10 Questions with ... Mike Klein
September 25, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WNVZ (Z104), Norfolk, VA, Nights/Afternoons/Music Director, 1999-2005
- WKZL, Greensboro, NC, APD/MD, 2005-2007
- WBVD, Melbourne, FL, Program Director, 2007-2009
- WFLZ, Tampa, FL., Weekends (Swing), 2007-2010
- Z100, New York, NY, Weekends (Swing; and whenever they were desperate), 2007-2011
- WNRW-WLGX, Louisville, KY, Program Director, 2009-2012
- WNVZ (Z104), Norfolk, VA, Program Director, 2012-present
1. What got you into radio?
I won $107 from my favorite radio station when I was 12 years old, and was given a tour of the station, and fell in love with radio. I knew then I was hooked.
2. You're back in Norfolk. You left as MD and now you're back as the PD. What changed about the market/changed the most since you left?
Since coming back here, there's a lot more competition. When I left in 2005, there were two Top 40/Mainstreams: Z104 and another station on a small signal; now, there are two additional Top 40/Mainstreams on major signals. The competition is fierce. Also, Norfolk is a PPM market as of July 2010.
3. The PD and afternoon positions have been about the only personnel changes at WNVZ over the last 5-10 years. How does WNVZ keep that kind of stability?
Z104 has been a successful radio station for 30 years (that's how old we are this year) because of our staff. We have the best morning show in Hampton Roads - the Z Morning Zoo with Nick, Tricia and Shaggy - that's been around for 12 years; followed by Natalia, who has been our midday girl for almost eight years; and I've worked for Z104 doing nights and afternoons for almost eight years before returning to be PD; plus Devin, whose been on staff almost five years. We continue to reinvent ourselves.
4. What's the secret to happiness in Norfolk?
Enjoying the beaches, Busch Gardens, and all the great cultural offerings in Norfolk, Williamsburg and beyond. It's like being on vacation all year round.
5. Now that you're a grizzled radio vet, got some sage advice to pass along to the newbies?
Remember to connect with your audience - with phone calls and social media, shaking hands, getting out in your community, and making an impact. Networking is never overrated. And listen to everyone's feedback; you don't know everything and you can always learn more and be better. If you are passionate about being in radio, always do and give more.
6. What's your favorite song on the station right now?
Don't Wake Me Up by Chris Brown. He's a talented dude (and he's from Virginia)!
7. Dog, cat or both?
Cat. They're self-sufficient divas (just like us radio people).
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like going to the beach, socializing, chilling in coffee shops and local bars, eating at local restaurants, travelling to big cities (NYC, DC, etc.), seeing plays, riding mass transit, etc.
9. TV shows and movies are constantly being remade. What TV show would you like to see remade or remade as a movie?
Friends should be remade. Same awesome cast and city, but new stories.
10. If I was the mayor of Norfolk, I would ________________?
Have The Tide (our light rail) extended to go all the way to the oceanfront and the Norfolk International Airport.