Fitz in the Morning
Interviewed by Steve Harmon
hangin' with JohnJay when we first met. Fitz your life has changed so much
tell us the story...
Well, I'll be honest, when I started, I was 17 years old and immersed myself
in everything radio. I worked 25 hours a day. I lived and breathed it. That
being said, I was very lucky, early on, to work at some amazing stations in
high profile markets. JohnJay asked me to join him in mornings at KKBQ in
Houston, then I pursued my own night show at KJ103 in Oklahoma City, shortly
after, Todd Shannon brought me to do nights at KISS FM in Dallas. When I was
24 years old, I got the tremendous opportunity to do mornings sharing and
competing on the airwaves with my idol Kidd Kraddick. During that time I was
working at KRBV Wild 100.3 and I was blessed to have been able to learn from
one of the greatest programmers in radio history, the late and great, Dan
Kieley. After WILD was flipped to JACK FM, John Cook brought me to KPLX,
99.5 The Wolf In Dallas, where we were working on a deal for me to
eventually host mornings. That's when fate stepped in. I received a call
from Scott Mahalick in Seattle, and was asked to launch Fitz In The Morning
on KKWF, 100.7 The Wolf on January 3, 2006.
You asked how my life has changed right? Please understand that when I began
my career, I was a young, cocky, punk who didn't quite understand that while
radio was fun and exciting, it was also a business. As a young twenty
something, starting out in my dream profession, I now realize that I could
have handled myself in a much more professional manner. This 31 year old,
father of three, with full custody of his children, looks back and doesn't
even recognize the young man I once was. I realize now more than ever that
all we have in this industry is each other.
Harmon: Was there a radio star
you loved growing up listening to?
Absolutely!! I grew up in a small country town in North Texas called
Bowie. Every night, I listened religiously to Kidd Kraddick on KEGL. I still
have tapes of myself calling Kidd on the air while I was in elementary
school. I also loved listening to Domino doing nights on KISS FM. I was an
aircheck junkie... from Larry Lujack, Scott Shannon, and Jonathon Brandmeier.
Then three years ago, I was watching an ESPN interview with Vin Scully, the
notorious voice of the LA Dodgers. He was explaining how he would listen to
recordings of his favorite announcers over and over again when suddenly, his
boss told him never to listen to anyone else again! The direct quote was "Everytime
you listen to someone else, it takes away from what makes YOU unique." It
hit me like a ton of bricks... this profound statement changed my life. Now,
I search and look for content that other shows are doing but I do not listen
to other shows. I want to sound rare and I want to sound different than
anyone else on the air.
We go on the air at 6AM
and I arrive around 5:30AM.
Harmon: What time do you get into the studio?
Harmon: How much prep happens
before you even leave the house?
Honestly, I am a prep freak. I handle most
of my prepping the night before by preparing my "show sheet" and "daily road
map." Although many times, my show sounds spontaneous, I have a rule... "No
winging it." However, there are times during the show when something
unplanned comes out of no where and we roll with it. Luckily, I have an
amazing ensemble of characters who know how to flow right along with me
Harmon: How are you using Facebook?
I have teamed up with a professional
networking business here in Seattle. Check out what they have done for my
. If I am having a guest on the show the next day, I will ask my Facebook
fans what they want to know. I will get hundreds of the most creative
responses with questions and comments that I would never have thought of
myself. I NEVER underestimate my listeners. They are brilliant and want to
be a part of the show they love so much. I also post videos and set up
weekly chat times to have a more personal exchange with my fans.
There have been many talks with Entercom of distributing Fitz In
The Morning in a variety of ways which I am very excited about. However, for
the time being, Entercom allows you to listen to me at
www.seattlewolf.com . LOL
Harmon: Here it is: Give an example of
one of the days you "owned one of your markets".
happened a little over a month ago, "Fitz In The Morning's Human Heart." It
was the biggest and most rewarding promotion that I've ever come up with.
It was proof of the power of radio.
see press release with pictures attached)
Harmon: What's the biggest challenge for your show lately?
The biggest challenge right
now is what I call "paralysis by analysis." I think many people in radio are
over examining PPM data. If a show is consistently putting out compelling
content, if you are an entertainer.... if the movie "Field Of Dreams" was
about radio you would hear (in a whisper) "If you entertain them, they will
come." The formula is quite simple.
Harmon: You have had a lot of
success with your show...what determines a hire for you?
Diversity equals compelling content.
I am lucky to have amazing cast members who can just bounce off of me during
the show. I walk in, throw something out, and they react. They are complete
professionals and we have such a great chemistry. We simply bring our lives
to the air and do our best to come up with creative and funny bits daily. I
have been working with my co-host Tony Russell for almost 10 years and we
can improv well together. Tony does a lot of crazy and wacky voices. Once
again, we are all so different and it makes for such a unique cast. I am 31,
a single father of three, with a really hot girlfriend, struggling with
adulthood. My side kick Tony, is 42 and a pastor who loves to drink beer.
Mary White is the female side kick. She is a twenty year Seattle radio
veteran, who is 56 years old, with purple and pink hair. She is a tree
hugging liberal meets Mother Earth.
Harmon: Has your prep changed
over the years?
I get so many ideas and bits by
simply asking my listeners. You would be surprised at the fascinating bits
and creativity that is generated from our listeners at my fingertips just by
utilizing Facebook. As far as prep from members of my show, I ask for a
daily one sheet from each of them so I can pull things that are happening in
their lives to incorporate in the show. Other than that, I handle all the
prep. My life is prep...seriously, the greatest show prep is LIFE. A day I
havenít spent prepping is a day I hand over to the competition.
Harmon: "The best BitBoard bit we
ever tried was....."
"Why Are You At The Courthouse?" is becoming a fan favorite and
gets huge TV exposure for me on my Fitz on Fox segment on Q13 Fox News in
Harmon: Changes or tweaks for Bitboard you might like?
I would love to see a weekly "Bit Hit List" selected by the genius
Bit Board employees. The "Bit Hit List" would consist of only the A+ ,
home-run material from all boards on the Bit Board Site. This would
guarantee a compilation of only the "GOLD." As a host it would be great to
know, I could rely on a weekly list of proven market winning bits.
previous spotlight shows: