Harmon: How much prep happens before you even
leave the house?
Zero, just staying awake on the drive in is the main goal.
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?
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.
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
Harmon: How are you using Facebook?
Myles handles that for the show…earlier this year I predicted the end of
twitter, check past reports.
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?
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
Harmon: Any thoughts on this platform?
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".
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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 email@example.com
Harmon: Has your prep changed
over the years?
We're no longer using the AP machine (still haven’t figured out how to
change those ribbons) and newspapers.
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....."
Ace & TJ’s prom dress exchange, got us press and helped out some needy kids.
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?
Having someone read it to us in the morning would be helpful.
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!>>