10 Questions with ... Anthony
November 24, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started at the St John's University radio station, 590AM, WSJU. I interned for the New York Islanders and spent a little time there before leaving during the 2004 lock out. I became the Promotions Manager at 94.3 WMJC and WBZO and then moved to 101.1 WCBS where I was Promotions/Programming Coordinator. After that I landed at WEHM where I started on afternoons and moved to mornings.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I was always drawn to radio for some reason. I grew up with an incredibly funny group of friends. We were always making each other laugh and trying to one up each other. One day sitting in the cafeteria listening to the college radio station making my friends laugh, we just thought, "We're so much more entertaining than this guy." We walked up four flights to the station, had a show within weeks and eventually wound up running the station.
2. How long have you been at WEHM?
I started at WEHM in December of 2007.
3. What's the percentage of music verses talk on your show?
We actually have a fair amount of talk on the morning show. Look, audiences these days are more educated now than they've ever been. Listeners have the Internet, too ... We introduce our audience to large amounts of music, but even still a lot of them are on the cutting edge of knowing new bands and songs, so we know we have to have bring more to the table. We make sure we have good on-air conversations that the listeners can interact with, engaging topics, the latest music news and interesting tidbits on our artists. We also like to frequently use the term "Tidbit..." Listeners seem to like it as much as cats like yarn balls.
4. Tell us about 'Brews N Grooves' feature on your show.
When you look at craft beer, which has been booming on Long Island, you realized that a lot of brewers are exactly like us at 'EHM. They're passionate, they spend a lot of time perfecting their craft, and they're up against a lot. Radio is in the same place. On Long Island, wine is king. So just like how 'EHM doesn't follow the Classic Rock radio rules, I thought let's do the same and feature beer in this wine-crazed region.
And it paid off because it's one of our biggest features. Every week, we pick a craft beer to feature and pair it with a song. We take into account season, brewing style and ingredients for the beer and lyrics, melody and overall feel of the music for the song. We put so much effort in to each week that if we had any real intelligence and talent, we would have cured a major disease by now. But instead we find fun links between beer and music.
The audience enjoys it and it gives us an opportunity to introduce them to new styles of beer along with music, which is something no other station in our market is doing. In fact, we researched it at the time we started the feature and couldn't find another station in the country doing anything similar. We'd brag more about being the first to do it if it wasn't for the fact that every radio person thinks they're the first to do anything.
5. How often do you have live guests on the air?
Fairly often, but there's no schedule to it. If I find them interesting or think the audience will, I'll put them on. We've had everything from musicians to actors, authors and brewers on the show.
6. What do you find most amusing about your audience? Most annoying?
Having been at other stations on Long Island and even at CBS-FM in the city, I haven't found a more in-tuned audience than 'EHM's. Our listeners are passionate, interactive, intelligent and funny as hell. I got a production piece the other day from one of our listeners, "Twitter Bill," and it was better than anything I produced all year. It had show inside jokes, included other listeners and characters who appear on the show and even took a shot at one of the other stations in the market. It was a masterpiece. And there are so many others that are so involved in the show. I get e-mails, tweets and Facebook messages 24/7. The audience is the reason why I've stayed at 'EHM. They are incredible!
7. Do you tailor your show differently for the summer months as opposed to the winter?
Not at all ... the Hamptons is a big part of our audience but we also broadcast to a huge area that isn't seasonal whatsoever. So we don't change our approach in any way. The only thing that really changes is our guest frequency. There are a lot more shows in the summer and on top of that, half of the entertainment community goes from Manhattan to their Hampton summer homes, so we have more of an opportunity to have great guests. And we've had some great interaction with the entertainment community.
Paul McCartney called in during our Paul McCartney weekend because he was enjoying it so much! Howard Stern has been in our studios, hanging out, doing his photography. We've had Andy Cohen shout us out on Watch What Happens Live and we've had Alec Baldwin, Ed Burns, Bon Jovi and others all stop by in the past. Our station is truly in a unique location.
8. What community institutions do you champion?
Our entire team here does an incredible job within our community. We're doing No Shave November right now for the American Cancer Society. We do a lot of work with the local non-profit and arts community. Everything from doing appearances to having local artists hang their art work in the halls of our stations. We've never turned down a charity and that's a testament to the incredible people I work with.
9. What part of your job do you like best? Least?
Entertaining the audience and creating great campaigns for our clients. And when you can accomplish both of those together it's great! I can't dunk a basketball, I can't operate on someone, I can't do a balance sheet ... But I can make people laugh, and that's what I try to do every day. Most people go to shitty, thankless jobs. If I can make them forget about that for even two minutes, I've done a good job.
What I like the least ... Having to sell myself or the station to people that are unfamiliar with us.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
... texting with my wife! I just got married and yes, I'm trying to score points with every female reading this, but it's true. She gets me through the days: she listens and gives me tip, and helps me navigate through some of the tricky messes I get myself in to. Most of all she makes me laugh.
Last non-industry job:
I worked at Morgan Stanley in between the Islanders and my first radio job. When I told my parents how much money Morgan Stanley offered me to not leave, they both cried.
First record ever purchased:
I actually have no idea ... I think it was Alvin and The Chipmunks Christmas album or something, but I don't know. I've been around my parents' and older sisters' music for so long, it's hard to tell which album I stole from them or bought in the store ... or stole from the store, for that matter
Favorite Band Of All-Time:
Dave Matthews Band.
What do you do in your spare time away from work?
Come up with stuff to do on the air! That's a tough one to answer because I share so much of my life with the audience so whether I'm trying a new restaurant with friends or drinking a new beer, I'm always thinking in the back of my head, "I can't wait to share this with everyone." The one obsession I don't totally share on the air is my obsession with the NHL and the Islanders. Hockey is the greatest game on the planet!
What are your hobbies?
What annoys you about your on-air partner the most?
The fact that he/she hasn't shown up since I started...
Who in radio are your influences, your mentors, the people to whom you listen?
If they were on the air in NYC during the 80's and 90's I listened to them and they probably in some way shape or form influenced me. I've been lucky to talk with Howard Stern and in a few short conversations he's taught me more than he will ever know. But its not just radio people. Comedians, writers, and actors have all influenced me as well. Every radio person can learn from Rodney Dangerfield. He said a lot, used a small amount of words and always had a twist that made everyone laugh.
What are the benchmarks of your show?