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
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
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
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
<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
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
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