In the spotlight....

Pat and Tom

Interviewed by Steve Harmon

Harmon: Pat and Tom seems like I can't remember the two being in any other market, how long in Sacramento?

Tom:  I was at KMPS in Seattle before coming down to join up with Pat in '92, at the behest of our then-regional programmer (and PD of KMPS) Tim Murphy, who thought we might work well together. 17 years later, we are still together and still employed.

 I can add much to what Tom will send you except to say......I'm lucky to work with him. he's creative and rarely takes a day off mentally..... always thinking, and after 17 years that speaks to a word that's used way too loosely in our business: passion. You can have passion for what you do, but how hard do you work at it?

Harmon: I remember that...Tim wanted you to play 2 stopsets an hour everybody laughed and said never .. almost ran him out on a rail .. now, 2 stopsets .. the NORM... Cool things about Sacramento?

Tom:  Proximity is the first thing that pops to mind. We're close to SF, Tahoe, the wine country (and not just Napa; there are some GREAT relatively unknown wine areas in the Sierra foothills), world class skiing... But as far as the city itself, Sacramento's mid-town has become a very cool area with some fantastic restaurants, hip lounges, art shops, music venues. Rivercats Triple A baseball in their stadium near the river on a summer night is tough to beat. And when they get good again, The Kings!

:  Coolest thing about Sacramento for me is while it's grown significantly since I've been here (1988), it's still got that midwest feel ...... where you can pull people together for the right cause, and they'll actually show up! (plus, it doesn't snow here).

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

Tom:  I grew up near Seattle, so hands-down it was Steve Slaton, Crow and Hovanes, and Langen and West at KISW in the late-70s early 80s. Later, Robin and Maynard at KZOK. They were all hilarious and cool. THAT was some great radio, baby. Later I went to work at KMPS and Ichabod Caine showed me you could have a heart and still be a total goofball

Pat:  When I was a kid, I love Ted Richards on CKLW......amazing energy....always made you laugh. Also, sometimes, if the elements were just right, we could pull in WLS out of Chicago at night and listen to John Records Landecker.... greatest guy I've ever heard at handling phones and hanging people out to dry without them knowing it. (I found out later that he couldn't run a board.....crushing!).

Harmon: What time do you get into the studio?

Pat:  I get to work a little before 4......2 to 2 1/2 hours of show prep at night. Show prep has changed just in what's available via the internet. One of the things we always try to keep in mind is, this is there audio that can augment what you are saying? Bet it's on youtube.....

Tom:  I'm lazy so I get in about 4:30, we go on at 5...

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

Pat:  What amazes me in this field is how much is out there, and yet the morning show prep services that are pitched to radio stations still pretty much suck. They all offer the same things.  Bitboard stands out..

Tom:  I prep by eating breakfast. Soon as I get in though I check the wire, look at Bitboard's prep, look at local TV news web sites and catch up on anything that might've happened the night before.

Harmon: Do you prep at any time during the rest of the day?

Pat: We are always searching for the fun.

Tom:  I don't think either of us are never "not" prepping: The radar is up all the time, 24-7. You have to constantly keep an eye out for things from your life that you can bring in, in addition to things from the news and the 'net. "Pat is a near genius for bringing in the most otherwise ordinary true-life little incidences and turning them into hilarious, poignant or otherwise memorable stories by not only recounting them well but by setting a mood with just the right piece (or pieces) of music or audio clips. And it's rarely something he just creates spur-of-the-moment. That's the way his mind is working all the time and really, it's the way we should all be working all the time."

Harmon: How are you using Facebook?

Pat:  Facebook? Tom's all over that one.....if I entered Farmville it'd be over.

Tom:  We just started a Facebook page about two months ago and I have been surprised how much I use it. It's fantastic as an informal direct marketing tool. And it's great to get a read on listeners' takes, thoughts, atttitudes .. we'll use it to augment a topic, or take a quick poll. It's even cool just to see their photos--it's a great reminder that your audience is made up of real people. Plus, we've had fun with it on air as we've learned how to use it. We've started a feature with a pre-produced intro/outro where we praise those Facebook game players for their accomplishments, like "congratulations to Shirley, who just earned a blue ribbon at the Farmville county fair".

Harmon: yet?

Pat:  iheartradio....what time is that on?

Tom:  Not sure what that is. It sounds geeky but it's probably the most amazing thing to hit radio since...Bitboard  

Harmon: Any thoughts on this platform?

Tom:  If by "thoughts" you mean love and by "platform" you mean Bitboard. Not really.

Pat:  hear!  hear!

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

Tom:  We've done too much fun stuff to pick one thing. I love the big charity stuff we do: a radio-thon for Make A Wish, an annual Christmas card drive for soldiers overseas. We have a very fun, quirky Wiffle Ball tournament we put on with actor Clint Howard every spring that raises money and awareness (way more awareness than money) for a locally-based childhood neurological research facility called the MIND Institute.

Fall 2009 ... What's your biggest challenge?

Pat:  Biggest challenge ahead is keeping people tuned in and the bosses happy with the PPM. Presenting stuff in headline grabbing fashion without BSing them. Listeners are pretty smart.....yell fire too many times and it'll soon be somebody elses job.

Tom:   Adjusting to the new clock in place because of PPM. And because it gets dark so early, staying awake until at least 8pm.

Harmon: You have had a lot of success with your show...what determines a hire for you?

Tom: When we have helped to choose producers in the past, the first things to me are initiative and personality. If you don't have But we have been working for some time now without a producer and probably won't be getting anyone again anytime soon because of budget constraints.

Harmon: Has your prep changed over the years?

Tom: Not really. I double as our "news guy" now (another budget thing) so I pay a little more attention to news stories and current events stuff that might not otherwise strike me as something to bring in for the show.

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

Tom: Without a doubt Mr. Indestructable Microphone. We loved that bit. I think it was eventually shot to death by a sheriff's service gun. < I think that came from Skip...Harmon>

 Changes or tweaks for Bitboard you might like?

Tom: None really. I love seeing what others are doing. And the Prep stuff is as much a part of my morning as coffee and a good dump.

Pat:  There ya go.


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