10 Questions with ... Mark Baggio
February 11, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WDZQ/Decatur, IL... Summer of 2005/ I started as a board-op in Decatur, IL. I drove 400 miles a weekend just to start.
WDZQ/Decatur, IL...Fall of 2005- Jan 2006 (Middays/Production Director)
WSOY-/Decatur, IL...Jan 2006- August 2006 (Nights/Promotions Director)
WBBM/B96 Chicago... August 2006- December 2012 (Board-Op- Streetmix Producer/Night Producer for JulianOnTheRadio/Producer of the J & Julian Morning Show)
WLLD/Tampa...August 2013- Current (Executive Producer/co-host)
1. What got you into radio?
The lucrative earnings.
I would have to say it started with my family, specifically my mother. As a little kid she had to drag me around everywhere and she would always have the radio on and up. She would sing the entire car ride and just be so into it, eventually she would let me pick a few stations and I just would think to myself, "How cool is it that there's people talking to me through these speakers and they're playing music too, what kind of job is this?"
I do have to give Eddie and Jobo from B96 in Chicago credit as well. My alarm clock growing up was always set on B96, those guys were true pros and were the voices of Chicago for so long. I would wake-up and listen to them and literally imagine what they were doing, how fun it sounded and how cool they were. I just had to get into this field and I knew it early, there's no other job quite like radio.
It truly is the best job, and I'm thankful every second that when my alarm clock goes off...at 4 am, I'M going to a radio station, to help put together a show that truly reps the amazing city of Tampa. FL and hopefully puts a smile on at least one person's face!
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Major League Baseball player, fighter jet pilot or involved in radio/music. Ummmmmmmm...turns out 1 and 2 you have to have talent to do. :) LOL
In all seriousness, I knew this business was for me. I was that kid who would by an album and make my friends listen to it over and over and over and over and over...well, you get the point, then tell everyone what songs would be on the radio...most the time, I was spot on.
3. What was the biggest change in the move to Tampa?
T.S.S aka Time Spent Shoveling! (Ladies and Gents I'll be here all night, don't forget to try the fish and tip your servers!)
I left at the right time. Chicago is already at the 4th highest snowfall in history, and I'm writing this by my pool with some Ice Cold Miller Lite...hold on, I have to turn over.
It really is just a different vibe in this city. Its about a 1/4th of the size, a lot more laid back, not as diverse as far as culture goes either. Nonetheless, it's a tremendous experience and I'm seeing new people/places/learning everyday and having a blast down here!
4. First thing you do when you get to the studio in the morning?
Make sure the Nuthouse (shouts to my dudes Stiffy and Buckweat) didn't leave any "party" related items or people, LOL... in from the night before and set everything up so when Orlando walks in we are all ready and focused to make magic!
5. Freakiest thing you've seen in the Freakshow studio?
Orlando IN A BRA...that is something my eyes can never fully recover from. I've been trying to get a comp day for my suffering...WHAT UP O! :)
6. If the Freakshow were on Survivor, who would win?
I would take the cake on that one for sure! Orlando would take a few too many naps on the beach. Meredith would be runnin' around making sure her tan lines are perfect and Davy always needs to have his clothing game 100%, so he'd be matchin' up leaves with branches looking like a boss. My ADD/OCD would just keep me busy all day and night. I love my new family though and I think it would be awesome to do that, though! Best group of people to spend my time with.
7. If you weren't in radio, what do you think you'd be doing professionally?
That is tough, I've been so passionate and driven to make it in this business that I never even let a thought like that enter my mind. My father always told me, "If you want something bad enough, work really hard, think positive, surround yourself with the right people, learn something new everyday, and eventually you'll be successful." So, with that said, I pushed myself and just kept my dream and goals within sight and made this happen.
Luckily, my father was in construction for 30 years and now rehabs houses on the side, if everything fell apart, I know he'd be there offering me a job helping him out in South Carolina.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I'm all over the place. I love watching baseball live or on TV. I'm a HUGE college football fan, love the NFL, and anytime I can catch a Blackhawks game on satellite, I won't pass it up! As far as the outdoors goes, hmmmm...I'm really into drinking beer at the pool or on the beach. I've been hitting up the driving range recently and attempting to resurrect my golf game! Living in summer 11 months of the year will do that to ya'...also, kayaking is a ton of fun as well!
9. If you could be on any TV reality show or game show, which would you want to be on?
Big Brother! BEST. SHOW. EVER.
Problem is I've worked for CBS since 2006 so I'm ineligible. I was on the beach for a brief stint last Spring, tried out, and obviously wasn't what they wanted. Its cool, I would've just won anyway, no biggie.
10. Hypothetical question...If you were getting married in two months and you could have any group or singer perform at your reception, who would you choose?
George Strait. Hands down THE man! 60 #1 Hits, old enough to where he can't take my wife, yet cool enough to keep her company, sing some tunes, and just seems like the most down to earth dude, ever.
1. If you had to eat one type of meal everyday for a month, what would it be?
That's actually my current situation. I have to eat top ramen, daily.
I love Mexican though. Steak tacos with rice and cheese only + the hottest hot sauce around.
2. Your job is primarily done 'behind the scenes'. What's the most rewarding part of your gig?
The feedback from listeners. A text/tweet/phone call or Facebook comment that says, "thank you for playing my song" "your morning show gets me going" "you guys are so funny" "your dj just spun the best mix I've ever heard" "I love your show"
That is honestly a trip to me. A listener took time from his or her day to tell us we made theirs! How cool.
Our medium is, IMHO, a lot deeper than some credit it for. We connect with people every second, of every day, of every week, of every year. I joined this biz because it gave me joy and excitement growing up and if I can return that favor in any way at all, I feel successful. If anyone actually reads this whole thing and you are currently in the field, please remember to always super serve the people who put food on your table and allow you to be able to walk in that radio station and do whatever job you do. Work hard. Be kind to everyone. Learn from everyone. Life is good. Be happy. Everything will fall into place.
I'd like to say a huge thanks to tons of people, but specifically- Erik Bradley, Steve Reynolds, Todd Cavanah and my current PD and friend...Orlando. These 4 dudes have taught me SO much and have really given me a great perspective on radio and life. I hope I can do a tenth of what these legends have done. I honestly don't know where I'd be if Todd hadn't listened to my voicemail I left him as a 16 year old kid and told Erik Bradley to call me. LOL.