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In the spotlight....

Wank & O'Brien
WENS
Indianapolis
www.real971.com 

Interviewed by Steve Harmon


Harmon:  Tell me how you found each other and came together on air.. roles and answer some of these and ask questions of each other for fun too!

Dave:  We first hooked up in 1996 at WRZX in Indianapolis.  Wank was on a show with a woman named Vanessa Wilde and future "Celebrity Justice" anchor Carlos Diaz.  When Carlos decided to head for TV O'Brien stepped in and took over the third wheel role.  When Vanessa left shortly after Carlos we just started the whole "Wank &O'Brien" thing. It clicked and took off like crazy. After hitting #1 18-34 and beating our sister station (WFBQ - flagship of the Bob and Tom Show) in that demo we were wooed by KCNL in San Jose, California.  We put in a little over a year there working with a lot of great people like Gary Schoenwetter (Sirius Satellite Radio) and Jim Richards (CC/San Diego).  We were wooed back to Indy by Emmis Communications' WNOU in 2001 where we hooked up with the amazing Kassie the Producer.  She was originally supposed to help us for a week getting settled into our new digs but we were so impressed we stole her for our own evil purposes!  We spent three years at WNOU before shifting over to Emmis sister station Real 97.1 (WENS) in May of 2004.  We went from a younger targeted CHR to an adult targeted Hot AC that better fits our style.



Harmon:  Describe your show and cast.

Wank - Larry David, but shorter
O'Brien - Seinfeld, but taller
Kassie - Lisa Kudrow, but shorter & naughtier

Dave:  Wank is the guy with a pre-teen boy who is starting to discover girls and contact sports.  He has been married for 17 years, drinks beer and lives closer to the "hip" neighborhood in town.  O'Brien is a suburban guy who prefers wine and has a four year old daughter.  He has been married for six years and goes to a lot of ballet classes with his girl and a lot of antique shops with his wife. Kassie has been married for two years and has no kids.  She is on the fence between still going to the bars on weekends with her girlfriends and starting to settle into married life.


Harmon:  How long in your market?.

Dave:  We're at our third station in Indy, 2nd station at Emmis.  Been here since '96.  Left for San Jose for one year and came back in 2001.

Harmon:  Introductory Bit?

Dave:  Good lord - at which station?  'Drunken American Idol' opened our most recent stint on Real 97.1.  Basically, it was do a shot, sing a song badly.  Do two shots, sing another song.  Our contestants got plastered by 8 AM.



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

Dave:  We just finished running ads for a fake candidate and didn't comment on 'em for 2 weeks.  The guy was running for congress and had these absolutely stone-age policies he was espousing for the entire campaign.  We'd get call after call and told people we were 'looking into it'.  The day after the election we said the guy won and we'd have him on with us live in the studio.  Our candidate ( actually one of our sales guys) answered a couple questions before we exposed it all as a hoax.  It's all we've heard people talk about outside the presidential race.  It was huge!

 

Harmon:  How do you use the internet in marketing your show?

Dave: That's pending - we're revamping things.  Since we just started with Real 97.1 a couple of months ago we're rebuilding our web pages and re-thinking the way we target people.  The best marketing tool we use with the internet right now is simply answering all of our e-mail!



Harmon:
 Quickest way to get press??

Dave:  Write for 'em like we do!  We get published in several places here.  We also have built great relationships with all of the TV stations and let them know about everything we do.

 

Harmon:  What's your biggest challenge?

Dave:  This market is more competitive than you'd expect for #41.  You gotta be totally unique to stand out.  There's a lot of shows making noise without much content and getting heard around the noise is our challenge.

 

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

Dave:  If we're all exhausted, grinning, and hungry. And if we have two hours worth of e-mail replying ahead of us.

 

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

Dave: The fake candidate!

 

Harmon:  "When the room's tense we break it by..."

Dave:  Beating the shit out of each other.  Or just by doing the next break.  A great break can eliminate all problems.

 

Harmon:  "I wouldn't miss BFD  because..."

Dave: It's a great opportunity to spread misinformation about your show! And we get to spend even MORE time with other members of the show! Man - nothing brings a morning show closer together than sharing a hotel room!

 


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