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In the spotlight....

Las Vegas

Interviewed by Steve Harmon

Harmon: You two have worked together before haven't you?

Tom:  Sunny 106.5's morning show is "Melanie & Tom" with occasional contributions from our News Director, Joe McCarthy and our traffic reporter Mark Thomas.  Melanie and I have worked together 5 times in the past 20 years!  I was a young PD in Sacramento and this talented, slightly quirky, woman dropped in for a visit.  That was Melanie and I was fortunate to convince her to work with me at KWOD and KROY FM in Sacramento, at KMZQ and KSNE in Las Vegas.  She's a morning show star in Las Vegas.

Harmon: You wear alot of hats whats the biggest challenge?

Tom: Creating a community buzz while working within the natural confines of the Soft AC environment.  Being "family friendly" and yet interesting is challenging to balance.  My personal biggest challenge is that I do the morning show, program KSNE and act as the Operations Manager for the Las Vegas Clear Channel Cluster.  It makes for long days.

Harmon: How do you keep peace on the studio set on days when things are tense?

Tom:  I try not to be too much of an ass.  Melanie is a total pro and walks in with her head totally into the show.  We don't have many tense days and when we do... it's usually because I'm allowing a programming issue to cloud my attitude.  When that happens I threaten to fire myself.

Harmon: How and who decides what topics and bits get on the air? 

Tom: Melanie and I spend an hour or two planning the show and the finalize some things in the morning.  It's a balance between who feels the most strongly about the potential success of a topic. 

Harmon: At 10am, how do you know it was a good show?
As Boss can you just say no aircheck session today we were GREAT?

Tom:    I get that great feeling inside.  It's much like the good feeling you have after laughing.  It's not just whether the phones were hot, or the strokes you receive.  It's a gut feeling that things worked.   

Harmon: An example of a day when you all owned the market.

Tom: The Las Vegas police department  has recently been cracking down on traffic violators.  We thought we'd put a positive spin on their campaign and arranged for some officers to pull over good drivers so we could "reward" them with prizes.  Local television stations jumped on the stunt and showed video of Melanie and police officers pulling over drivers and surprising them with prizes instead of traffic tickets.  A local AM news station used our event as their phone topic later that day.

The Best Bitboard Bit You Ever Used:

Tom: A very simple topic.  Does a guy have the right to tell a woman whether or not she can cut her hair?  I took the point of view that the hair we marry is ours until we agree that she can change it.  I was almost beat to death

Harmon: What are you best known for in your market?

Tom: Melanie is known for being sweet but quirky.  She's just naturally funny as hell and a great story teller.  I'm known for more sarcastic humor.  I'm not sure a listener could articulate the image, but we hope that our station is known for being safe for the family, but still interesting and fun.

Harmon: What was your most personal revelation made on the air? 

Tom: That my first wife cheated on me.  I've made so many personal revelations that I've paid some major dues.  My wife's family wouldn't speak to me for six months because I used a true story about their dog on the air.  My in-laws found a dog wandering in the street.  They discovered that it had a chip implant and returned the dog to it's owner.  A couple of months go by and they're driving down a busy street, and there is the same little dog wandering in traffic.  They kept the dog the second time.  I made the mistake of using this as an ethical topic.  Should they have returned the animal... or did they have the right to keep it since the owner was careless and the dog was going to eventually be killed.  Great topic... cold nights on the couch.  

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