Saturday, March 31, 2012
Pugs Moran worked in Chicago at WLUP, Q-101 and WCKG, and has been down in Dallas for the last ten plus years, working as the co-host of the Pugs & Kelly show.
Rick: You and I crossed paths many years ago when you were part of the Kevin Matthews show at the Loop in the early 90s. How did you get that first gig with Kevin, and how would you describe your role on his show?
Kathy Voltmer (photo) got the ball rolling when she brought me down to the Loop newsroom to assist on the legendary Eddie Schwartz show. I will never forget my first overnight at the Loop. It was quiet but oddly active at the same time. I compare it to the first time my grandfather took me to a Sox game…My first sight of that green outfield and the light towers and hearing Nancy Faust. It was one of the most important nights of my life; and then I met Mitch Rosen.
I either drank or was held down and forced to drink his Kool-ade. Mitch was kicking ass and taking names at a clip I had never seen. He offered me a ride on his coat tails, told me I would go through hell and promised nothing. I took the offer and have pledged eternal loyalty. All hail Chunga! Mitch took over the Kevin Matthews morning show and I often wonder if people remember how funny Mitch is. Chunga, Herb Katzenberg and many others were staples of that show and they were 100% Mitch Rosen creations. I know because I was right there watching him create them. I think the reason Mitch is great with Talent as PD is because he is himself very talented.
I was kept sequestered from Kevin for the first month or so. Then one day while working in the green room, the one with the great window view on 37, Kev walks in eating a homemade sandwich from a brown paper bag.
Rick: I look back now at that stable of young pups that worked at the Loop, guys like Wiser, Swany, Shemp, Artie Kennedy, Jimmy Mac, Vince Argento, Neil Sant, Danny McNeil, Tom Serritella, the list goes on and on. There were a lot of us that learned at the feet of the masters, and we've all gone on to success in various different arenas. What did you learn during those days that you've taken with you everywhere else you've gone?
Artie, Neil and Jimmy Mac (photo). We were all the same age and went out to shows and drank too much. The guys like Wiser and Shemp were upper class-men they had semi management positions and families at home. I always felt slightly intimidated around those guys and learned a lot observing them.
The Great Reid Reker created that station immediately following his involvement in the creation of CKG’s “The Package”; and we all know CKG’s talk format was very Loop influenced. That station in Dallas had gone through four midday shows in two years before we took over. We were the only show that could carry over the Stern audience while doing something totally different. They appreciated that and we built a good relationship with his show’s audience.
The fact is we did a “Loop style” show, a bad rookie imitation of a 1983 Steve and Garry show, funneled through Wendy and Bill and repackaged as “Pugs and Kelly”. A third generation knock off in anyone’s book but the novelty of it in Texas allowed us the time to develop our own voices and the show became what it is.
But I don’t believe you could have spent any time around those people at that station and not been influenced by each and every one of them. They were a dream team, a radio production street gang that drank and did other things a lot! The air talent was the best and the best tend to have the best working for them.
Rick: After leaving the Loop, you worked with Bill (Leff) and Wendy (Snyder) at Q-101 as one of their producers there. I always thought they pulled the plug on that show just before it was ready to take off. You were there at the time. What are your thoughts about it?
Pugs: The biggest mistake in Chicago radio history! I was there and I couldn’t believe what I was watching.
I believe the reason Eric and Kathy are the massive successes they are is due in large part to the demise of Wendy and Bill. I think it is very easy to imagine that Wendy and Bill could have seen the same level of success.
Bill Gamble did but he left. Nobody understood how talented and I don’t mean to over state this but in my opinion, “The Wendy and Bill show” is the greatest show that never was and my second favorite show of all time. They should be the two nicest filthy rich radio people Chicago has ever known, but they aren’t and that sucks. Wendy and Bill were the single greatest influence on the Pugs and Kelly show. They showed us how to do “Steve and Garry” with a man and a woman and make it all gender neutral. Kelly and I are a flipped script of Wendy and Bill. I equate Kelly to Bill Leff in that she always has the first and funniest remark. I cannot compare myself to Wendy (photo) in any way. I’m not in her league but I would like to be the master broadcaster she is.
Rick: I have to ask you about this, because it was a big news story when it happened. You were also part of a big controversy at WCKG--when you and Kelly were recorded having a private conversation without your permission. There were lawsuits and settlements and months of high drama. Looking back on that now, all these years later, what are your thoughts about that incident?
Pugs: It was the most impactful experience of my career.
I was in my 20s and after years and years of grunt work Kelly and I were being given our shot. Kelly was married to Shemp at the time and she was also acting as Steve’s assistant. Reed Reeker agreed to give Kelly and me a show. I left my job at AM 1000 doing afternoon sports updates with Kevin Matthews and Kelly left her Job as Steve’s assistant. We are massive Steve and Garry fans and cite them as our primary influences, the chance to do a show on a station with Steve was a career goal and we couldn’t help but think all our aspirations were going to come true…and then they didn’t.
For me it was just terrible. I had lost my job and more than likely my career and my marriage was crumbling. Kelly was out of work, Shemp was out of work, Kelly was 6 months pregnant and they were half way through building a new house. It was just a nasty regrettable ugly time, but from it all came Reid Reker being promoted to GM in Dallas and he hired the “Pugs and Kelly show”.
Rick: How did you adapt to Texas, and how did Texas accept you?
Pugs: Oh man they hated us and many still do. We were progressive talking blue collar Chicagoans. “Carpet bagging Yankees” in the local vernacular, and we changed nothing about our style or accents. We didn’t say “Y’all” we said “you guys”. I wasn’t shy about my hatred for the Cowboys or complaining about my disgust with what Texans consider pizza. We did a fish out of water act, 100% honestly discussing our life the way Steve and Garry would. At the time we felt exiled from our true radio homes of Chicago and were just going to use this time in Dallas to hone our show before returning. Getting back to Chicago remains the top goal of our show.
One thing did happen that sped our bonding along and that was 9/11. If the Pugs and Kelly show were never to air again I would be ok with those shows being our legacy. Talk radio was just amazing and we were all so kind to one another and supportive. Dallas was maybe a little more “Target sensitive” in those days because of it being the Presidents home town and all, but that’s when I really came to understand that amazing breed that we call Texans. I will take a Texan in an emergency situation any day of the week..well most Texans…lol
Rick: How would you describe the Pugs and Kelly show to someone who has never heard it?
Our show is talking about whatever the world is and when we aren’t doing that we are talking about our girlfriends or ex wives or mothers or kids. Sometimes I think that if Bravo produced a radio show we would be it. We exploit our lives in the hopes that the listener will relate. Our most popular bits are our advice segments. We act as life coaches whose own bad choices can’t help but influence the advice we give. The problem is, there aren’t any formats that want “real people” in the way WGN has always done. Everyone must have an act these days, you either hate Obama or are obsessed with Sports. Those are all the opportunities for radio talkers and that’s why all the talent is running to podcasting.
Rick: I know the road has been a little bumpy the last few years down there in Dallas. Describe a few of the ups and downs you've experienced down there.
Pugs: The ups would have to be the ratings successes and the legendary station we helped build here.
We were still a bit of a “commodity” so we decided to do something risky but potentially very rewarding. We raised a bunch of money and went in with an independent group who had purchased their own AM station here in Dallas. We did a full service and progressive leaning talk format in President Bush’s back yard during a major economic recession. What could possibly go wrong? Well everyone went broke.
Rick: What are you up to now?
Pugs: The Pugs and Kelly show has been on a break recently as Kelly just had a baby boy. The previous year we had been doing a pretty successful daily subscription pod cast that was also simulcast locally in DFW on 1190am in the noon hour. It is our hope that something will one day open up In Chicago, so we could end our exile, but if that never happens, we can continue our new media and podcast shows in our adoptive land of Texas. I am currently working with a marketing and live event promotions group on creating a DFW podcast network. There are millions of opportunities out there right now and corporate radio just doesn’t seem to be recognizing it…and that is a good thing for us.
Rick: Have you ever pitched the show to any stations here in Chicago? Someone is always looking for a new personality show, and what would be better than native Chicagoans with a history in this town?
I have reached out and introduced myself to the programmers I admire just to try and stay on the radar, Drew Hayes and recently Bill White at WGN, but I have never been up for or gone after anything in Chicago. I think it is for the same reason I buy lottery tickets but never check the numbers. If I check the numbers and lose, the dream dies. I believe that “the Pugs and Kelly show” could be dominant in Chicago for the next 20 years. I believe we could go up against Eric and Kathy and take their listeners.
I am really interested in WGN and what they are doing. Anybody that has Bill Leff and Garry Meier has a preset on my dial. I am also eternally interested in “the Loop” for obvious reasons and Q101 or whatever the hell it’s called now. I am a great believer in talk on the FM band for a younger more active audience. Kelly and I could go do well there, but they must decide what they are first. They must add some “chat shows”, find some unique personalities to help create an image for the format. The podcast world is filled with amazing and unknown talent. Feature some! I have been glaring at that station since its birth and I’m lost but I confidently believe I could fix it. Our show did very well on a male 25/54 station but the real numbers were in 18/34 and women.
We had the Bubba’s listening but unlike other shows we also had the soccer moms and the drag queens. There is a big talk audience outside of 25/54 male, and it’s just sitting there; somebody will go after it and we know how to get them. She’s north side and I’m south side, we met at the Loop in the early 90s and created a Chicago style talk show and killed with it…In Texas! Imagine how good we might do in our hometown surrounded by people from high school we are trying to impress? Hey, I think I may have just pitched “the Pugs and Kelly show” there. Wish us Luck.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Doug Dahlgren was a prominent voice in Chicago radio during the 1970s, most famously during his time at WCFL.
Rick: You've worked all over the country, including obviously Chicago, but you hadn't worked here in a long time. What made you decide to retire here?
Doug: I was working in Olympia, Washington, and we were doing well in Seattle, but getting paid Olympia rates, if you know what I mean, so I finally just gave my notice. For the first time in my life my timing was right, because they blew up the station shortly after that. It was my last radio job.
Rick: You went to high school in the Chicago area (Bloom, and Homewood Flosmoor) in the late 1950s. Were there any air personalities on the air during that time that influenced you or your approach to radio?
Doug: Wally Phillips, without a doubt. I was doing a project for a church group and I needed some sound effects, and because I was a fan and knew that Wally used a lot of them, I just showed up at the station one afternoon and asked if I could see Wally. He gave me all the sound effects discs I could carry--and told me to bring them back when I was through with them. That was incredibly generous of him. Another person I listened to in those days was Howard Miller. He and Wally were the biggest stars in Chicago.
Rick: I know your radio saga has many stops in those early years including Iowa, Wisconsin, and Florida, but how did you get that first big break to return to Chicago at WDAI?
Rick: It's safe to say you're best known in Chicago for your time at WCFL in the 1970s, when you were teamed up with Dick Sainte as Dick and Doug. How did the two of you become a team?
Rick: Do you have any favorite memories from that WCFL era?
My story about Al Urbanski & Ann Margret is here) John Tondelli also worked there. We had the best engineers in the business.
Rick: That job ended when WCFL abruptly changed formats and became a beautiful music station. I know that was a shock to WCFL fans. Was it a shock to you?
they came in and yanked us off the air because we were talking about the format change. That was considered a big no-no. (Photo: Doug with Elton John)
Rick: I've watched that Steve Edwards/AM Chicago interview on YouTube a few times. (You can watch it here: Part 1 and Part 2). You both sounded pretty upbeat at the time, but you ended up having to go your separate ways, didn't you?
Doug: Nobody was knocking on our door. (laughs) Not for jobs anyway. Wally called us both up the next morning and had us on the air, and I still have no idea how he got our phone numbers. He reached me at my girlfriend's house. Then Fred Winston had us on WLS. That's when I met John Gehron for the first time. Fred asked us how it felt to be escorted out of the studio, and we said, it feels like this, and we carried him out and finished the show for him. (laughs).
Rick: After WCFL, you moved down the Chicago radio dial to WIND. What do you remember about those days?
Connie Szerszen was doing the 6-10 pm slot at the time. (Photo: Connie & Doug in 2010). Bob Emery took over as PD, and fired Connie, the first time she had ever been fired, and since I was already on staff there, I was the natural successor in that 6-10 slot. There were a lot of stars on that station. We had Howard Miller, Clark Weber, even the weekends were great. It all ended when they decided to make the format "all talk". I went to WMET after that for a year, did mornings for Harvey Pearlman.
Rick: Is my memory faulty or did you also do voiceovers for WFLD at that time?
Doug: Dick and I did that when we were on the air together. We would go over and record tracks for the kid shows.
Rick: I was a kid at the time, I remember it well.
Doug: That was great fun. We got to work with Ray Barnas, and that was a thrill. Ray was the technical director of Don McNeils' Breakfast Club back in the day. After Dick went to San Francisco, I did the tracks by myself for awhile. Then they hired me as their full-time staff announcer, which I have to say, was about the dullest job imaginable. I did that for awhile, and they eventually fired me because I was so bored. I eventually ended up out West.
Rick: So are you really "officially" retired now..or could you be enticed back to terrestrial radio for the right offer?
Doug: Everybody's got their price, so never say never, but probably not. I may agree to some voice work, or do a show from home, but to tell you the truth, I haven't listened to the radio for years. When I listen now, it's all talk or all music, and there's nothing in between. When I was in the racket, it was possible to do both. Personality and Music. That's the kind of radio I liked to do.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Ken Cocker is the Saturday and Sunday afternoon jock at K-Hits, WJMK, 104.3
Rick: This isn't your first go-round at this frequency. (Ken was part of the lineup at Oldies 104.3, WJMK in the late 90s/early 00s). How is it the same or different this time around?
Rick: I don't how many people know that you were once a professional baseball player. What position did you play and who did you play for?
Ken: I was drafted out of high school (Hersey High School) by the Red Sox organization. I was a pitcher.
Rick: Who was your pitching hero?
Rick: Talk a little bit about your minor league days.
Ken: I started out in A ball in Sumter, South Carolina. I had a good season, so the next year I played Double A at Winston Salem, but in the offseason I still came home and worked at UPS. Hell, they paid $11 an hour (laughs). That was good money then! I still had to make enough money to fill up my Pinto.
Rick: So what happened? Did you hurt your arm?
Ken: No, I hurt my leg playing basketball. In those days there were no health clubs, so the teams would make you play basketball games to stay in shape. You were only allowed to miss two games and if you missed a third, they told the big club you weren't showing up. Well, I enjoyed the company of the ladies, and that had already caused me to miss my two. One night, I was in the middle of a date when I remembered I was supposed to be playing a basketball game, and it was going to be my third strike if I didn't get my butt over there. So, I got there late, and didn't warm up properly, and rushed out onto the court, and sure enough, I blew out my knee. It was my pushing-off leg too. Poof. Just like that (snap) my baseball career was over.
Rick: How did you go from baseball to broadcasting?
They had a music station not too far away, so they said: "Want to try that?" I thought, "Sure, what the heck." But they also told me that I needed to keep sending out tapes to move up the ladder, so I took that to heart. I worked in a town called Camden, then I went to Orangeburg, then to Charleston, then Savannah, and from there, Indianapolis. All of that in a year and a half. I wanted to work in Chicago so I was always looking for the next opportuntiy.
Rick: I started listing all of the stations I've heard you on in Chicago over the years and there's quite a list, isn't there? WMET, The Point, US-99, The River, WCPT, The Loop. Am I missing any?
Ken: I think that's all of them.
Rick: I'm sure there are some great stories from all of those stations, but let's start with the Mighty Met, WMET. That's the first time I remember hearing you.
Greg Brown was the morning guy at that time, and Captain Whammo was on right after me. I can confirm that sleeping story he told you a few weeks ago. When I did the afternoon shift and Captain Whammo worked at night, he would go to the Cubs game in the afternoon, and remember, in those days all of the games were in the afternoon. After the game he would come into the studio and sleep behind the transmitter rack. I said to him: "I need some decibels to do this right. You know that, right?" He said "It's OK, man." And I'm not kidding you when I say I cranked the music. The walls were rockin' with Kiss' "I wanna Rock and Roll all night" and Captain Whammo would be there behind the transmitter rack, sleeping through the whole thing.
Rick: You had a nice long run at the Point (WPNT), as I recall. People came and went in that morning slot, but you stayed in afternoon drive for many years. What do you remember most about that station, and that time of your career?
Ken: I started out doing nights, then shifted to afternoons, and it's true, I stayed there for a long time. They rolled through people quite a bit in the mornings. John Calhoun, who I've worked with now at a few stations, was one of them. There were lots more, including Fred Winston.
But Fred was a great guy, and fun to work with. You know I've worked with a lot of these legends now, and each time I was worried that they were going to be full of themselves and hard to deal with, and none of them are. Dick Biondi--great guy. Landecker--great guy. Tommy Edwards is too.
Rick: So what happened at the Point?
Ken: I was there until the station was bought by the forerunner of Clear Channel, and then Bonneville took it over, and they flipped formats, and got rid of all of us. But I have to say, they were real good about it. It was all handled very professionally--we all got our proper severance and everything.
Rick: What was your favorite radio job?
Although, I would be remiss if I didn't also mention US-99. I was the first voice heard on that station when we flipped from WE-FM back in 1982. To have that still going strong 30 years later is incredible. We really began with a modest operation. I mean modest. We had one three-deck cart machine and three reel to reel machines, and that was it! We had to play the songs from reel to reel tapes, which was a real pain. No records, no music on cart. There were lots of gaffes because of that.
I remember one time they did a $10,000 contest, which was a TON of money to give away at the time. The premise was that if they didn't play at least four songs in a row, someone would win $10,000. Now, this obviously wasn't supposed to happen for awhile, but because of the set up we had, somebody screwed up almost right away. The first week or so. After that, they put the music on cart, and got a locking cart machine. Once the first song started, it couldn't be stopped until all four carts fired. Of course, wouldn't you know it, a cart blew up, and another $10,000 was out the window. We gave out twenty grand in the first month, and that was our budget for the whole year.
Rick: What years were you there?
Ken: I was there from 1982-1990. Had a great time.
Rick: Still like country music?
Ken: I still listen to it occasionally and enjoy it. I used to date the girl that eventually married Trace Adkins. She's a Hersey High School grad too. There's a bunch of us around. Amy Jacobsen. Jeff Joniak. Dave Corzine. All Hersey grads.
Rick: When I was researching for this interview, I saw a great article about you from 2007. It was about your time at WCPT. I know you were the operations manager there, but the article was mostly about one of your other duties at the time...feeding the cows in the field next to the radio station. That must have been a trip.
Ken: That's a true story. They had cows out there because they had to maintain the agricultural zoning of the building, so they had to have at least two farm animals. They owned two cows. I'm an animal lover, so I volunteered to feed them. Loved those cows. I remember their names. Lollipop has since passed on, but Elsa is still living, and there's a new one now, and his name is Junior. I visit from time to time. I keep in touch with my cows.
Rick: You've worked with just about every conceivable Chicago radio personality over the years, some of whom you've already mentioned. You also grew up in Chicago, listening to Chicago radio. So let me put you on the spot. If you were told to put together the all-time great Chicago jock lineup, living or dead, regardless of cost or availability, who would be on your station?
Ken: How many do I get?
Rick: Let's go with seven.
Connie Szerszen. She'd have to be on there. Naturally, Dick Biondi. Fred Winston for sure. I get two more, let's see. John Records Landecker. He's a must. And you know, here's one that not a lot of people mention, but I'm going to say J.J. Jeffrey. I loved him on the air. He was just fantastic!
Rick: Thanks for doing this Ken. I know you're a PGA golfer, and the weather's nice today, so I'll let you go so you can hit the links.
Ken: People will get the wrong idea when you say PGA. I'm not on the tour or anything. I'm only a club pro. People hear that and think "You must be great!" Not really. I'm not as active as I once was. But I am ready to get back out there. I'm waiting for the snow piles to melt, we still have a few out here in the boonies, but if it stays nice like this, that's where you'll find me.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
Jonathan Hansen is a reporter for Total Traffic Network and Metro Traffic Network. He's only been in Chicago radio for about a year, but is quickly moving up the ranks.
Rick: The first time I met you was the night of an Illini Media Hall of Fame event a few years ago. It was a room packed full of Illini media all-stars including nationally known journalists and broadcasters, and you, this kid, you were the master of ceremonies. You were fearless. You treated it like a Dean Martin roast, playfully ripping all of the people there. I remember turning to my buddy Dane Placko (a fellow rip-ee) and saying: "This kid is going to be a star." What do you remember about that night, and how in the world did you do it?
Honestly, it was an honor to be a part of those ceremonies and get a chance to meet the some of Illini Media's most famous alums. I've already started preparing your introduction, so perhaps if you donate a little more we can get you in, Rick.
Rick: I'll have my people call your people. My other memory of that night was the late Robert Novak's speech when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame there. He spent the entire speech angrily spitting on the Daily Illini because they didn't name him sports editor in 1953. He wasn't joking either. He was still royally pissed off--more than 50 years later. Were you thinking to yourself, "Holy crap, I just spent the last ten minutes ripping this guy. He's going to have me whacked"?
Rick: You were in charge of the student-run radio station in Champaign (WPGU) for a few years after you graduated. That station is owned by the same company that owns The Daily Illini (The Illini Media Company), and they have been in the news recently. Roger Ebert has been championing the cause of saving the company from bankruptcy, and even I have opened up my checkbook (which had cobwebs on it) to help out. As an insider who worked there until pretty recently, what can you tell us about how it got to this point?
Money was always extremely tight, and the full-time employees and students all dealt with countless cutbacks to help keep the company afloat. At the same time, we worked tirelessly to provide excellent content to Champaign-Urbana, and give our students a valuable experience. I give a lot of credit to the entire staff there, and am very proud of the work we created even while taking large pay cuts, losing many employees, and operating essentially day-to-day. There are a lot of proud people that worked and continue to work at Illini Media.
Rick: So here's a softball follow up. What did your WPGU time mean to you and your professional development?
Jon: When I was 19-years-old, I was writing and delivering news updates. At 20, I covered the Illini Basketball team on their run to the NCAA Championship game. As a 21-year-old news director, it was my responsibility to manage our coverage of a terrible accident after a college freshman was struck and killed by a campus bus. At 22, I helped converge a print and radio newsroom to provide a multi-media product for a quickly changing audience. I list these experiences not to boast, but to simply show that Illini Media gave me the opportunity to make countless mistakes and learn from them.
I was then very blessed to work as the Broadcast operations manager as a full-time employee from 2006-2010. Some days I would be working with the FCC on license renewals, other days I would be putting out fires with upset clients, and then most of the days I got to be a glorified babysitter to 200+ 18-22 year olds. I am so grateful to my experience there and felt 100% prepared to enter any job in media.
Rick: Now you're in Chicago working as a traffic reporter for the Total Traffic Network and Metro Networks. How has that transition gone for you?
I applied for a "fill-in" reporter position and was hired with the promise of at least zero hours per week. I was just excited at even the possibility of getting on-air at WGN or WBBM. I grew up listening to AM radio, and--as strange as this sounds--always loved listening to the traffic reports. I knew of Eisenhower and Kennedy as expressways before I knew them as presidents. I decided that if I always said "Yes" to any shift, I would eventually get more hours. And luckily, that's exactly what happened. Producing overnights eventually led to a few on-air overnight weekend shifts, which eventually led to some weekend shifts, which led to day-time and drive-time shifts, flying opportunities and some on-air TV gigs as well.
Rick: Have there been any favorite moments so far?
Jon: My favorite moments are being on-air anywhere in Chicago. Whether reporting for John Williams, Garry Meier, Steve and Johnny, Bill Leff and Nick DiGilio, it's all quite humbling. On a holiday shift, it was myself, Dean Richards and Tom Skilling just chatting away. Quite a "pinch me, is this real?" moment.
Also, something about doing traffic on WBBM anytime--afternoon, night, or Christmas morning--gives me such a rush. Also, the morning of our first bad snowfall this winter I was doing traffic on FOX-TV for Good Day Chicago. So, not to sound cheesy, but they are all favorite moments. It still is amazing to me that I get to be on-air with these people I grew up listening to.
One particularly strange night I worked was the night of the February 2011 blizzard. The entire evening I answered phone calls from people stuck on Lake Shore Drive, or worried mothers and fathers calling about their kids snowed-in on the Drive. Expecting mothers frantically asking me what they were supposed to do. We heard some amazing things on the scanners that night, whether it be the police on snowmobiles trying to get people to warming buses, or people simply having panic attacks because they didn't know what to do.
Rick: Last year when CBS had that contest to name a new traffic reporter, you were one of the finalists. People may not remember, but they put all of your bios and videos on the website and had viewers vote on their favorites. What was that experience like?
As for having my bio and videos online, well, I guess I better get used to that. Reading negative comments is never fun, but I guess just part of the job. I figure that if I want to continue in this field, I've got to be perceptive to what people think but not let it weigh me down.
Rick: When you were in Champaign you also were part of an improvisational comedy group. Any plans to do that in Chicago? I understand there are a few outlets for that sort of thing here.
Jon: I did take a few levels of iO when I moved back, but with my ever-changing schedule each week, I can't really find consistent time to devote to comedy. But, I will be getting back involved the moment I have a "regular schedule" (of course, its all relative in the media world).
Rick: Not many people from your generation have chosen to pursue careers in broadcasting. Why do you think radio has become such an afterthought for people your age?
This is a generation that can blog, post youtube videos, create clever twitter accounts. There are quicker, easier ways to get your voice out there and "be famous." I think radio has lost a lot of its sexiness. And simply put, there aren't as many jobs in radio as there used to be. No need to harp on all the reasons/benefits/drawbacks of consolidation, but it is the reality.
Rick: I know you're slightly embarrassed being featured on Chicago Radio Spotlight because you've only been working here for about a year, so thanks for agreeing to do it. I hope you don't get too much grief from your colleagues.
Jon: Metro/Total Traffic is a great place to work. Jim Dubenetzky, Kevin Scott and Mark Napoleon have given me so many amazing opportunities in one short year. And luckily, I seem to not have pissed anyone off too badly...yet. I guess that formula is working so far. But as great as my bosses and co-workers are, I will rightfully get some playful ribbing. I'm sure I deserve it. Thanks Rick!