10 Questions with ... James Steele
May 17, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 14 to 15 Years Old - Started Talk Show on Live365.com
- 15 to 19 Years Old - Treasure & Space Coast Radio in Vero Beach, FL
- 19 to 22 Years Old - Clear Channel/Melbourne, FL
- 22 to 23 Years Old - Clear Channel/Greensboro, NC
- 23 to 30 Years Old - Sinclair Communication/Norfolk, VA
- 30 Years Old - iHeartMedia/Norfolk, VA
- 30 to 31 Years Old - CBS Radio/Orlando
- 31 to Current (32) - Alpha Media/Gulfport, MS
1) What led you to a career in radio?
Real Radio 104.1 (WTKS) in Orlando. More specifically Drew Garabo, Dan Stone, and Howard Stern.
Drew Garabo and Stern inspired the entertainment, writing, talk passion at 14. It was the first radio to make me laugh. Drew fueled it even more by letting me come up and hang with the crew. First couple years my Dad had to drive me, until I got my license at 16. Dad, thank you for the rides. Mom, thank you for letting me drive to Orlando even though you were freaked out. Drew, thanks brother.
Dan Stone made me notice radio production for the first time. That station's brand and message was so clear with his sound design, writing, and improv that I have yet to find a station that compares to what he did with Real Radio 104.1. Thanks, Dan.
2) What are you doing, social media-wise?
Facebook Live. Everything at any moment in this building can be transformed into a bit ... and now Facebook Live material. This is especially key since Facebook is making the LIVE feature reach the majority of your followers news-feeds compared to other material your station's page may post.
The Monkey has a ridiculous social media following of almost 500,000. Valerie Katz, my friend and middays at the Monkey, really got me started with it. We tend to go live together even if we're out headed to a show. It's inevitable that she will get lost, something will lead to something, and people watch because as they typically comment "this is like reality TV." People watch it like they watch anything on demand. We did a full hour the other day. We kept a steady balance of 150 to 250 live viewers.
People like watching stupid.
Oh, and Tinder. Very active on the Tinder.
3) What are your favorite showprep sources?
Life, the hallways, people, Reddit, Fark, YouTube.
4) What is your favorite part of the job?
Radio is fun here.
5) What's the coolest promotion you've EVER been involved with?
- 96X Winter Meltdown 2012 with Fun., Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters of Men, Silversun Pickups, The Last Bison, and Atlas Genius. Teamwork to the extreme. From venue, to labels, to bands, managers, sales, air staff, promotions, stage crew, listeners. Almost a year in the making, and we did it.
- Followed up two weeks later with the 96X Party With a Purpose feat. The Lumineers and X Ambassadors. We raised over $26,000 for Toys for Tots, and Food Bank of South Eastern Virginia's Back Pack Program.
6) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Louie CK and Bill Burr come to mind. I would be extremely nervous and that is always a good feeling to have before you do something. I have no idea if I would be able to riff with them, but one day I will chat with those geniuses.
Also Kim Jong-Un would be a good grab. Nice guy.
7) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
(In No Particular Order)
- Dad ... love ya pops
- Michael W. Lowe
- Juan O' Reily
- Hamp Elliott
- Mike Fitzgerald
- Opie and Anthony
- Drew Garabo
- Ted Rose
- Daniel Dennis
- Barbara Latham
- Ken Holiday
- Jim Davis
- Jay Michaels
- Bob Sinclair
- Donna Agresto
- Mike Powers
- Bob Frantz
- Zac Davis
- Phil Becker
- Sherry Alaghehband
- Dave Ravikoff
- Howard Stern
- Phil Kaso
- Dan Stone
- Kenny Vest
- Ricky Mitchell
- Tim Satterfield
- Eric Tyler
8) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
I hope this works.
9) What would you like to do to save radio from its "dying-industry" image?
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. If you've got something to say ... say it. No one knows what works and what doesn't; if that were the case then everyone who says it should be done "this way" or "that way" would be running successful #1 stations. Don't try too hard, don't be fake, don't lie to your audience, and don't be convinced to do so. Be REAL, be YOU ... what are you afraid of? Being fired? Let go? Being brought into an office because you didn't just read the liner like you were "supposed to?" Now is the time to take chances.
Companies may die, the industry will not.
10) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" is my go-to Karaoke song.
What's the best sweeper/liner you've ever heard?
- "Happy Birthday America...If you were a chick we'd do you ... In fact we'd probably wake up the next day, and brag to all our friends ... about how we hit that."
- "What's coming up in your futaaa ... just sit back and eschucha ... that means listen ... in Spanish ... suckas."
Both are Gems from Dan Stone @ Real Radio 104.1 WTKS.