In the spotlight....


Tony Lynn and Myles
Big 107.9
Albuquerque
http://www.bigi1079.com/pages/mornings.html

Interviewed by Steve Harmon

BIG I 107.5  Albuquerque  Tony and Myles.. great guys, great ideas.. the team that quietly wins things at Bootcamp and BFD... my fav from them:  Are you Smarter than a 5th rower?  And,  at your local Court House.. "So why ya hanging out here at the court house?



Harmon: How long in your market?.

Tony: Going on twenty years, ten across town before walking across the street from KRST.

Myles:
 I Interned for Tony in 1995. After I graduated Whittier (CA) College in 1997 he paid me $20 per week to do stunt boy work. I was hired full-time at cross-town country station KRST in 1999, and moved with Tony to start Big I 107.9 in 2000.
 


Harmon: Coolest Thing About Your City?

Tony: It's kind of nice living in a town that people actually want to come to on a vacation, the scenery, the food, the weather, it’s all pretty nice.

Myles:  The pace of life is snail-like, in a good way. Relatively speaking, Albuquerque is a stress-free town. In LA, even as a college kid, I had the sense people were always checking the room for someone more important they could be talking to. That doesn’t happen much here.


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

Tony: Dan Ingram, WABC, NY…love him, used to listen to him do his afternoon show and tried to imitate him on my night time show (I wasn’t even close)....in one of my geekier moments, I even invited him to my wedding.

Myles:  Growing up in Albuquerque, I listened to rock jock TJ Trout, who now works in the studio 10 feet away. In college, I dabbled in Greaseman, but loved Kevin and Bean on KROQ. Their cast at the time included Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel. It was the most consistently funny show I’ve ever heard.
 

Harmon: What time do you get into the studio?

Tony: I get in around 430, and immediately hit Bitboard. 

Myles:  I arrive at 4:45 for our 5:30 show start. My brain shows up after two quick cups of coffee -- later, now that I have a zero-year-old daughter.  


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

Tony: Zero, just staying awake on the drive in is the main goal.

Myles:  I watch Headline News' Robyn and Company, muted, while sneaking around my house in virtual darkness.


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

Tony: Just after the show we’ll go over some stuff, but since our show is about our lives, we just go out and live life.

Myles:  We try to have one big thing going on each week, whether it's our Crappy Car Show, or our Prom Dress Boutique, or getting women to give our office voicemail in lieu of their own number to unwanted guys who hit on them, or some other stolen Bitboard idea. Tony and I both suck at acting, so we maintain independent lists of the real-life things we want to talk about. In addition to the stunts, interviews and larger events that are scheduled in days prior, the morning's pre-show conversation involves my telling Tony something like, "I've got something from Wipeout last night, and a marriage thing, and why I'm a bad dad, but those are good any time." He fits these around the few bench-marks and the prescheduled stuff, depending on time-sensitivity and what sparks listener interest. He's masterful at driving the show, though I feel weirdly man-huggy writing that. 


Harmon: How are you using Facebook?

Tony: Myles handles that for the show…earlier this year I predicted the end of twitter, check past reports.

Myles:  We use it to introduce topics. It's nice to have a bunch of listener comments about something before launching it on air. Knowing that people are interested in the subject in advance, I find myself fretting less over phone response. We also use it to drive people to our "real" Clear Channel website for contests, podcasts, videos and other content. We also Tweet our upcoming contests, segments and topics.


Harmon: iheartradio.com yet?

Tony: Nope.

Myles:  Last we'd heard, our station wasn't available there. A couple of astute listeners -- just a couple -- asked why we're sending people to a site where they didn't receive our station. Cagey researcher I am, I double checked before answering this question and - by Billy Greenwood! - there we are. Not sure how communication is at your company, but ours is flawless. (See Tony's answer.)  


Harmon: Any thoughts on this platform?

Tony: It’s a challenge for us because we are CC and use Premium Choice which is a type of semi-syndicated, voice tracked shows during the rest of the day (except for pm drive) and the  other jocks send everything to IHEARTRADIO instead of our station website.


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

Tony: Our one April Fools bit where we “hijacked” a mobile scrolling sign and announced some traffic changes that would be coming up in the near future, kind of got the whole Westside of town talking and calling us, the city got calls on it, a pretty good day for us.

Myles:  Last year, our major suburban school district was laying off a bunch of teachers to balance its budget. Underlining the ridiculousness of this plan, we claimed these cuts weren't deep enough. We lobbied for a return to the days when each school had just one teacher. Went to the high school with a "ONE SCHOOL, ONE TEACHER" protest sign, and received coverage from two of the T.V. stations. One of them joined Tony in studio to garner listener reaction. Give television a visual for something they're itching to do a story on anyway, and your chances of grabbing some free publicity rise considerably.


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

Tony: Maintaining a whole radio station with only one live show, we have a lack of bodies which limits us as far as the amount of events we can commit to.

Myles:  What he said. Doing a show we can be proud of is still within our control, but events and promotions are more difficult.
 

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

Tony: Well if my taste in hiring people is the same as my taste in restaurants (the ones I like are always going out of business)…I’m screwed.

Myles:  Our last hire, Nikki Roberts, was awesome. She was brought on because she was everything we weren't -- a lady, early twenties, into twittering. She really filled a gap in our show, in terms of content and opinion. I wish I were as excited about anything as she is about everything. After that plug, she is still looking for a job on the heels of corporate downsizing. Reach her at nicholemoz@hotmail.com
 

Harmon: Has your prep changed over the years?

Tony: We're no longer using the AP machine (still haven’t figured out how to change those ribbons) and newspapers.

Myles:  I read fark.com while drinking my coffee every morning. There's little Drew Curtis misses. Bitboard is still an awesome source of ideas. Even listener facebook pages can be great thought-starters. The big things, like paying attention to life and being struck by stunt and bit ideas that I immediately write down or forget, are the same. I look for the most humiliating parts of my life and talk about them or, better yet, actually live them on air.


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

Tony: Ace & TJ’s prom dress exchange, got us press and helped out some needy kids.

Myles:  That was awesome. We also steal weekly from Canadians Bruce and Sean and non-Canadians Johnson & Johnson.


Harmon:
 Changes or tweaks for Bitboard you might like?

Tony: Having someone read it to us in the morning would be helpful.

Myles:  That's a great idea. Bitboard on tape, as read by Steve Harmon or Philip.

<<PHILIP NOTE:  BELIEVE me... you don't want my twangy voice reading you the prep!>>
 


previous spotlight shows: