10 Questions with ... Josh Martinez
January 27, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I dropped out of the College of Staten Island in the middle of my third semester. I simply realized a Drama degree from a community college will probably get me nowhere. I turned my focus to TV and attended the CSB School of Broadcasting in NJ. I quickly fell in love with radio and turned my focus and career aspirations towards that road. After completing my time at CSB, I interned through the Summer at KTU/iHeartMedia. Once the internship was over, I didn't wanna leave the building and asked to work in the promo dept. That lasted about a month before being offered a position as an overnight board op and weekend producer. I was eventually let go during "Black Monday," which didn't really faze me because I knew how lucky I was as a 20-year-old starting out in NYC. From there I went to WBLI, WPTY and WFAS before landing here in Des Moines at KKDM.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
I started out as an intern at KTU. My "shift" was supposed to be 7p-12a but I would stay through the overnight shift. My mom would call me thinking I was kidnapped or passed out at the Staten Island Ferry. Nope ... I was just hanging out with whoever was willing to teach me anything. As for my first paid gig? I worked overnights at WBLI/ Long Island. I'd leave my house at 8:30p. Walk to the bus stop. Take the bus to the Staten Island Ferry. Take the Ferry into the City. Take the 1 train uptown to Penn Station. Take the Long Island Railroad to Babylon. Take a cab from the train station to the radio station. It would cost me $41.50. It would take me three hours to get there and three hours to get home but I never complained. I loved it!
2) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
It's definitely diverse and unique compared to what I grew up with. Think about it. I'm from Brooklyn, NY -- and Des Moines, IA is my market. Talk about a culture shock! I've learned things here that I otherwise would have never learned. This is definitely a far more interesting market than I would've ever imagined.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
Some people may look at this market as a mid-major but you would never guess that listening to the station. There is a pace on this station and a work load as fast and big as a major market. I love that constant pressure and constant "push." Getting complacent is the key to a massive downfall. Before me, this station built something really successful and I'm enjoying the ride.
4) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
Absatively! I learned REAL quick in my internship that you should wear as many "hats" as possible if you wanna be successful. At this point in my career, I eagerly take on anything that allows me to tap into other departments, whether it be programming, production, etc. No disrespect to those who enjoy just being on-air jocks, but I absolutely enjoy balancing numerous jobs at once.
5) What are you doing social media-wise?
I'm a 26-year-old kid. Social media is my life! I try to do whatever I can to constantly "raise the bar." I enjoy looking at the "insights" and "stats" on social media and station websites. I love to set a goal, hit it and then set a new goal. Hell, just the other day I pushed out a photo that was seen by more than 32 million users. Not too shabby from a station in the middle of the country.
6) What is your favorite part of the job?
Knowing that this isn't a "job." I always tell people, "I gotta go to the station later." It's never "I gotta go to work later." We "Radio Peeps" are some lucky folk.
7) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I went to school for TV Broadcasting. I wanted to be the first Puerto Rican anchor on Sportscenter. Thank God I fell in love with the music side of the business. This way I can roll into work in sweat pants, a Yankee fitted, and not be too concerned about how I look when I haven't shaved in a week.
8) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Toss up: Justin Timberlake and Jay Z. I was the only kid in the 'hood that was open about his love for *NSYNC. JT was always the man. As for Jay Z. I mean, it's Jay freakin' Z! It wouldn't be a typical interview ... just a conversation that people could eavesdrop.
9) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
Z100, Hot 97 & La Mega 97.9. Whether it was Elvis, Cubby, Angie Martinez, Ed Lover & Dr. Dre, Luis Jiminez or anyone else among those three stations, I was always entertained.
10) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
Bartel gave me my initial shot with the internship and once I got in, Jagger and I hit it off and we became close friends. Anytime Jagger would speak, I would just sit back and take mental notes of anything that came out of his mouth. We would hang out at the station til 4-5-6a at times. I also learned a lot from Joe Rosati and Trey Morgan during my time in NYC. Without Wendy Wild, I wouldn't have had my first aircheck. Al Levine at WBLI played a role in molding my on-air delivery. Greg Chance has given me my first real shot as a full-timer with multiple job titles. He is both a task master and a mentor. He has trained my ear.
What was your last non-industry job?
Right before coming to Des Moines, I spent time delivering pizzas and working at a bed & breakfast in Stony Brook, NY. I'm pretty sure the bed and breakfast spot was haunted, so working overnights there isn't exactly the most comforting situation to be involved in.