10 Questions with ... John Mayer
October 22, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I have been in radio since my senior year of college in 2006. Beginning as an intern, dabbling in production and promotions until I finally landed my first on air gig as a live overnight personality. I grew from there to nights and then afternoons on WKCI in Connecticut. After three years of afternoons at KC101, I moved to WRVW (The River) in Nashville this past Spring.
1) What led you to a career in radio?
Funny story here. I always wanted to be in the music industry in some way. I couldn't sing (although the name might confuse you) so I began DJing. I started with backyard parties and eventually graduated to football stadiums and festivals. I was making a great living performing at clubs and hosting party nights. Then I got some advice that I won't forget. "Are you going to be on that stage getting the ladies crazy when you are 40?" I got an internship in radio within the next month and have never looked back. Although, I have to admit I do miss those crazy club nights, and DJing seven nights a week ... sometimes.
2) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
The River is definitely a unique brand. Being in Nashville naturally makes you think Country music; probably more than any other market, so being part of a Top 40 sound is something that takes a little tweaking to fit. Not every EDM or Hip-Hop song is going to fit our brand. But a song like "Cruise" can take off for us.
3) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
Besides yearly radiothons and teaming up with local charities to raise money, there is one thing you can definitely associate Nashville to and that is LIVE MUSIC. We have concerts in town on a daily basis. We try to be at every show teaming up with local businesses on site to create bigger events, use our websites and jocks to promote these shows, take advantage of social media to update from inside the venues, and give our listeners 360-degree coverage of their favorite artists.
4) What's the coolest promotion you've been involved with recently?
Recently we had Taylor Swift and her "Red Tour" in town for three shows. So we teamed up with our sister WSIX and took over downtown Nashville outside of the concert for three straight days. It was great to see the extremes of Taylor's fan base come together for one Nashville event.
5) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
Two things here ... 1) I have a master's degree. 2) Yes, John Mayer is my real name.
6) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
I am a NYC kid. I couldn't go a day without Z100 and KTU. I used to set my cassette player to record the stations so I could listen to my favorite songs when I wanted. I got my first ideas of what it meant to be a jock by listening to Elvis Duran in afternoons.
7) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
When I am not working its all sports talk for me. Mets, Jets, Knicks, Islanders ... one of these days I will get to see one of them win, hopefully.
8) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
The listeners. Nobody has more of a personal relationship with strangers than radio people. We sit there every day and talk to a mic for a living. Yet so many people are affected by it. Radio is a part of their lives and it's pretty cool that I get to be a part of radio.
9) What advice you would give people new to the business?
"Just Be There." Had some good friends in the radio world tell me that many years ago and it stuck with me. It is guaranteed one day someone will need something and if you are the person there then you're up. Just don't screw it up ... ha!
10) What would you like to do to save radio from its "dying-industry" image?
Dying industry? Did you see the iHeartRadio Music Festival?
What's the biggest gaffe you've made on-air?
I think everyone has gone to hit a button and nothing fires on the board, or accidentally played the same song back to back after putting an extended version in. But honestly my worst gaffe has to be the first time I cracked the mic. I think I talked for about 45 seconds and really only had an eight-second intro. I didn't hit that post.