10 Questions with ... Shorty
April 21, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WEBSITE: www.facebook.com/radioshorty SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram/Periscope: RadioShorty
Got my radio start at WSBF Clemson 88.1 at the age of 16! Had to beg the PD to let a high school kid on the radio! At 18, I moved to WHZT (Hot 98.1)/Greenville, SC for weekends, and picked up voicetracking for WPUP (Power 100.1)/Athens, GA. Fast track to 2011 when I became the morning guy at Fly 92.1 in Destin, FL, until they flipped to become WECQ Q92 and moved me to nights. I left Q92, came back to do the night show at Hot 98.1, and was lured away about a year later to crosstown WFBC-FM B93.7 where I currently do the night show and also voicetrack nights for Panama City Beach, FL's WILN-FM Island 106!
1) What led you to a career in radio?
Some Guy Named Tias told me at 16 that I would make A LOT of money if I got into it; I'm still waiting on the big payoff. I was the kid who was always interested in radio. I'd record songs off the radio, just so I could talk up the intro of the song in my bedroom. Tias can tell you by 16 I would call him up and he'd use me at least once a week for a phone topic. I always felt like I was the annoying kid, but I guess it paid off.
2) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
100%! And I don't mind it. I enjoy what I do, and I'm willing to help out where I'm needed. I have taken on the task of doing most of the imaging on our station, consulting with my boss on how it should sound. Social media is also huge, so keeping up with the station Snapchat, Twitter, IG, etc. I'm also learning how to better myself at making videos. Chris Cruise and Ice are experts at it, so I'm taking tips from them.
3) What are you doing, social media-wise?
Everything! If you aren't on social media, or you have the mentality that social media "isn't that big of a deal," hit me up, I'll make you change your mind! I'm not an expert, but I am always learning new things about it. Kim Reis is Entercom's social media guru. She knows her stuff, and it's awesome we are blessed with someone like her who can do all the research and come back to us with the answers. Lori Lewis is another who "gets it" when it comes to social media and how to relate it to our industry.
4) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
Being involved in the community is a big deal. Shaking hands and kissing babies is important. But also reach out to them on social media. Even simply seeing a tweet saying "It's my birthday" and having the station reply back with "Happy Birthday" will make that person's day! A girl was snap-chatting me the other day that she was listening to the station while at work. Turns out she was 10 minutes from my house, and I was hungry for ice cream! I showed up at her work on a Sunday, bought ice cream, took a photo with her, and she was blown away that I took the time out of my day to come say hey to her, and thank her for listening. Acts of kindness like that go a long way.
5) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
The KING of Top 40 radio. Elvis Duran. (JJ, you're on the list, too, but I had to pick just one!). When I was doing mornings in Florida, they came to me and told me I'd be pulled from my dream job of doing mornings, and moved to nights. I was angry, being replaced by some guy named "Elvis." ELVIS?! Then I heard his show. I got it. I am so jealous of Elvis. I would be his personal driver if he needs one (I'm from NJ so I can handle traffic!) Elvis Duran is as good as it gets. In fact, that entire team knows how to walk in each day and make people laugh, cry, think, and feel like they are all a part of his family. He's been my inspiration to one day do morning radio again.
6) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Howard Stern. Obviously everyone in radio is going to agree with me. But there are those who hate this guy. I love him. If you haven't listened in the last two years, his interview skills are out-of-this-world amazing now! I'm amazed at how he's captured millions of listeners throughout a 30+ year career. This is a guy who wasn't afraid of anything, who wanted to change radio and make people talk about him no matter if it was good or bad, simply because people we're talking about him. I listen daily, and I'm sad this could be his final year on the radio :(.There will never be another Howard Stern, ever.
7) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
As mentioned earlier, Tias Schuster. He paved the way for me to get into radio. I can't ever thank him enough. And SupaDave, my boss. We've known each other for 10+ years. I admire the guy. He's been with me through my immature 18-year-old days, and is now about to watch me turn 30. We work well together. We get one another. It's like we're the perfect married couple. And Tone Hollywood. He also started at WSBF. I've looked up to him like an older brother. If you're looking for a man who "gets" how to be involved in the community, contact him! Wouldja Just Mike Marino at Star 94 in Atlanta! That guy is such a trip, so humble, willing to talk for hours about radio or life. He's such a good dude, even if he likes the Yankees. My GM Steve Sinicropi. Steve wins. It's that simple. I think his full name is actually Steve Wins Sinicropi. I could write a book about him. I hope Steve knows how honored I am that he trusts me to continue to work for him time and time again. Finally, Chris Cruise. I've never met this guy, and I want to work with him one day. He's always giving me great advice, and this guy GETS radio and what it takes to be a team player and win. However, it's a little weird he likes My Little Pony!
8) Do you have a favorite hobby outside of radio?
I have my own podcast that I do each week with my buddy TJ here in Greenville, and we have our friend Jay from Seattle who uses Google Hangout to join as well. I also DJ weddings in the area and I love it. And I've picked up a new hobby, binging on Netflix shows.
9) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
Not much. I know that sounds mean. I like Talk radio. For years I listened to a show called Cocktails with Patrick on XM. Once that ended, I got more into Howard Stern. I think I hear music so much; I need a break from it. I also am a big podcast nerd.
10) What advice you would give people new to the business?
Learn ALL you can! I know there were days where all someone did was do a four-hour shift and leave each day. Those days are long gone. If you want it bad enough, prove that you do. Don't be afraid to help wherever help is needed, and ask as many questions as you need to. I'd rather have someone ask me the same question nine times and get it right, then only ask me only twice and screw it up.
For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see"?
Our city, Greenville, SC, has been on countless Top 10 lists over the past several years. (Full list here: http://www.greenvillesc.gov/PublicInfo_Events/MediaMentions.aspx) and has been exploding with new retail and tons of new people moving to the area. You have to visit downtown Greenville. It's amazing! And we have awesome shops and restaurants on Woodruff Rd., but be prepared to wait in traffic for like an hour. Southern drivers are horrible! Also, we even have our own 'hashtag cause we're cool like that :): #YeahTHATGreenville