10 Questions with ... Tony Fly
August 2, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started at WLYQ/Q96 Norwalk, CT ... Kid Kelly (currently killing it at SiriusXM) hired me as an intern to pull his carts and keep his groupies away from each other. Kid got canned, weekend guy got Kid's job, I got weekends. A few stations later, Kid got me hired again, this time at Z100/NY. I produced and wrote for Kid's night show, drove the prize van, weekends, board-op, Morning Zoo stunt-guy, and most importantly, making sure Steve Kingston's cars were safely stored in the Z100 garage.
From there: Power 99/Atlanta, B93/Austin, B97/New Orleans, KDWB/Minneapolis, KHFI/Austin, B96/Minneapolis ... currently at Cumulus doing afternoons on 105 The Vibe in Minneapolis and national shows for Westwood One. That's enough, right?
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
Fun! You can't go wrong with a "Hot Hits" copycat format and Fusion jingles! Man, I was such a nerd for Top 40 jocks. I was performing solely for the aircheck. I was only 16, and I don't think I realized that people were actually listening. I was truly horrible, but Q96 was definitely where I decided I'd never do anything else.
2) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
Is that a bald joke?
Afternoons on the Westwood One Hot AC 24-Hour Format ... Afternoons on the Westwood One Hits Now 24-Hour Format ... Local afternoons on 105 The Vibe - WGVX Minneapolis/St. Paul.
3) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
I'm a participating member of the community. I'd like to call it a strategy, but it isn't. I'm out as much as the audience, and they are very used to me. The late, great Dan Kieley told me that we're not jocks, we are local celebrities. He said being a perfect jock isn't the goal. Being well-known is.
4) What is the most challenging part of the job?
For me? Same as it's always been ... keeping them coming back, despite long-ass stopsets and 10 million other choices.
5) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
No outside kids.
6) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
It's a three-way tie.
Kid Kelly at Sirius XM. He's my idol. I've wanted to be Kid since I was a teenager.
Danni Starr, formerly of the Kane Show. She was my co-host at B96/Minneapolis. She's my favorite because she doesn't give a shit. She says what she feels with no filter.
Scotty Davis at WFLZ/Tampa. He's just great.
7) What artist would we be surprised to find on your personal playlist?
Willie Nelson. Actually, you're probably not surprised by that.
8) If you could add one full-time position to your budget right now, what would it be?
A massage therapist.
9) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
I owe everything to Kid Kelly, Steve Kingston, Dan Kieley, Mark Bolke, Elvis Duran, Bill Richards, Randy Lane and Joel Denver. Everything I do professionally is because one of those guys told me to do it that way.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
A winning attitude keeps you employed, even when you aren't winning.