10 Questions with ... Russ Parr
April 24, 2012
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My first radio job was at KLBS/Los Banos, CA. I was influenced by Dr. Don Rose on KFRC/San Francisco. He had wild one-liners with bells and whistles
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"? And do you have a pet peeve?
I loved acting, but realized I wasn't going to make enough money at it. Pet peeve is people with huge egos who haven't earned the right to have one
3) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
Yes, I played the game. Sometimes listening rather than talking helps
4) One of the unique things about The Russ Parr Morning Show is its spontaneity. What do you have to do to make that work and keep it fresh?
It's all about timing. A lot of times when you're doing an improv show, you have to know when to get in and when to get out. I trust other people, but not as much as I trust myself. I still get off on a tightly executed show.
5) Another thing that we've observed is that your syndicated Russ Parr Morning Show, which emanates from WKYS in Washington, is primarily geared to Urban audiences but is very mass-appeal from a content standpoint. You're really competing with a lot of Urban and Urban AC morning shows.
Yes, because I feel everybody with a microphone, regardless of the format, competes on content. If the content you're spewing is competitive, you can do it on any format. Currently joining me on the morning show is Alfredas, Supaken and Albert "Sumbody Trippin."
6) In addition to your radio duties, you've also hosted television shows and now you've got a book and you've directed another new movie.
Yes, the book is called "The Game Behind The Game." And the new movie is "The Under Sheppard." Last year we completed a film called "35 And Ticking."
Does all this significantly impact the number of hours that you have available to enjoy your leisure time?
We're not doing the television show anymore, so that's not a problem. However, when I direct a movie it can be trying, working 19 hours a day but I love it.
7) What are some of the other projects you're involved with that you would like to share with our readers?
I have a comedy film that's been out for a while, called "Something Like a Business."
8) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
Remembering names ... it's a problem, especially when you get busted.
9) Do you feel there is an escalating demand and somewhat diminishing supply of great morning talent available today?
Syndication has really devoured a lot of prime spots and it's a concern when it comes to developing good morning talent.
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
Not many regrets other than I never really allowed myself to be marketed. I always felt promoting myself was a little too pretentious and self-serving. But in this day and age, you have to market yourself to get noticed.
What would people who think they know Russ Parr be surprised to know about you?
I'm extremely shy.
You're still pretty passionate about music. How do you balance personal tastes with expectations of the audience?
It's not about me; you have to play stuff you don't like, but then again, there are a lot of things I say that people don't like.
What's been your biggest disappointment in radio today?
The saturation of people who could care less about our craft and don't want to get better at it.
How do you feel about Arbitron's PPM replacing the diary?
I don't think either method is scientific or accurate, but we have to live with them and make the necessary adjustments.