What advice would you give to kids that want to be on the radio one day?
1. Be yourself!
2. It’s not necessarily about experience. Don’t shy away from applying at a radio station just because you haven’t done it before. We hire and have hired more people based on attitude and mind set over skill. You could have someone with a ton of experience but if they aren’t willing to be part of a team and play along with the other on-air station people, they aren’t going to be a fit for here or a lot of other radio stations. It really is a double edge sword. If you have two people in the room and one person has a lot of experience but they are stubborn and mean, ignorant or not willing to play by our rules or fit into our culture, verses someone that is brand new but is ambitious and willing to learn, we will train you up all day, every day. We want someone with a great fun personality and willingness to want to learn, other than the person with all the experience.
How did you get started in the Radio business?
That is a fun question! Not only did I want to be a Firefighter as a kid, I would say I had a split personality. When I was in school I was shy and quiet but had a good group of friends. I played sports, soccer and baseball, but I wasn’t in the "in" crowd or the popular group. But, in the neighborhood I was one of the older kids, so I was more outgoing and adventurous. We used to make our own radio shows with our big boom boxes and our tape decks, and record and make up shows, commercials, and characters. We had a lot of fun! One of our friends could play the keyboard and piano so he would make up theme songs for our shows. Those tapes still exist. A couple of my friends have them and keep saying to put them on facebook.
Also, my dad had a radio so he would be listening to either the Cardinals or the Blues game and I thought about doing play by play. When I got into college I originally was going to learn Graphic Design and more of the art side of advertising. It always interested me. I had a couple of projects in High School that I thought was cool changing their logos. I also thought about being an architect but then realized you had to know how to do math, and that wasn’t happening. On a whim, a friend of mine was friends with an instructor at St Louis Broadcast Center, which is a one-on-one radio and television school. I wasn’t big into one huge group classes, so the one-on-one was appealing to me. I haven’t looked back since. Plus, I have been able to do some play by play for Columbia College away from the radio station. It was kind of by accident that I started radio and when I went back for my High School Reunion I was voted most changed, but my friends said that I was the same guy.
What was it like the first time you heard yourself?
The first time was strange because I wasn’t expecting it. It was a commercial. It still gets me sometimes when I'm not expecting it.
Best part of the job?
Honestly, the people. Being in a fun cool magazine like BoldlyU, not many people can say they have been in a magazine. Not many people can say they helped raise 200 million dollars for Children’s Miracle Network through the Radio-A-Thon. Meeting the families, kids, doctors and nurses and hearing some of the stories, along with the friends I have made through that has been life changing. It has also made me a better dad and boyfriend. I have also done all kinds of stupid, silly stuff to make people laugh. I've walked on mice traps and legos barefoot. I have dressed up like Taylor Swift. I have been shot with paint ball guns and I have jumped out of airplanes.
What is the worst part?
The hours. Although I do get the afternoons free for the most part, there is a lot of hours and events. I have missed my kids' events and family events because of the hours. Also, that alarm clock going off at 3:30 or 4 every morning and having to move to next radio gig.
Who do you look up to?
My Dad. Especially for him trying so long to help me with algebra and math. He was an engineer and the math knowledge skipped me and went to my sister. That man is a saint for trying so hard. We even went to a tutor...he did everything to help me. But he always said, “Just do your best.”
What advice would you give your Middle School self?
Save more money, be better with money. Learn to save and do that better. Be true to yourself and don’t sweat the small stuff. I was so enamored with what everyone thought and had no confidence in myself. Everything was what I thought this group of friends or teammates thought. Be true to yourself and not what everyone thinks you should do or be.