10 Questions with ... Joe Alan
March 18, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 2000-2006: WICO-WXJN/Salisbury, MD, Cat Country Radio, part-time/evenings
- 2006-2009: WAFL/Dover, DE, Eagle 97.7, Afternoon drive
- 2009-present: WSTW, Afternoon drive/ Imaging Dir.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
I was a weekend board-op for Cat Country Radio in Salisbury, MD. Each time MRN gave the cue to fire the local commercial stopset, I hit the button. I don't mean to brag, but I was pretty good at it. After a year of running the board, I finally got a chance to crack the mic. I became the Saturday evening dude. What a thrill!
2) What led you to a career in radio?
My father was (and is) a broadcaster. I remember visiting his studios in Baltimore as a child. There was always something magical about that place. After seeing the station a few times, I knew I had to be a part of it. With the help of my dad, I built a "studio" in my bedroom. I'd do a one-hour show EVERY SINGLE DAY. A few years later, I got the opportunity to do the announcements each morning at school. Not only did this make me the coolest guy in school (ha ha), it gave me the chance to get behind the microphone each morning and actually talk to an audience ... even if they weren't really paying attention.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
We are LIVE and local. Seriously! Voicetracking is non-existent. From my experience, this is unheard of in 2014. Monday through Sunday there is a jock in the studio.
4) What are you doing social media-wise?
We have a really cool MySpace page! But on a serious note ... Facebook and Twitter. Whether it's something that happened to me on the way into work, a trending topic or just something funny, if I think the audience can relate and be entertained, I'll post it.
5) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
Without a doubt! That's a good thing. I love all aspects of the business. I'm excited to be involved with promotions from conception to production. Tasks such as imaging the station allow me to express my creativity. I still get a thrill when I hear a finished product on the radio.
6) "Local, local, local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
We strive to be as involved as we can be in the community. Every year, we're involved with Special Olympics Delaware through the local Polar Bear Plunge and Over the Edge events. We've gone skydiving to raise money for the American Lung Association. We've created teams with on-air personalities and listeners for the Delaware Mud Run to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Delaware. We also do an annual radiothon for Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, where we broadcast exclusively from the hospital. Each year, we've managed to surpass our fundraising goals. For the past 32 years, we have provided entertainment for the Wilmington Flower Market with national recording artists, as well as professional athletes.
7) What is your favorite part of the job?
Nothing beats being on the air. I get to listen to music, engage listeners AND push brightly lit buttons. Does it get any better?
8) What artist would we be surprised to find on your iPod?
I love music! For a while I was addicted to having everything and anything that was ever a hit. My iPod is not one that could be plugged in at a party and left alone without a close watchful eye. Going from Dr. Dre to Bette Midler and the "Beaches" soundtrack probably wouldn't be a good thing.
9) Do you have a favorite hobby outside of radio?
I always said that if I were rich, I'd have a fleet of motorcycles. I currently have two in the garage. I realize its cliché, but there is nothing more thrilling than the open road on two wheels. Once in a great while I'm able to convince my wife to ride along.
10) What advice would you give to people new in the business?
Don't ever do anything for the money -- ESPECIALLY radio! Learn everything you can about the business. Knowledge is power and the more you can do the more valuable you'll be. Everyone in the industry is wearing more "hats" now than ever before.
What was your last non-industry job?
I was a server in a restaurant for SEVEN years. I never spit in anyone's food ... but sometimes it was tempting.