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
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?
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
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?
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 radio.......is there audio that can augment what you are
saying? Bet it's on youtube.....
Harmon: How much prep happens
before you even leave the house?
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..
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?
We are always searching for the fun.
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?
Facebook? Tom's all over that
one.....if I entered Farmville it'd be over.
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: iheartradio.com yet?
iheartradio....what time is that on?
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?
If by "thoughts" you mean love and by "platform" you mean Bitboard. Not
Harmon: Here it is: Give an
example of one of the days you "owned one of your markets".
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
Harmon: Fall 2009 ... What's your biggest challenge?
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.
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?
we have helped to choose producers in the past, the first things to me are
initiative and personality. If you don't have either...next. 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?
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....."
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>
Harmon: Changes or tweaks for Bitboard you might like?
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.