10 Questions with ... Syke
June 14, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I've been working with Long Island's Number 1 For All The Hits 106.1 BLI for 8 years now. 1 year part time, 5 years as night show host, and 2 years as afternoon drive host. I graduated from Hofstra University, where I was a member of non-commercial radio station 88.7FM WRHU.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
My first radio gig, though not an actual job, was working with 88.7 FM WRHU, Radio Hofstra University, where I produced and hosted my own morning show. I also participated as a reporter on the daily newscast, WRHU Newsline, and also jocked the Top 40 program, Uncharted Territory.
My first paid gig in radio was working part time for Party 105, based out of Ronkonkoma, Long Island.
2) What led you to a career in radio?
I knew from a very early age I wanted to do something that enabled me to get paid to talk. I was always a chatterbox, but was really good at it. I figured if I could make a career out of it, I would do alright! I was obsessed with Talk radio growing up, going to school listening to Imus in the Morning and riding home from school listening to Mike & The Mad Dog.
3) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
Long Island is such a unique radio landscape. Our listeners are passionate, opinionated, and extremely knowledgeable. They know what they like, what they don't like, and are not afraid to let that be known.
4) What makes your station unique?
We pride ourselves on being live and local. Our radio station is one of the very few in the country to have somebody in studio 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. There is always a live body behind that studio board and microphone. I love that about our team.
5) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
I'm wearing the same amount of hats, but am really passionate about developing my on air personality and talents as my career continues to unfold.
6) What are you doing social media-wise?
Everything. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook - we're on them all. If you fail to keep up with the times as far as social media goes, you're missing out on something special. These platforms are excellent ways of reaching different types of audiences in quick, simple, and efficient ways.
7) What are your favorite show prep sources?
Besides the typical prep sources/services out there, personally I love just talking to people in our building. That is really where I get a ton of content. I make it a point to talk to everybody every day to see what is going on in their lives and try to figure out a way I can tie that into our show's content. You'd be surprised at how much valuable, entertaining content you can get in your own building.
8) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
We are out at events every day, meeting our listeners and discovering what makes our community tick. In addition to that, we try to keep a focus on content that is relevant to our audience. We also do a lot of charitable work.
9) What is your favorite part of the job?
Meeting our listeners, especially young ones.
10) What's the coolest promotion you've been involved with recently?
Last summer, I started a social media campaign to invite Justin Bieber to our BLI Summer Jam concert at Jones Beach. #BIEBLI was the hashtag that went viral within 24 hours. I created memes, videos, and did a lot of on-air promotion behind it. I gained about 3,000 additional followers on my personal Twitter account in the eight weeks I carried the campaign. It eventually got back to Scooter Braun and the rest of Bieber's team. They tried extremely hard to make it happen, but scheduling conflicts prevented Justin from attending. Through a lot of extra effort after he said no, I put together another cool campaign for our listeners to meet Justin at a backstage BBQ at the Billboard Hot 100 Festival. Twenty listeners got the chance of a lifetime to meet Justin that day.
For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see"?
A Summer concert at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. Might I suggest "BLI Summer Jam" June 11th? :-)