10 Questions with ... Brian Holmes
May 12, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 2015 - present WJQM/Madison
- 2005 - 2014 WSNX/Grand Rapids - APD/nights
- 2013 WBFX/Grand Rapids weekends
- 2009 - 2014 WVKS/Toledo nights
- 2005 - 2009 WVKS/Toledo weekends
- 2009 - 2012 WFKS/Jacksonville weekends
- 2009 - 2011 WNSL/Laurel-Hattiesburg nights
- 2008 - 2009 KISS XM 21/weekdays (2p-4p EST)
- 2007 WKSS/Hartford weekends
- 2005 WFFY/Ft Walton Beach-Destin - APD/afternoons
- 2002 - 2005 WFLZ/Tampa weekends
- 2002 - 2005 WFLA/Tampa Network Producer "Schnitt Show"
- 1997 WYYX/Panama City (PD/afternoons) & WILN/Panama City (weekends)
- 1995 - 2000 Metro Networks/Tampa (traffic reporter)
- 1995 - 2000 WSRZ/Sarasota (nights) & WSPB/Sarasota (Ops Manager)
- 1995 - 1997 Tuned In Magazine Freelance Feature Writer
- 1989 - 1995 WRXB, WTMP, WYUU, WSUN/Tampa WIDO, WZBQ, WUAL/Tuscaloosa
- 1989 WFLZ/Tampa (weekend intern at 15 years old)
1. Did Radio find you or did you find Radio?
Both. I found radio listening to KHTR & KWK/St Louis, then later Q105/Tampa. Listening to those stations, I always thought it would be cool to be a DJ. I was just 15 years old and got quite possibly the luckiest break into radio. The Power Pig/Tampa had just launched and I was making daily calls to Power Pig Promotions Director Darcel Schouler. After about a month of calls, I was approved to be a weekend intern, most likely just to get me to stop calling her. I assisted with on the street "Pig Patrols" and assisted on air jocks as needed answering request lines and pulling upcoming music & spot carts. Radio had FOUND me, HAD me and wasn't letting go at this point.
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I originally thought I'd be a civil engineer - I was always drawing maps, building bridges.
But the radio bug hit early, around 11 years old I became a Billboard chart junkie.
I knew EVERY song and its position on the Hot 100 back then, I would carefully listen to American Top 40 every Sunday on KHTR/St Louis to make sure Casey counted them down correctly.
3. What was the biggest change in the move from Grand Rapids to Madison?
My ENTIRE lifestyle has changed, going from 10 years in the busy heart of downtown Grand Rapids, to a much more relaxed pace of a really nice suburb where it's so quiet, it's hard to sleep.
The biggest change was coming to work for Mid-West Family Broadcasting. Our owner Tom Walker is a RADIO guy who focuses on the RADIO business. There are LIVE/LOCAL airstaffs in place on our FM's, even our AM spanish CHR has a live air staff 6a-6p. The talent can actually focus on our shows, interact with listeners and make that important connection with them. There've been a few nights where aired a call inside every break the whole shift. That's good local radio that's fun to do. When you're expected to wear 4-5 hats ranging from digital and web stuff to promotions, sales and an airshift PLUS voice track shows for other markets - you are then spread too thin, everyone loses in the end,
When I started here at Mid-West Family - I was happy to see we had MDs and APD's where needed, promotions and events team, even parttimers live on the weekends. The constant high stress level from always anticipating the next fire I'd have to put out is gone.
People here SMILE everyday. (I've been told it takes a full 90 days to "de-institutionalize" those who come here from one of the big groups)
4. Do you ever get nervous before you crack the mic?
Not usually but this first 30 days here I have been. When you're in a new city on the air with a voice like mine, doing the type of show I do, I get a little nervous.
5. Radio Tinder. name a 'swipe right' air personality and a surprising 'swipe left' celebrity?
Honestly my PD Dave Mazur has been fun to listen to, Chunky Jackson (now at The Bull/Portland) always a must listen to for me.
If you can hear the fun they are having in their voice, they get right swiped.
I don't want to "left swipe" one person, instead swipe the Premium Choice top 40 and Rhythmic air talent collectively. Boring generic breaks that never connect with the audience. Rarely do you hear fun in their voices. Crazy thing is, ALL of them are VERY talented on their individual stations. However, putting talented jocks like them on a "national" platform then not allowing them to be the personality they can be seems pointless. And sounds boring.
6. What are you looking forward to about your first summer in Madison?
Without a doubt spending time on the big lakes that surround this city.
7. If you weren't in radio, what do you think you'd be doing?
I pursued a Media Relations/PR type position with the city before I left Grand Rapids, so probably something in that field.
8. Who is most likely to break a law on a night out in Madison.you or Dave Mazur?
Haha Dave and I are both big radio misfits. I feel like "Misfit Dave" would pull a Bieber and get caught egging someone's house not realizing it casued $20,000 in damage. When the police pull up to arrest him, I'd say I did it and take the charge for him. (Jail time isn't usually a pleasant experience for pretty boys like Mazur.)
9. Ever do a stunt that drew blood?
No... should we have? Can we? Wait... whose blood?
10. What's your radio goal?
I am so grateful that my PD Dave Mazur (who was also my PD when he was at WVKS/Toledo) went above and beyond, not just convincing me to make this move (it took him a year) but also making the case to OM Randy Hawke that I was THE guy for this position.
Dave had a very specific sound for 93.1 Jamz in his head when he became PD in 2013, and now he has all the pieces of the puzzle together to achieve that sound.
The goal? To WIN. And to have as much fun as possible getting there.
In general, how do you think you are fitting in with the Cheeseheads?
As a sports fan Cheesehead, not so well. As a literal eating Cheesehead, pretty sure I've tried around 30-40 cheeses I've never heard of, It's some sort of conspiracy to fatten me up fast for some reason.