our listeners directly and reach those beyond the stretch of our tower's signal. What sucks is when I've got my face in my phone doing social media, I'm actually being anti-social at station events.
Sparks: It's a whole new world out there, and social media is just as easy, if not easier, than picking up the phone and interacting now. You have to work it into the show I order to interact in real time with the person listening. We do it. We get a response and the show is better for it.
9) What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing a morning show in a city like Las Vegas?
Brittney: Vegas is a 24-hour city, so our first hour on-air (5-6a) is essentially an afternoon drive for the late-shift workers. Plus we are never at a loss of interesting characters for street audio or big shows coming to town. The disadvantage I'd say is having a morning show schedule in the entertainment capital of the world -- you want to go out, but you gotta go to bed. I've had to put my "FOMO" in check on many occasions
Sparks: Is there a downside? The city is a radio guy's dream. Man on the street whenever you need it! I need a drunk person at 9a ... not a problem. I need a tourist from Sweden at 10a, it'll take you 10 minutes to find one. There's something going on every night of the week. We're always on a red carpet getting audio, at a show, the major comedians come here and come on the show. There really isn't a downside.
10) Finally, I ask this to each morning show ... who is funnier and why?
Brittney: The listeners. We make them the star of our show, so I have to give them the title of funniest. But some of the things that comes out of our third chair, Dug Dugless' mouth makes me laugh so hard I cackle to the point I sound kinda evil.
Sparks: I am funnier. Looking.
You guys talk for a living but give us the lowdown on your favorite music...both artists and songs?
Brittney: I was raised on Biggie and Nirvana, and being from the South, Country music is in my DNA.
Sparks: I am huge music fan. Favorite band of all time is Rage Against the Machine. Perfect combination of rock, funk, rap, and political music. Greatest band of. All. Time. Best song though, has to go to Tool's "Lateralus." My god ... that is a brilliant song.