In the spotlight....

John DeBella

Interviewed by Steve Harmon

A moment with JDB...<a guy I listened to growing up when he was on WLIR, but I didn't dare tell him..Harmon>

Harmon:  One person is in a  bad mood, the rest of you <do what to him/her?>

John DeBella ...  Berate them and make them feel worse.


Harmon:  How long in Philadelphia now?

John DeBella:  I got here a few weeks after William Penn


Harmon:  Cool things about Philadelphia?

John DeBella:  I've worked in four different markets. This is by far the best city I've ever spent time in. Because of our sports fans the people of the city have looked boorish and without class. I really don't think that's true. Yes some do stand out but overall this is a very passionate city and its people will always let you know where you stand. Once they embrace you you are theirs. Just don't get on their bad side. This city is a lot more than pretzels and cheese steaks. I grew up in New York and never thought I could love a town more than that one. I've always said there isn't enough money to get me to move back to New York. That's really not true. There is, they just never will offer THAT MUCH! I live 14 miles outside of one of the largest cities in America and I have deer walking on my front lawn, a groundhog who lives in a hole on the side of my property and an owl who lives in my backyard. When I lived in New York City if I drove 14 miles outside of Manhattan... I was in Brooklyn!


Harmon:  Was there a radio star you loved growing up listening to?

John DeBella:  Dan Ingram, Scott Muni and Jonathan Schwartz. I learned timing and humor from Ingram, how to do an interview from Muni and how to tell a story from Jonathan Schwartz.


Harmon:  What's your biggest challenge?

John DeBella:  Food


Harmon:  What time do you get into the studio for your 5:30-9am show?

John DeBella:  4: 25a


Harmon:  How much webwork do you do?

John DeBella:  I maintain the John DeBella page myself. It's a pain in the ass but it keeps me looking for new things on the web. I actually put my first website up in 1993. I was the first person in the market using the web on the air.


Harmon:  Did you know Philips Daily Dose includes videos for your website every day?

John DeBella:  Yes. And I also know that Philips Milk of Magnesia is great for an upset stomach.


Harmon:  How many promos a day and who decides what runs.

John DeBella:  There are only three promos a day that say what's happening tomorrow, but there are flashback drops that happen every hour throughout the day. I record the tomorrow's, Rob producer and Charlie my PD work on flashbacks.


Harmon:  How are you using Facebook?

John DeBella:  I hate Facebook. I have a radio show, a website, and a life. What the hell do I really need Facebook for? My local mall has a Facebook page... what's its status, open?  Once a month ago into Facebook and decide who's my friend. If I know  you're my friend if I don't... Goodbye!


Harmon:  What's your biggest challenge?

John DeBella:   The balance between content and music.  Because listeners tune to my show for both and the balance can be tricky. Over the years I've learned not to push the joke too far. Get in there, build it up, make your point, shut up and play the music.


Harmon:  Has your prep changed recently?

John DeBella:  I use assorted different services kind of like watching three newscasts at the same time. Want to see what people are leading with and want to see what others have missed.


Harmon:  What is your take on PPM at this point?

John DeBella:  We were the first market to have PPM and now that we're going into our third year with it we're realizing more and more that Arbitron still as a know what the hell they're doing. There are ways to play it to your favor but this is you think you know what's going on you realize that may have been true last week but not this week, or you find out that Arbitron is either undersized sample and everything you did was misrepresented. I love living in the future

Harmon:  The best BitBoard bit we ever tried was....."

John DeBella:  Ask Dwyer and Michaels.... it was probably their idea.

Harmon:  Changes or tweaks for Bitboard you might like?

John DeBella:  I would make it lemon scented and I would tell that guy that five pages from "Jokes to Read on the John" isn't really content... unless it's working for you!


previous spotlight shows: