10 Questions with ... Mike "Hurricane Shane" Schoenherr
April 9, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started in overnights in May of '86 at WHEW/Ft Myers, FL and then WRXK (96 K-Rock)/Ft. Myers. Had a cup of coffee at KQRS (KQ92)/Minneapolis in '91. I also had stints at KSEZ/Sioux City, IA and back in Ft. Meyers at WROC. My career finally kicked in at Rock Alternative WRAX (1077 The X)/Birmingham, Al in March of '96 ... and then to Cox Classic Hits WBPT (1069 The Eagle) before going to Mobile
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I used to listen to the legendary Hines and Bergland on WLOL in Minneapolis back in the day; they made it sound so easy. They tricked me.
2. Who were/are your mentors?
Nobody taught me more about creating compelling radio than Dave Rossi, who hired me as his assistant at WRAX in '96... and the policies of Bob Neil, former CEO of Cox Radio, taught me more about the technical side of the business and making it work for you than anyone else.
3. What changes do you plan on making to 92 ZEW?
The station has legendary status here in Mobile, but does have an issue with Time Spent Listening. I suspect tightening up the library a bit (without removing its local appeal) will take care of that.
4. You have had experience with a format similar to Triple A in the past ... tell us about that.
The station Dave Rossi and I ran (WRAX 1077 The X) was more of a Pop Alternative/Triple A hybrid, and with the assistance of noted music tastemaker Scott Register and his Reg's Coffeehouse show on Sunday mornings, we broke a number of bands that have had enormous success in the Triple A format -- Train, John Mayer and many more.
5. Tell us about the stations involvement with the Hangout Festival.
I can't tell you how excited I was when I heard 92 ZEW was the official station of the Hangout Festival! The hard work of Director of Programming Tim Camp and previous program directors here establishing a relationship with the Hangout folks has really paid off for the station.
We broadcast live from the Hangout -- every day all day -- with our monstrous broadcast vehicle onsite providing live updates throughout the weekend, interviews with bands and other exclusive stuff. We have unprecedented access. This will be my first and I am simply giddy about it!
6. What are the music meetings like at your station?
Everybody's invited; if you have something that excites you and it's a fit, I wanna hear about it. The people who work here at 92 ZEW are lifers; they live it, they breathe it. If I don't listen to them, I need to be wearing a red or blue vest at Wal-Mart
7. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Creating compelling content ... making the radio listening experience a fun, entertaining one. It's one thing to bang the whole "Hey we're local" drum; it's another to walk it with community involvement, listener interaction and local programming. The folks at 92 ZEW realize that, and we are very good at it
8. What is the best advice to give to young programmers/promotions people?
Get to know your audience. Find out what they're doing, what they're watching, what they love, what they hate and don't be afraid to make a mistake. Knowledge is gained from mistakes. Just don't be a dope and repeat mistakes
9. Fill in the blank...I can't make it thru the day without ...
... "Family Guy." What the deuce?
10. If you wanted to completely change careers today, what would you want to do?
Be the prop guy for "Swamp People." I'd slip a blank into one of those goobers' rifles so that one of the crocs in that tiny canoe wouldn't be dead. Now that would be compelling! Or, be the personal man servant for HLN's Robin Meade. Whatever's most feasible.
Last non-industry job:
Overnight cashier at Super America: Scrubbin' toilets in a tie. God bless America
First record ever purchased:
Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" on 45. It only cost a dollar and I got a dollar a week allowance. First album was Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains the Same
Eric Clapton. I "drank" too much and fell asleep - what a putz!
Favorite band of all time:
Neil Young: His music calms the savage beast that dwells within. I saw him for the first time live at the IP casino in Biloxi last year and it was awesome. As far as a full-on band, gotta go with Nirvana.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Now that the beach is once again part of my life, chillin' in the sand with the Gulf breezes blowing thru what's left of my hair with my wife in Gulf Shores.