In the spotlight....

Mantel & Friends

Interviewed by Steve Harmon

Harmon: Jim Mantel my longtime friend...lets re-visit and refresh us all on how you found each other and came together on air in Cleveland!

Jim: I've been here since '92. VERY long story but the previous morning hosts wife was murdered and it was hard for the audience to accept anyone in his place (he was already leaving when the murder happened). Being from Cleveland and strangely enough a friend and former competitor of his (and golf buddy) I was one of the only people who could have filled the gig. My relationship with him and ability to have him backon when he came to town for trials etc. helped me be accepted. Tony McGinty was hired as producer because he was an energetic intern and hard working overnight board op always willing to do more.

Harmon: Tell us about your team here in 2008, you have had some great talent move on!

Jim: It's all changed. I was the only married one on the show. Laurie was single and a loser at love. She married a marine who went to Iraq, now she has 2 kids.

Harmon: How long in your market?.

Jim: I told you with the first question... are you NOT LISTENING TO ME as usual!!

Harmon: Coolest thing about your city?

Jim: It's CLEVELAND... we have more built in showprep that anywhere that is not in Florida. We have Dennis Kucinich.. the Browns, Cavs and Indians where our best year is NEXT YEAR... and the rock hall, that has only had one induction ceremony HERE..

Harmon: Radio star in your city you loved growing up?

Jim: When I was a kid there was a guy Mike Renery on WIXY.. I thought he was the coolest. Jeff and Flash on MMS though were the ones that made me want to do this. I was doing heating and cooling, listening to them thinking "I'm a smart ass,, I could do that job." So I did.. and I can still fix my furnace!!!

Harmon: What time do you get to the studio?

Jim: About 4":00 am.. no really!   4am I'm a slow reader.

Harmon: Give an example of one of the many days you "owned one of your markets".

Jim: Just had Jessica Simpson in after the Browns played the Cowboys. That was hot.
Harmon: How do you use the internet in marketing your show?

We use it to compliment what we do on the air.. and try and drive traffic there but not get in the way of the fact that we are still a RADIO STATION first. Obviously giving visuals to some audio is a great thing and using it to promote extended TSL works to our benefit. But I'm afraid if you take all the "mystery" out of what we do on the air, it becomes ordinary. I may be an old fart hanging onto the buggy whip on this. We have a huge on line audience and get a ton of hits so we're doing something right.

Harmon: What's your biggest challenge?

Jim: Complacency. I always wonder if I'm taking the easy way or if it was the best way. I always wonder if I really am talented enough to do this or have I just been good at fooling them.

Harmon: Do you eat during the show?

Jim: Not on the air usually, I try and eat during News though..I need my strength at this age to keep up with the world.

Harmon: At ten o'clock or whenever you get off, how do you know it was a "good" show?

Jim: You can just tell... can't you? Your smiling...the pd isn't near ya..Been doing it long enough to know

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

Jim: WOW... picking lottery numbers with bowling balls in a cement mixer probably. Tackle for tickets was good too.. although lawyers have put the kabosh on a lot of these things anymore.

Harmon: Wish more people on Bitboard would....?

Jim: Include their email address and WHAT CITY YOU ARE IN on your report. SO often I read a bit or a raw idea and have thoughts and HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO CONTACT YOU... When you put "frick and frack 109.3 the Aardvark" at the top of your report, I have no idea who you are, where you are or how to get a hold of you if something cool happens in your market (that I don't what it is by the way) to get you on the phone. Or to shoot you an e mail. And YES I do that. Ask around how many people have heard from me with ideas to help or enhance their bits. My ideas may have sucked or maybe even gotten them fired... But I knew how to get a hold of them. Also, don't be afraid to put up stuff that ain't yours. Don't steal from other services.. but if someone in your market did a cool bit. Man up. Share it with the rest of us so WE can beat our competitors. Hey, you can't do every cool bit. Share the good ones even if they were used against you.

<<Lisa Note: You can always call me and I'll get you the information!>>

<<Philip Note:  I agree with Jim Mantel.  You guys KNOW where you are, what your email address is, etc.  It is SOOOO easy for you to include it rather than make us chase you down.  Keep in mind the valuable networking that's built into Bitboard... like on 9/11, or when Katrina hit.  You can get first-hand reports from your fellow Bitbuddies by including that info... which is so easy for you to do.>>

<Harmon Note: agree with above...others talk about you behind your back when that info ain't there>

Harmon: When the room's tense how do you break the tension?

Jim: Turn on Univision and look at the hot weather chick... we also have certain drops from phone calls that just make us all laugh.

Harmon: "I wouldn't miss BFD-Fort Lauderdale in '09 because..."

Jim: Well..... because it's just that good. Took the whole show last year. A real eye opener for them.. BUT it is a new week for B-Fest and it's the same week as Indians fantasy camp at the new complex in Arizona. SO I may actually miss it. But it's gonna kill me. I may sign up just to get the e-mail summaries. It is that good. Castronovo and Ron know alot about this business. Maybe you can video some stuff for me Harmon.. Harmon, my slave I love that. Peace