10 Questions with ... "Scotty" Scotty Ehlke
July 7, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I first started doing radio in college (Central Michigan University). I fell ass-backwards into figuring out that radio was a viable career option. Once I figured that out, I jumped in head first. I began interning in Saginaw, MI for 102.5 WIOG doing whatever they wanted me to do -- overnights, board-oping, filing papers, answering phones, picking up people from the airport ... it didn't matter. I was just happy to be in the building.
From there I landed in Detroit working for CBS on the promo squad for 97.1 The Ticket, a Sports-Talk FM station. After two years of setting up events, I saw an opening in the building for 98.7 AMP radio. I spent a full year of late-nights and long hours doing whatever I could. I landed my first full time gig In Petoskey, MI (Market 196). I spent a full year in God's country acting a fool and then out of the blue I was contacted by Chris "Lucky" Stewart about Energy 1023. I said lets do it, and we have been busting our asses ever since.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
My first-ever job in radio was in Saginaw, MI at WIOG. I started out as in intern and was lucky enough to be hired right after that to basically be there when nobody else wanted to. I lived 70 miles from the station and would show up Friday night at midnight and basically live there for three days doing weekend overnights, mix shows and weekend promo events.
2) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
Energy 102.3 is unique because we are the new kids on the block (flipped August of 2014). We have a lot to prove, whether it's breaking a world record (102 Hours of Energy) or crashing local ice-cream shops on a whim to help serve ice cream and getting our name out there. I have only ever worked for established stations. The amount of work that is outside of the studio is way more than I expected.
3) What is your favorite part of the job?
Last summer in Northern Michigan we (106 KHQ/Traverse City, MI) were doing a promotion call the Bud Light Bucket List, where we would go around and give away different items on our listeners bucket lists. One of the items was skydiving. Lucky enough for me, I was able to participate. The scary part about it was I had NEVER EVER been on a plane before in my life. So we went up in the plane and jumped from 10,000 feet. For the longest time I could safely say I had only ever gone up on a plane but never landed in one. Something I would have never done on my own.
4) Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
Our station has been the most visible thing in our community since I got here and we owe that to our PD (Chris "Lucky" Stewart). We used our promotions to make ourselves visible. The biggest and best thing we did to be involved with our community was breaking a world record on behalf of the town. Lucky texted me one day: "Yo, what if we break a world record?" So we did, with 102 Hours of Energy. We lived in our studio for five days, broadcasting live the whole time for child abuse awareness. Almost immediately the whole community was rallying behind us, weather it was bringing us food, wishing us well, or just calling at 3a to make sure we were still alive and that they were rooting for us to make it.
5) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
I am one of those people who hits the scan button on the radio while driving and I stop when I hear something I like. Most of the time it ends up on either a Country station or a Top 40 station.
6) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
Being on the radio is the coolest job in the world, hands-down. We literally get paid to talk to people and about music. How can it get any better than that? I mean, if I was Taylor Swift's man piece, I would be okay with that, too. Fingers crossed.
7) What advice you would give people new to the business?
Marry someone who has lots of money.
8) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Make sure your whole life can fit into a moving truck.
9) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
There are too many people that I owe for helping me not be terrible.
Bill Michaels -- Bill was the first PD to take a chance on me and give me a full-time job and he would tell me, "Just be you and we wont have any problems."
Mikey V - Nights, Kiss 108/Boston. I used to be a part-timer in Detroit when he was doing nights (987 AMP radio). He didn't need to help out some lowly part-timer with his demo, but he did. Listening to him and taking all the advice I can from him always helps.
Chris "Lucky" Stewart -- Chris has been in an important part in me learning this entire business. He took me under his wing and I owe him a lot. I'm looking forward to continuing our work together.
And Tim Rayne PD 987 AMP radio -- Rayne helped me go from a kid talking on the radio to becoming an actual jock. I own him the most. Without him I would probably be flipping burgers somewhere.
10) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Snoop Dogg for sure. I could spend a whole show just making up new words and then prank calling pizza joints trying to order a pizzizzel.
Which character on a current TV series most reflects your personality?
People always tell me I am the poor man's Chris Pratt, and after binging on all of Parks and Rec, I have realized he is my spirit famous person. That's a thing, right? If only I could train raptors like him, my life would be complete.