10 Questions with ... JJ Holiday
February 1, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Polka Records on Sunday mornings in New Prague, MN led to Dan Fogelberg records in Knoxville, IA, then quick stops in Des Moines and La Crosse. Next, Fairmont MN ... got canned a few days after my wedding -- CLASSY. After that I found a great situation in Duluth, MN and worked there for six years; they gave me a crack at my first morning show and I'll always be grateful for that. About a year in Minneapolis crammed in there and I've been here at KCLD for just over five years now. LOVIN' IT!
1) What led you to a career in radio?
No glamour here ... after college and deciding to NOT go to law school (buy me a beer and I'll explain), I was sitting in my apartment with my roommate watching a Chicago Cubs game. The camera pans up to show Harry Caray surrounded by 17 beer bottles in the 6th inning. He's having a BLAST! I looked at my roommate and said ... "I wanna do that." Next thing you know, I'm back in school and at my first gig.
2) What is your favorite part of the job?
I love being on-air every morning. That's what gets me up and keeps me going. I don't think I could ever program and not have an air shift. After 9a I am passionate about coaching. Getting to shut the door and listen to audio with jocks is FUN for me. We both get something out of it. Honing our skills is something we all overlook. If you can't find time to critique yourself or your talent, you're going to fall behind.
3) What's the coolest promotion you've been involved with recently?
Right now we're giving away another $75,000 wedding! We get a HUGE response from this ... now our 3rd year doing the Grand Wedding. We cover EVERYTHING-- dinner, reception, rings, gowns/tuxes, honeymoon, cake, deco ... everything. The cool part: The bride and groom only have 12 days to get ready after we tell them they won. Both previous couples are still married ... keep your fingers crossed.
4) What artist would we be surprised to find on your iPod?
Neil Diamond. FREAK about Neil. And any '90s Hip-Hop ... Rob Base, RUN DMC, Beastie Boys ... my kids think I need help.
5) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I'm a former 4th grade speling champeon.
6) If you could add one full-time position to your budget right now, what would it be?
I would add a MEETING LIAISON to the staff. Someone who can sit through the minutia of meetings and report back the stuff I need to know. I get that we all have to be there, but really? "Can I get the Cliff Notes, please? That's wonderful that your client's niece is going to state in swimming. No, we can't broadcast live at the pep rally. Yes, I know they spend a lot of money..." Some weeks these can be real time bandits.
7) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
Sticking it to everyone who says the business is dying or not relevant anymore. I love being the guy who fights off the next threat or big bully. Radio is relevant and important -- if you're in it for the right reasons. You want to put in your 35 hours and some quick production time ... okay ... don't unpack too much.
8) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Work your ass off and it will happen. Be a hard THINKER ... then a hard WORKER. Doesn't really work the other way.
9) What advice you would give people new to the business?
Quit bitching and WORK. SHOW UP ON TIME. I'm no grizzly veteran, but how many times do you think I used the "traffic was heavy," "my car wouldn't start" or "I slept through my alarm" excuse ... NEVER. Prepare yourself, bonehead.
10) What is the current state of the radio "talent pool"?
I think it's good, but with that said, talent won't always get you the gig. About four months ago I had our night gig open. I took in and listened to over 300 applications. I hired a girl who was working part-time because not only was she talented, she was HUNGRY. You may have had a great run in Chicago, but what will you do for me? Will you drive the station van to a remote if you have to? Will you get up early for a staff meeting? Will you work the wedding expo without a talent fee? There are TONS of talented people out there ... and TONS of baggage.
What's the best sweeper/liner you've ever heard?
Maybe not the best, but my favorite was one we ran a few years ago: "104-7 KCLD is the radio station other radio stations talk about when other radio stations talk about radio stations..." Our awesome voice guy Chad Erickson read it cold and confused himself ... and ended it with an uncomfortable pause and then uttered "huh" ... couldn't have coached it better.