In the spotlight....

Fitz in the Morning

Interviewed by Steve Harmon

Harmon: Fitz was hangin' with JohnJay when we first met.  Fitz your life has changed so much tell us the story...

Fitz 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?

Fitz:  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.

Harmon: What time do you get into the studio?

We go on the air at 6AM and I arrive around 5:30AM.


Harmon: How much prep happens before you even leave the house?

Fitz:  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?

Fitz:  I have teamed up with a professional networking business here in Seattle. Check out what they have done for my page, . 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.


Harmon: yet?

FitzThere 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 . LOL

Harmon: Here it is:  Give an example of one of the days you "owned one of your markets".

FitzIt just 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.  (Please see press release with pictures attached)

What's the biggest challenge for your show lately?

Fitz:  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?

FitzDiversity 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?

FitzI 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....."

Fitz"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 Seattle.

 Changes or tweaks for Bitboard you might like?

Fitz:   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.


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