Bob Kessler: radio and more

Bob Kessler does news at WGN Radio, and he does a lot of other things, including writing and producing Green Sense Radio and the Greensense Minute on WBBM, and doing news with Rivet Radio. He talks about why he likes doing broadcast radio and why he loves radio; being a musician and how he got interested in music, writing and arranging music, recording piano and performing harmonica; how he became ordained as a lay Buddhist teacher, what obstacles he has overcome, how he got into radio, internships with WKTI, WYMS, and WXRT; working on Jan Coleman’s show and Steve and Johnnie’s show at WGN; doing news on WGN while being the writer and executive producer for Ramsey Lewis’ show with Karen Williams on WNUA; how tech has changed broadcasting; his future plans, living an atypical life, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



J Niice and Showbiz Shelly: B96 mornings

A lot has happened since the last time I interviewed the stars of the B96 morning show: Julian Nieh left Chicago, and J Niice and Showbiz Shelly are the main hosts (with producer Gabe, who wasn't interviewed at this time).

First, Showbiz Shelly talks briefly (because she had to leave, just like last time) about her celebrity-filled life, including spilling a drink on Miranda Rae Mayo, the daily smackdown, yoga, relaxing, going out in Chicago, cohosting on WCIU’s morning show and appearance on Fox Chicago, cohosting the B96 morning show, highlights of her radio career, and advice for working in the media.

Then we find out a lot about J Niice, including his huge career as a child star on TV, including Sesame Street and the famous Honeycomb cereal commercial with Andre the Giant; his scary plane incident; his New York background; why he travels so much; being Jamaican and hanging out with the Jamaican community in Chicago and New York; being successful without the arrogance; how the B96 morning show is different after Julian left; what’s great about morning radio, even though it's super-early; interacting with the audience via social media; his hobbies such as soccer, scuba diving, volunteering at the Shedd Aquarium and Chill (a snowboarding charity for inner city kids), and snowboarding in his free time; his passion for late night television, especially Arsenio Hall; being on the TV shows Dish Nation and Empire; what he thinks of hip hop culture; what's great about Queens in New York; Jamaica; why he likes Chicago, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Scott Miller: passion personified

Scott Miller has been working as a radio host and producer for years. He describes his beard pursuits: how he got into national and international beard competitions; how he got into radio doing the weather for Dick Biondi; working at NPR and another local station while at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale; getting fired, dealing with being out of work, and persevering without a job; doing mornings on Rock 105 WTAO; starting in Chicago at WCKG with Pete McMurray; why he loves radio so much; consistently contacting John Gehron; living in southern Illinois; reuniting with Pete McMurray at WGN and WDRV The Drive; being on the original team at Oprah's radio network, Oprah Winfrey's generosity; working for Gayle King's show and why she's so wonderful; working with Maya Angelou and why she's so great; why he left the excitement of Oprah's network for anchoring news at the failed FM News 101.1; predicting Bears games on Fox 32 TV; the difference between radio and TV; how music radio is more challenging than talk radio, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Ryan Arnold: voice of the century

Ryan Arnold is on the air at WXRT every weeknight and on Saturdays. He talks about visiting the station while he was growing up; how he got on the air; how he ended up working overnights for the railroad (CSX); hosting New Noise at Nine; his favorite kinds of music; his live music regret; why he adores Joe Shanahan; working at KBXR in Columbia, Missouri, 105.5 Triple M (WMMM-FM) in Madison, Wisconsin (which he says is a great music town), and WDRV "The Drive"; how working in small markets helps; why he likes working in public relations; why he likes vinyl; how both digital and radio help bands’ exposure; his former podcast, if he thought he lost everything; why he likes being on the air; advice, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Duffy Atkins: a duffinately good meteorologist

Duffy Atkins talks about her career as a meteorologist at CLTV (part of WGN-TV) in Chicago, working in sunny weather at an ABC station in Santa Barbara, why she loved working at KHQA-TV, which broadcast to the tri-states via Quincy in Illinois, Keokuk in Iowa, and Hannibal in Missouri; being a chief meteorologist in Reno Tahoe, how moving around is inevitable for TV, her twin sister, why she became a meteorologist, what classes are needed to be a meteorologist, changes in the media, why Tom Skilling is so great, communicating with viewers, pressure on TV women, how she works with the green screen, the importance of internships (she did hers at WLS-TV in Chicago and WESH-TV in Florida), how to stay motivated, funny on-air moments, how she prepares for forecasts, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Bob Roberts: on the right track

Bob Roberts has been a reporter for several years at WBBM Newsradio, and he talks about covering stories, violence in Chicago (1974 was the worst year), being a reporter with City News Bureau; his passion for trains; how he got into radio and news; being on the air at WIUS Radio at Indiana University and even WNUR Radio (Northwestern); being a music DJ and doing news at WMET, WDHF, and WMAQ; reporting news on WYEN with his biggest exclusive ever: John Wayne Gacy; working in New York at 1010 WINS; the collapse of WMAQ and road to WBBM; being a “reporter not repeater”; how he quickly puts together news stories and how he ensures accuracy; Stew Cohen's book about WYEN, where Bob was "Frank Rhodes", working at the Associated Press, and more. Bob also had a cameo in a video I made featuring Lisa Fielding at WBBM.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



John Calhoun: positive guy

John Calhoun is on the air weeknights at K-Hits (WJMK-FM), and he talks about his successful music radio and voiceover career, including his early days in Mason City (at KRIB, where Bob Wittnebel was his program director and is a listener to this pod) and Cedar Rapids in Iowa; how technology changed music radio; working in Oklahoma City and Kansas City before going to Chicago; how he got to Chicago at WEFM; how he’s stayed motivated and positive; why he left radio after working at The Point (WPNT-FM); working at WJMK and WGN at the same time; his great experience at the Satellite Music Network; how doing sales has helped him as talent; what makes good on-air performance, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).


In the interview, this is his Fakebook post that I asked him about:

This is for you friends that are unemployed, under-employed, or facing a career crisis. Three years ago today, I lost my job. This happens all the time in the radio business. I had been fired before, but there were red flags alerting me to what may be coming. This time however, I was completely blindsided. I held that position for six years. I enjoyed working there and had developed good relationships with my fellow employees.

Fast-forward to today. I've been working full-time at K-HiTS for 13 months. My voice-over business continues to grow. My income has increased substantially. The station (K-HiTS) is performing better than ever. I'm proud and very grateful to be a part of this team. Life is good.

Enough about me. What can you do to improve your situation? If you're unemployed, file for unemployment compensation right away. Then, landing a new job becomes your full-time job. You are now a salesperson. What are you selling? The many benefits you can offer a prospective employer.

Promote yourself in every way possible. Email, voicemail, regular (USPS) mail, texts, social media, jobsites, word-of-mouth, etc. Do whatever you can to make yourself stand out from the crowd of job applicants that are competing with you.

You will encounter plenty of rejection. Treat it as the price of doing business. Do not take it personally.

Are you a person of faith? Then pray! Have your family and friends pray on your behalf. Prayer may be the single most valuable tool available to you. Yet it costs nothing.
"One door closes, another door opens." You've heard that before and it's true. Now, go find that open door!


Dave Kerner and George Ofman: extreme sports fun

Dave Kerner and George Ofman do sports at WBBM Radio in Chicago, and I interviewed them for this same podcast because they consistently have a great time on the air and off the air; I've never seen them express negativity or take themselves seriously.

First up is Dave Kerner: he talks about working in Buffalo, downstate New York, northeast Pennsylvania, and Scranton before coming to Chicago; working at The Score (WSCR), then WBBM; the difference between working at an all-sports station vs a station with sports updates; his original goals; what makes good sports talk radio; the difference between Buffalo and Chicago; why he likes the NHL (hockey) and NFL (football) the best; how he’s been able to thrive in sports radio; advice for getting into sports radio; seeing the Miracle on Ice hockey game (US vs Russia in the 1980 Winter Olympics); why he went into radio; why he likes Marv Albert and other broadcasters, and more.

After the "break" is George Ofman: he talks about working in radio for over 40 years, including being one of the original people at The Score (WSCR); the difference between anchoring and doing sports talk; how radio is changing; what makes good sports journalism; his passion for sports and fun; working at Sports Phone (where lots of other people also started); getting fired; writing for NPR, BBC, and CBC; working with various people at WMAQ, RKO, WGN, and WBBM; his first break; turning down Toronto's "The Fan" 590 CJCL before going to The Score with “interesting” personalities; how he got so much freelance work; his vocal issues; getting help from Dave Eanet at WGN; advice for getting into sports radio; how he writes sports reports, and more. (George also makes a cameo appearance in a video I did about WBBM, featuring Lisa Fielding).

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Jim Turano: the real deal

Jim Turano is a creative guy who's a Chicago native, and has also spent his career and entire life in Chicago. He talks about acting in local theater; how he got into radio and how much he loves it; why he’s a huge Elton John fan; meeting Steve Dahl and Kevin Matthews; working with Garry Meier on WCKG and WGN; how imitating Cubs great Ron Santo opened doors; working at WGN, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Bill Cameron: City Hall fun

Bill Cameron has been covering Chicago's City Hall for several years, and currently reports for WLS-AM in Chicago. He talks about working at Channel 5 (NBC TV in Chicago); WMAQ Radio; why City Hall is the best show in town; why he thinks Chicago is so corrupt; how he maintains a good attitude; how he gets good sound; why he doesn't socialize with politicians; if anyone has tried to bribe him; why covering Capitol Hill seems boring; both Daley mayors (Richard J and Richard M); how getting rid of the fairness doctrine and telecom deregulation have hurt broadcast journalism; news radio competition; why he likes being a reporter more than an anchor; how he would improve news broadcasts; his Connected to Chicago show; how he gets politicians to speak more honestly; how Chicago has changed; working in Dayton, Ohio and at NBC News in New York; doing play-by-play for Big 10 games at Indiana University; radio stations WFIU and WSIV in Pekin, Illinois; calling high school games for WDWS in Champaign; what is "off the record" vs. "background;" avoiding spin; what news and accuracy are; why he likes using Twitter, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Jennifer Keiper: stellar news pro

Jennifer Keiper does news on WLS-AM and has had a long and successful radio news career. She talks about working at WLS; how the Internet has affected radio; how she got into the radio biz; her uncle's voiceover career; how she's been able to survive and thrive, being news director at WLS and public affairs director at B96; how she got a job at Fox News Radio; why network news is hard; the difference between doing national and local news; how reporting helps her be a better anchor; the stories she's covered; why she likes working with the Steve Dahl Show; how she remains objective about news and avoids opinions about stories; the difference between radio and TV; Fox News Radio's quality control; why she likes creating newscasts; effective writing; how she learned a lot from Karen Hand at B96; her early career; leaving WBBM Newsradio for WLS; advice for people who want to work in radio, and more. She also mentions WBBM's David Roe, John Dempsey, Jeff Goldblatt, and Steve Scott.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Rick Gregg: talented sportscaster

Rick Gregg is a sports reporter and anchor at WBBM Newsradio in Chicago, and talks about his career and views, including what live games are like; working in locker rooms; what to do when athletes don't seem to say much; why writing is so important in sports broadcasting; why he likes doing sports more than news and how they're different; how he learned writing; working at radio stations in Carbondale (WSIU, WCIL, WJPF) and doing play-by-play; how he got to do news on WLS in Chicago; how he got hired at WBBM radio; doing sports in St. Louis; how writing for broadcast is different from other kinds of writing; how he quickly puts stories together on the road; why he likes podcasts (he's done voice work for the Disney World podcast); what it’s like to have a dream job; advice for people who want to work in sports, why talk radio will survive, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Creating a podcast: some tips

I just completed a long article that gives tips for creating a podcast, and you can read it at the Publicity Hound website. Part one is about equipment you'll need, and part two is about producing and publishing your podcast.


Scott Childers: designed for radio

Scott Childers has been working in radio for over 25 years. He is the afternoon drive host and is the program director at Star 96.7 and talks about why he got into the business; why he didn't become an architect; working at WJTW 93.5 in Joliet; becoming one of the first traffic reporters for Metro Traffic; why doing traffic for both radio and TV is fun and how they're different; how he became a jock at 103-5 The Blaze; what it's like to be the boss and be on the air at the same time; why he wanted to be a PD and what he likes about it; why he likes being on the air; what made his mentor Tim Dukes so great (who's worked at WLUP The Loop, Next Media, Tribune, Q101); his excellent website about WLS Radio and his book Chicago's WLS Radio, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Brian "Sludge" Haddad: in the zone

Brian Haddad is the Creative Director and on-air host at sports radio 94WIP in Philadelphia and talks about how he handles show prep and production responsibilities; writing with Spike Eskin; how he comes up with effective imaging, including drama and storylines for promos; his work at WRCX Rock 103-5 (where Dave Richards was a great boss) and Q101 WKQX in Chicago; making the transition from music radio to sports radio; what made radio fun; what Metallica is like; Chris Farley in the Hancock; how his agent Steve Mandell has helped his career; why he went to WXCD The Zone from Q101, and how he dealt with being out of work after The Zone’s demise; his brief gig with Adam Carolla; why people should have more than one skill; his successful morning show in Richmond at WDYL Y101; doing mornings in Phoenix at KDKB-FM; how he landed at WIP; what makes a good sports show; how listeners responded to him when he was first in Philadelphia; working in Toledo Ohio at WIOT FM-104; how he got into radio; what's great about Detroit; advice for people who've lost jobs; how he realized that "every day I'm with myself," and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Spike Eskin: no yelling

Spike Eskin is the Program Director of sports radio 94WIP in Philadelphia and talks about Delaware county, Philadelphia's idiosyncrasies, if being from Philadelphia helps his reputation with listeners; working at WYSP in Philadelphia and Q101 in Chicago (where he was the assistant program director and music director); working in sports radio vs music radio and the difference between managing a music station and sports station; how music radio has changed; his sports podcast; why people should do their own projects and have their own websites; why he likes being a PD; dealing with air talent; the role of social media and the power of Twitter; how he rebranded himself when he was out of work and how his website helped him get work; why he didn't use his last name for a while; what it's like to be his dad's boss (sports media star Howard Eskin) and what he learned from him; radio yellers, interviewing Howard Stern, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Dobie Maxwell: honest expression

Dobie Maxwell is a comedian and has worked in radio throughout the country. He talks about how the comedy world has changed; how the Internet has affected the entertainment business; if TV helps a career; what Craig Ferguson is like; working at Zanies; how to understand an audience; dealing with hecklers; teaching comedy; his blog and newsletter; his upcoming book about a bank robbery that his former best friend was sent to prison for; working with Rick Kaempfer as a publisher and at WLUP "The Loop"; getting fired; working at 93 QFM in Milwaukee; his family; how his perspective on life changed in the past year; what drives people to be successful; why Rosie O’Donnell is a sweet person; why bookers get mad at him; what he regrets; what now-famous people he hung out with in LA; what he thinks of the radio business; how he first got into radio in Lansing, Michigan; why creative people should have a day job; how comedy is different from radio, and more.

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Lisa Fielding: radio news

Lisa Fielding is an anchor and reporter at WBBM Newsradio in Chicago. She talks about the difference between doing radio news and TV, and why she likes radio so much. Her media experience includes WEEK-TV in Peoria, Illinois; WIFR-TV and WROK-WZOK radio in Rockford, Illinois; Fox 47 News in Madison, Wisconsin; WVTV-WB in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and WSCR radio "The Score" in Chicago.

Lisa Fielding: radio news from Margaret Larkin.


Bill Moller: writing and broadcasting

Bill Moller has worked in TV for several years, including CLTV in Chicago and First Business News (Weigel Broadcasting), and talks about his early years in Montana at the Montana Television Network and WESH-TV in Orlando. He also talks about news writing, what makes a good story, his consulting business, over-attribution, the broadcast news business, why news matters, presentation tips, how the media has changed, and why he likes radio (as of this posting, his show at WGN Radio is winding down).

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).



Jordan Bernfield: sports show prep

Jordan Bernfield: Sports Radio Prep from Margaret Larkin on Vimeo.

Jordan Bernfield talks about being at the Cubs game during the Steve Bartman incident and explains how he's been prepping for hosting the David Kaplan Show with Mark Carman on WGN Radio in Chicago.