July 20, 2018

Who have been the biggest professional role models throughout your career and what attributes do you admire most about them?

Jammer, WEZB: I have to say I took the best parts of a few people to mold me: Mark Driscoll – Taught me to be aggressive, crazy, and how to own a market. Elvis Duran – Just being around him makes you creative. If just .001% rubbed off on me I’m set. Mike Donovan – Taught me how to be a person who cares and shows heart. Brian Bridgeman – Taught me to only play hits! Bill Thorman – Also showed me how to take a nothing station and turn it into a market leader. Thank you to them and many more!

Chad Rufer, KZZO: Steve Davis and Steve Salhany. Not only are they two of the smartest, most strategic, and no nonsense programmers in America, but they never forgot where they came from. They always make time to offer advice to young people in the business.

Skywalker, WSPK: Scotty Mac PD, WSPK. Taught me patience and to not act in haste when replying to an email!

Matt Johnson, KSLZ: Jason Kidd, make it hot or GTFO. Jerry Clifton, audience first, always. Dom Theodore, you can be a good leader and be a good person.

Sassy, WKXJ: I’d have to say Howard Stern. He was a pioneer, he took risks, and took on the FCC. He showed us where the line was and constantly challenged it. He taught younger DJ’s of the next generation (like myself) what not to do, but to still be creative and not to be afraid to take risks.

Kobi, WNRW/WLGX: Kannon because of his quick wit and unique voice and Zac Davis whose knowledge of all things radio is second to none.

Java Joel, WAKS: RJ Jordan– One of my first PDs. Some of the things he taught me 20+ years ago, I still carry with me today. He has such an incredible attention-to-detail and his passion for the medium/art is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed.

Big Rob, KSME: My top professional role model, who I still look up to a lot in life is Chris Kelly. He was always a leader by example and taught me to always be the same. One of the smartest radio minds I’ve ever known! Also, my former GM Stu Haskell. The epitome of a role model!

Joey Brooks, WHYI / WMIA: I’ve been very lucky to work under some great radio professionals including: Rick Vaughn, Alex Tear, Guy Zapoleon, Tom Poleman, Chase Murphy, Rob Miller, David Corey, Cadillac Jack McCartney, Thea Mitchem and Dom Theodore.

Rick Vaughn, Power 94.9: Chuck Yeager. Not the same industry, obviously, but the guy was relentless in pursuit of goals.  Favorite quote, “You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done.”

Jon Zellner. iHeartMedia: Guy Zapoleon, a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about research, data, strategy and probably the nicest guy in our business. Dave Robbins, the ultimate creative, psychological competitor who inspires any and all who work for him. Herndon Hasty, no one is better at building relationships, managing with love and trust and balancing work and family.

R Dub! Z90: I would have to say my first three program directors, who are some of the best in the entire industry and oh how fortunate I was to be able to learn from them at a young age! Bruce St. James (KTAR-Phoenix), whose wit and sarcasm I enjoy often and routinely refer to/steal. Tim Richards (KALV-Phoenix) is not only a great program director, but an amazing human who has taught me many life lessons, as well as the radio stuff. And finally, Mark Medina (Z100 New York), who put me in my first programming chair, and showed me how to take little things and make them huge: turn nickels into manhole covers!

Sara Cucci, WBBO: Doc Emrick was the Devil’s play x play announcer when I was growing up and now the lead announcer for NBC. I studied communications with hopes of being the next Doc. Since then my career has taken me into music instead of sports and I’ve come to really admire Peter Rosenberg for doing both! I am at awe with how many jobs this guy has and never seems tired! As most of us know waking up for a morning show really takes a toll on you but now he works till 7 at night on the Michael Kay show! He has become a figure head on music, pop culture, world issues, and sports! And when he’s not doing his 5-7 jobs he’s hosting his late night show or covering WWE. I really admire Peter for his self-motivation and positive outlook. But then again we all know it never feels like work when you’re doing what you love!

Gina Gray, WERO: My Dad for sure. He was my hero, my best friend, my best mentor. He owned four radio stations back in the day and he’s the reason I got in this business to begin with.

Kobe, WWHT: Regarding on-air style I always looked up to Scotty Davis and Tone E. Fly from their KDWB days. Elvis Duran for sure as far as how to lead a show the right way with impeccable execution.

Randi West, WMTX: Alene Grevey (Market President), she cared about her people, celebrated wins and was a real problem solver. Chris Shebel hired smart people and let them do what they were there to do

Fish Boy, WKRZ: Kid Kelly, I never worked with him but I was a young kid when he was doing mornings in the market and he ran such a tight show. Broadway Billy on WCBS-FM, the dude is just incredible. On the programming side, OD for sure, constantly learning new things and lessons from him.


Mike McVay, Cumulus Media: I have so many. Larry “JB” Robinson was a jeweler who owned J.B. Robinson Jewelers across America. He owned the stations in Cleveland where I was the Manager. I learned so much from him. Ed Salamon, the legendary programmer, taught me most of what I know about programming. Charlie Cook, a longtime friend and part of the Corporate programming team at Cumulus, showed me what great on-air talent need to do to win in the ratings. Daniel Anstandig, CEO of Futuri Media, showed me how to continually evolve and change for the digital age. Tom Embrescia, the epitome of successful entrepreneurs, taught me how to be humble, fair, just and yet excel at business.

Chris K, The End: I’d have to say the four programmers I’ve had here at the station because each one of them brought different strengths and it’s been fun to learn different things from all of them. Steve Weed, Dan Mason, Jr., Nikki Nite and Rayne, and those are the only four PD’s we’ve ever had and we recently celebrated our 20th birthday for the radio station.

Mike “OD” O’Donnell, WKRZ: The legendary Dale Dorman of KISS 108 in Boston was the reason why I got into radio. He really shaped me as a jock. He was so awesome on the air. I would also like to mention Brian Check who was my Brand Manager when I first went to Clear Channel. He really was a good role model in helping me build my career there.

Dom Theodore, Radio Animal Media Strategies: I was so lucky to have a variety of role models early in my career each with different styles from creative renegades to strategic thinkers, and combinations of both. People like Randy Michaels, BJ Harris, Jeff Kapugi, Kid Kelly, Jerry Clifton, Guy Zapoleon, Rick Gillette, Bill Tanner and Rick Belcher, just to name a few. They challenged me creatively, taught me the science AND the art of radio. They let me make mistakes and learn from them, and gave me opportunities to prove myself.

Chris Michaels, FM100: Cat Thomas (WSHE/Hubbard), Randi West, and Steve Davis are just a few of the many professional role models in my career. They are all great leaders, who I have picked up pointers from, and they all helped me early in my career.

Valentine, WBHT: I have to say Alex Tear.  Even before joining Y100 he inspired and motivated me. I will always be grateful for the insight he bestowed on me, in business and life. I also admire his passion for whatever it is he is doing. Can’t forget Dave Denver as well for teaching me enough to make my head pop.

Next Week’s Question Of The Week:
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one album, one movie and one book, what would they be?
e-Mail your responses to: jodorisio@fmqb.com or bburke@fmqb.com