I am WIIL ROCK’s longest standing on air jock, just shy of 25 years on air at WIIL ROCK! (Began October of 1992) Prior to working here, I worked on air at 93QFM in Milwaukee. I’m also going on 20 years as Program Director here at WIIL ROCK. Thanks to RadioContraband, I was awarded the coveted Major Market Program Director Of The Year at the RadioContraband Awards in Las Vegas 2 years in a row in 2014 and 2015. When I’m not working, I’m a weekend warrior hockey player, a huge fan of Jeep Wranglers and other off road cars and trucks. I’ve had the opportunity to see thousands of bands perform live in concert and I still love going to live shows.
1. What inspired you to get into broadcasting?
As a kid, I spent many hours listening to the radio, music on the radio has always been a big part of me. WLS in Chicago was a fascinating radio station in the 70’s, I would listen day and night. I remember being 9 or 10 and spotting a local radio station broadcasting live at Maxwell Street in my hometown. I hung out and watched them for hours. The high school in my hometown of Burlington, WI has a full time FM radio station and I worked there through High School.
2. What should radio do in order to keep growing its younger audience?
We’re very active on the platforms where the younger audience spends their time. Our entire staff is active on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. We’re active on Facebook and our website too but the we’re also experimenting with new ideas to reach the younger audience on their favorite platforms. We are also active at events they go to. We are an Active station but will support younger local shows and shows like Warped Tour. I asked my 19 year old daughter this question and she said…I listen to radio when my aux cord is broke or missing. So there’s that…
3. WIIL won RadioContraband’s Major Market Radio Station Of The Year 2016 award. What does the award mean to you and your staff?
This award means more to me than any other award we have won! I was speechless! At the end of the day, our peers nominated and voted for WIIL ROCK. That’s pretty cool!
4. Which artist interview are you most proud of and why?
George Thorogood in Studio East was a major win for us. We have played his music for 25 years. I don’t think he does many acoustic performances but we somehow were able to talk him into doing it here. He was great. He really opened up, was great with the audience and played a few songs live.
Wes Scantlin was an interesting interview. In addition to the audio portion of our interviews, we also do a 3 camera video shoot and usually in front of 30 or more listeners. Wes was not told that there would be an audience or cameras in the studio. This was before his many public meltdowns. He was in rare form and gave us great acoustic versions of “Psycho” and “Spaceship”. He would not allow us to video the performance, saying… “I would prefer, no cameras. YouTube isn’t paying me sh*t”. That night, at the WIIL ROCK Turkey Baster Beer Bash, Wes fired his entire band. I believe this was the start of the meltdowns.
5. Everyone in the music business has had their own rockstar moments, what are your top 3?
The 2 that I would like to tell, I can’t…maybe someday! 😉
1 & 2: Interviewing Slash and meeting Robert Plant was surreal. They were both really cool, I’m sure I was nervous and uncool to both of them.
3: I was 16 years old and had an opportunity to interview Butch Vig at a hotel in downtown Chicago. His band Spooner was doing a showcase and I was invited up to the hotel room for the interview. Butch threw a brief case on the hotel bed and said something like…alright kid…let’s do some cocaine! He opened up the brief case and it was just some papers and his clothes. Of course he was just kidding and he was barely a rock star at that time but it definitely was a rock star moment for me.
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Right here I hope! I love this gig! This is the best job in the world! I work with a very talented staff here at WIIL/WLIP. The company I work for gets it; Live and Local! This is their MO, they not only preach this but they believe in it and they’re doing it in every market. We also have a Live & Local AM radio station in the building. The station is live M-F 24 hours a day with local personalities. That’s unheard of these days!