10 Questions with ... Mike Adam
May 13, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Long story short ... I caught the radio bug from helping a friend out frequently with his WVOF | 88.5 radio show at Fairfield University. Eventually I ended up taking over his show. By the time the staff there found out I wasn't actually a student, I had an internship at Clear Channel/Hartford lined up. From there I landed a gig at Premiere Radio Networks producing the Keith Sweat Hotel ... and was still traveling back to Connecticut to do weekends on WKCI. I went on to do nights on WKSS for three-and-a-half years and some change, and have now been at WIOQ for a year-and-a-half!
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
My first full-time on-air radio gig at WKSS was a dream come true. I was on-air in my home state on a massive station. Plus, working in a state that really launched on-air talent like Jagger, Trey Morgan, Joey Brooks and Frankie V just before I stepped in was extremely motivating. While at KSS, I was able to do things I never thought I would... track for other markets, join the Premium Choice team, and connect with some of the head-honchos in the company.
2) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
Absolutely. Aside from being the night show host and Imaging Director, I acquired a lot of the duties Maxwell had as APD/MD at Q after he left for Z100. It's a lot of work, but I really like being such an integral part of the station. Plus, the fact that my skill set is constantly expanding keeps me from feeling stagnant.
3) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I like doing things that could potentially kill me ... like sky diving, bungee jumping, roller coasters. Marriage is actually next.
4) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
Jagger over at KTU has always been in my like "top 10." He has a flawless delivery, and sounds exactly the same off the air as he does on, which I love. His live stuff sounds better than a tracked jock's best stuff. Also, I'm a little biased, I guess, because he really was a mentor to me when I was first getting started.
5) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Well, I had Kanye on not that long ago, which was crazy because I'm such a big fan of his. But either Chris Cornell or Robert Plant. I also think I would be looking for a new job if I aired either of those interviews on IOQ.
6) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
Growing up in Bridgeport, CT, you have so much great radio to listen to. I was definitely spoiled. I listened to CT stations, NYC stations, and Long Island stations all the time. My favorite was probably WMRQ or WWPR.
7) Do you have a favorite hobby outside of radio?
Does watching The Walking Dead count? Daryl may or may not have been my #MCM on Instagram before. And yes, my fiance and I have talked about our plan of action when the zombie apocalypse happens.
8) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
Mostly Alternative Rock and older Hip-Hop probably, but I really love everything. I'm a big fan of Billy Joel, Zeppelin, Green Day, Nirvana, Lupe Fiasco, John Mayer, Joe Budden and a ton of others.
9) What advice you would give people new to the business?
Say yes to everything, and never stop doing it. Because the minute you say "no," there's another person in line behind you dying to say "yes." Your work ethic is gonna separate you from the pack.
10) What is the current state of the radio "talent pool?"
That's an interesting question. Syndication has definitely shrunk the active radio talent pool, but I don't think it's deterring people from wanting to get into radio. There's a ton of up-and-coming talent out there; it's just harder for newbies to get into the game when live weekenders and overnight jocks are becoming a thing of the past. My first live shift was Sunday mornings from 4-7a, you know? But if you're talented and you want it bad enough, you'll get yourself on-air.
What was your last non-industry job?
The assistant store manager of KB Toys, and it was the greatest freakin' job ever! Where else can you jump off shelving into a Bounce Around WHILE GETTING PAID!? I'm not really sure how I became the second guy in charge there, now that I think about it...