10 Questions with ... Skywalker
April 12, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I began at my hometown station, WBLI/Long Island, doing weekends and promotions. I moved to New London, CT for nights at WQGN (Q105). In 2000 I came here to WSPK/K104 for APD/PM drive duties and have been happy ever since!
1) What led you to a career in radio?
It was the only thing I wanted to do growing up. My grandmother had always wanted me to be a weatherman. Considering I give forecasts on the radio, she was sort of dead on!
2) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
It's becoming more and more competitive. For a long while we only had one "similar" station in immediate earshot doing Rhythmic Top 40. However, they have moved into a more mainstream direction like us. Although not "direct" competition, Z100 and 92.3 NOW in NYC have some overlap with our Westchester listeners.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
We are live 24/7! That's pretty unique these days ... and a testament to our company's commitment to local programming. As much as I respect Seacrest, you aren't going to run into him at the local coffee shop grabbing a bagel. I bet he doesn't know about the traffic on Route 9, but I do. And I'll relate with you about it on the air. I am a familiar friend who's been with you for 11 years. That relationship with listeners can't be faked.
4) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
I am in fact wearing more hats, but actually not directly due to the radio station. I am trying to be as well-rounded as I can and cover a lot of bases. I freelance voicetrack, teach radio/TV at a local college and write a weekly article for the local newspaper. I like having my hands in many things ... television next!
5) What is your favorite part of the job?
That continues to be talent mentoring, as well as networking with people in the business. I have such a love and passion for radio that if I can excite anyone else about the business, I try to. Also, I just plain love to meet people and talk to people in the business. Even if it's a random e-mail, a quick aircheck send-off or a Twitter "hello."
6) What is the most challenging part of the job?
Time management. It is not even my time management, but "patience" is something I have learned throughout the years. I have never been good at situations where the pace of how I do my work is dictated by the actions of other portions of the work. That is a team situation, however, and I have slowly embraced the "it will get done when it gets done" philosophy. My PD, Scotty Mac, has unbridled poise and patience. I am trying to learn from that.
7) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I think it will always be Cubby at KTU. When he was at Z100, EVERY break that came out if his mouth was so witty, smart and funny ... such a great air talent.
8) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
WBLI on Long Island, hands down. I also listened to Kiss 95.7 in Hartford. I don't get nervous often or easily, but when I started doing weekends in Boston at WBMX last year, the PD is Jay Beau Jones. When I heard his voice on the phone ... and then even on the hotline while in studio ... I was definitely nervous. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he's done and was a big fan when I was a kid. It's surreal to be working for him now.
9) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
I am on an ADELE fix. She is incredible -- so incredible that the ticket broker prices to her New York show are ridiculous. I am going to need to do a lot of car remotes if I want to attend that!
10) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
The fact that I actually get paid for the work I do. I play music. I enhance your lives with fun and entertainment. To be brutally honest, as we know, radio isn't going to make you monetarily rich per se, and as you get older the things you want out of life change. That's why I have been putting my hands in a few different things and making sure that I LOVE going to work everyday.
I NEVER want to be one of those people who put up the Monday Facebook status update "back to the grind." I refuse to ever consider work a grind. I love going to work every day and won't ever be satisfied just being "okay" with what I do. It doesn't define who I am, but it is a big factor of my life. I am very proud of who I am and what I do. I will never just "settle." You're going to work 60 years of your life in this planet and you might as well love it. You may have more talent than me, more money then me, be in a larger market than me, but you will NEVER outwork me.
For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see?"
Snooki's house! Yes ... Princess of Poughkeepsie.