10 Questions with ... Brian Mack
January 18, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
While getting a bachelors degree in... (ah.... hmmmm... what was it again?) at Cornell University, I took up overnights on Ithaca's local Rock station 93-5 WVBR. After summer internships at Z100 and KISS 108, I commuted from Ithaca on weekends to Binghamton (STAR 105-7/WMRV) to write and produce imaging, and to do Saturday and Sunday afternoon air shifts. Then, with a degree in (???), it was back to Long Island's Jared Broadcasting, writing and producing for the world famous 92-7 WLIR and PARTY 105.
A year later I was Cleveland-bound to join Dan Mason and Kasper at 96-5 KISS-FM/WAKS, handling writing and producing imaging.
After a successful three years in the great city of Cleveland, I traded a hat and gloves for board shorts and shades, taking over imaging duties at the legendary Y100. With the addition of Rod Phillps and a move for Michael Yo to E!, I earned MD stripes.
Currently, under guidance from OM/PD Alex Tear, I oversee and help in all day-to-day activities and duties at Y100 short of on-air talent.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
Dark and lonely... it was 2-6a. But addicting, nonetheless!
2) What led you to a career in radio?
Hmmm ... it wasn't in the blood, but...
3) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
Tight. Between several different types of ACs, a few different types of Top 40s, three or four Spanish stations ... Oldies, Classic Rock, and Country ... there is quite the barrier to entry.
4) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
We're a major-market station that operates with the same staff number a medium-market station would ... but we operate like an organism, regardless. We couldn't do it without the contribution of any one of us. It's a tight team, and some of our team members have been thrown into the water without learning to swim first ... yet, they've all met the challenges.
5) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
100% ... If you had told me 10 years ago my first MD/APD tasks would be in Miami, I would have never believed you. I, too, have had to learn as I go ... thankfully, I've had no one but the greats to teach and tutor me along the way (Tom Poleman, Dan Mason, Kevin Metheny, Rod Phillips, Alex Tear, etc.)
Along with learning a vital job for the brand, I still maintain our creative services in imaging. Promos still have to get on the air in a timely fashion.
6) What is your favorite part of the job?
Putting our artists and listeners in the same room, with live music. There is no better pay-off to me than seeing a hard-working star make the day of 50 people in an intimate setting that you were able to put together.
7) What is the most challenging part of the job?
Not allowing anything to fall through the cracks.
8) What's the coolest promotion you've been involved with recently?
No doubt, Y100 underground. Check it out at Y100.com -- keyword underground :)
9) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
I still believe in it ... I still feel excitement on days like Underground, Jingle Ball, adding something I believe in, or creating/writing brand campaigns that evoke emotion and passion for your product. It's not dead people!
10) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Remember where you came from...
Remember what it took to get here...
Respect that, and pass it back to those who feel what you felt.
Name the artist/act (living or dead) you'd love to meet and why?
At the moment ... John Lennon. I'd love to know to know if he were alive today... would he have gotten back together for one more tour with arguably the greatest band of all time? I would write a big check for a ticket.