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In the spotlight....

Colby, Jon, Dan
Wichita, KS

Interviewed by Steve Harmon

I have tried to remember the first time I met Dan Tooker, all the Girlfriends on the show loved him. They say he had perty teeth or somethin. Over the years we have talked each other out of bad spells and celebrated good times as well.  Harmon


Harmon: Describe your cast and members..

Tooker: I am the Host. Jon Watkins is the Co-Host and Executive Producer, Colby is an Assistant Producer and Co-Host. Dan Dillion and Josh Wells do our News and Traffic.


Harmon: How long together?

Tooker: All of us have been together since I got here two and a half years ago. Jon was added about a year and a half ago.


Harmon: How do you keep it together on days when the show seems to be going nowhere?

Tooker: KFDI is a different element all together. There are a lot of moving parts. We have to back time for news every hour, so it always feels like it's going somewhere. We also have a promotion going at all times and we can fall back on that. Wouldn't you say that helps Jon?

Jon: Absolutely. The one thing we really try to maintain with our show is a promotion arc. Be it big or small, it gives us something to talk about on slow days and allows us to build steam around it. Plus, when you have 30 seconds to fill before the news, it's an easy throw away!


Harmon: Radio on 2007..changes? New? Gone for good are .... ?

Tooker: The two things that I have noticed about our industry is the lack of movement and how mediocrity has been embraced. There just aren't jobs like there use to be. Everybody is staying put. As far as mediocrity there are a lot of shows that just don't move the needle but companies are scared to make a change or a bad decision so they stay right where they have been for the last five years. I don't see that changing. Jon has heard this story a thousand times. A couple of years ago I took some time off. I went on two interviews and was offered a job at two different stations that WANTED to replace their morning show. For one reason or another we couldn't come to terms. Both the shows are still working at the same station that wanted to replace them. They aren't doing any better but they are still there.

Jon: Dan and I have discussed this over many meetings at the bar. In one way we disagree, is how radio has changed promotionally. I feel that morning shows cannot sit around and do the same mass, "meet us here for a car drop" promotions that they were once able to do. You now must turn your eyes toward technology. Not only is this what corporate is looking for, but it's what the audience knows. Instead of doing the same old stunt, try having your listeners create commercials for you on their digital cameras. Then post them on the web. This is where I believe radio is heading and in some cases, at.


Harmon: What's the worst job you've ever had outside of radio that reminded you what spoiled moneymakers we can be?

Tooker: I worked one summer with a college buddy setting up mobile homes. You see Mobile homes with the wide-load signs on them heading down the highway all the time. But somebody has to take off the wheels and set the house on cement blocks. I thought I was going to die every day.

Jon: I worked at a petting zoo and picked up animal shit all day. I worked for two days and quit.


Harmon: At ten o'clock, how do you know it was a good show?

Tooker: Usually if I feel like we have had fun. If the show went by quick and we have all generally laughed then I think it's a good show. We usually don't look at it like a "good show" or a "bad show". We look at Breaks. Making it simple. Say you do ten breaks on that days show. Two of those breaks where OK but in general it was a good show. For those listeners that heard the OK breaks it was a OK show. The show has to have a flow but in general we have really tried to make each break better.

Jon: When Dan tells me. I agree with Dan completely on this. Your average listener only catches 15 minutes of your show. So, if you celebrate the successful breaks, it's not as stressful.


Harmon: What's your biggest challenge day to day?

Tooker: As I said earlier KFDI has a lot of elements. We have to back time to the top and bottom of every hour. The show is like a puzzle every single day. We have a full News Department, four full commercial breaks, Paul Harvey and traffic. The show is constantly starting and stopping. My challenge is to work our content in and make everything flow. It took us a good year and a half to figure out how to get it done but I think we have turned the corner don't you?

Jon: Now, sure. At the beginning we tried to fight the elements instead of accepting them.


Harmon: Give an example of a day you "owned the market".

Tooker: We do the Tookie awards. Basically it is a certificate in a frame. In the fall we do the Listener Tookies and in the spring we do the shows favorites. The shows favorites have gotten bigger then the listeners favorites. They show up everywhere on billboards, TV ads it's crazy. People get crazy upset when they lose.

Jon: The Tookies are a huge deal. Not only does the market listen, but they're free billboards around town!


Harmon: Do you find results in ratings from your Internet work?

Tooker: Not at KFDI. I don't say that because I know for sure but the Vibe is different. When TJ (TJ Brown the show was TJ and Tooker) and I did the show at KJYO in Oklahoma City, I really believe we did find results. We were very cutting edge and did some over the top promotions on the web. Here it's very basic. We don't have the man power or the right tools to pull it off. But I think if you ask everybody in the room at BFD this year the same question 70% would agree the web can bring people under the tent. I think we manage our site well, it's just not anything special, right?

Jon: Yeah, but I think that our next goal has to be finding ways of turning our show's promotions into internet savy stunts. This is why I'm really looking forward to BFD. I know that it does help to have something on our website every day that we talk about while people get ready for work, so they can check it out once they're there.


Harmon: Person on your last nerve?

Tooker: I just want American Idol to GOOOOOOOOOOOO away!!!!

Jon: Lindsay Lohan. Remember when you had to have a successful career to be famous?


Harmon: Have you tried our Daily Dose yet on Bitboard?

Tooker: Yes.
Jon: Love it.


Harmon: Look into your Crystal Ball 3 years.. what's the Radio scene like?

Tooker: I don't think things are going to change much. I have noticed a lot of shows letting their contracts run out. I don't know if that's by design or if companies are tired of paying for shows. If I'm honest we have been saying for years radio is going to swing back into our favor (talent) . I think that has all got to do with the talent in your market. I saw a comment that you made on GA GA . It was concerning a opportunity in Atlanta and how it would be a tough time going up against Bert and his gang ( I don't know what it was verbatim). I agree that would be tough, but those are the markets that they really care about talent. I think if you go to BFD and see that there are two or three of your competitors in the room then you should go out and have a couple of drinks because you all are probably helping each other make a lot more money. Not to mention a better talent. I think we all know markets that are great markets but lack talent.
Jon: I just hope to have a job.


Harmon: Thanks for your time. We look forward to seeing all of you at BFD-SF



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