The radio business encourages its talent to let their personality shine, and to share with the world their quirky and unique way of interpreting things around us, and to share their thoughts and feelings based on their unique personality. I have tried to do this as much as possible, yet know everyone can listen to every show, so this week I opened it up to Facebook friends, on Twitter and addressed some the of the most frequently asked questions I get when speaking at schools in Westman. If there’s a question you want asked for next time, send me an email so I can include it in another round of "ask me anything."
How much do you make?
Radio people, like most media people, don’t do this job for the money. Starting out in the radio business is the same as starting out at any job. You start making minimum wage. By the end of your career, of you’ve made the right choices, worked hard in developing your craft and have made the right moves, you might make what the average Manitoba teacher makes when they start their career. So if you want to make some money, become a teacher. Teachers will read this and laugh, but the reality is that the media business is 80 per cent fame and 20 per cent fortune. You either come to terms with that early, or just embrace it.
Who decides what music is played on the radio station?
It’s a formula based on who the radio station wants listening to its product, plus what is popular in other cities, plus what we feel is best suited to the Westman market. By "we" I mean Trent Bartley, our music director for Star FM, myself and some research tools we use that equates to "the secret sauce" in our product. I often have people apologize that they don’t listen to the station because they don’t like some of the music we play. But the fact is, not every radio station is built for everyone. The bottom line is each station is trying to attract a certain "type of listener" to its station. The listener they feel is best suited to have its advertisers speak directly to, in the form of over the air advertising. Star-FM is targeting young adults in Western Manitoba. This means if you are over 50, and don’t like the music, it doesn’t offend us when you say so. However if you do, that’s great!
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
(I really had to think about that one.) Singers: Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray in their heyday in the late ’90s. Sports: Warren Moon in Minnedosa last spring was a thrill. I loved having a cocktail with Randy and Mr. Lahey of the Trailer Park Boys when they were in Brandon, and when Tracy and I were in Las Vegas, we met Rod Roddy of the Price is Right fame. This was a huge deal for my wife since she is a HUGE fan of the game show. We went to a show at the Flamingo and he sat right next to us. We did not ask him to say "Come on down." Should have though. He passed away three years later.
Who is your favourite musician?
Surprise — don’t have one. I collect 78-RPM records from the ’50s and ’60s and really enjoy all kinds of music. I think this is part of why I’ve lasted so long in the radio business. I like to go to the WSO when I can, my favourite concerts were KISS and the Rolling Stones, and I would watch Celine Dion in Vegas if my wife made me with little resistance. I truly am a music fan, but it has to be good music. Another shocker — I really enjoy bluegrass music. The banjo rocks.
What do you do when you’re not on the radio, besides eat bacon and drink beer?
I like to cook. I really like cooking, and travel. Road trips with my family are something we do at least once, often twice or three times a year. It gives us a chance to spend time together while allowing me to play the role of Clark Griswold a couple times a year. I don’t eat as much bacon as people think, and the same thing with beer. Tequila is and always has been a real weakness for me.
Is bacon really your favourite food?
It’s actually just meat period. Barbecued meat. If you take barbecued meat and put bacon around it, you have made it perfect.
What other jobs have you done besides radio?
I’ve really had only two other jobs. I started in radio at 17, so its all I’ve done. I scooped ice cream at McTavish’s at Clear Lake in the ’80s and in the ’90s I pumped gas at the Erickson Co-op gas bar. (Gas then cost 43.9 cents a litre.)
If you weren’t in radio, what other job would you have?
I would own a business. Not sure what kind, but would run something requiring marketing experience. After two decades, I know a few tricks. I also enjoy politics.
Who is your celebrity crush?
What is your pet’s names?
Don’t have pets. My kids are trying to convince me to get a dog, but I’m not an animal lover. Change that. I am an animal lover, but see the answer to the bacon question above. I like stuff to put on the barbecue. That usual involves some kind of animal, so in a different way I am an animal lover, just not a pet lover.
Which celebrity would you most like to meet?
Lorne Michaels. On my bucket list to find some way to meet him before I leave this earth, or before SNL leaves TV.
What is the best advice anyone gave you?
I was doing morning in Prince Albert and just landed a sweet position in Regina. My PD at the time said "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it." At the time, I thought I should be so lucky, but it’s so true. Most of us are unaware of the consequences of getting what we want. And sometimes life’s blessings are in un-answered prayers.
If Starjet could go anywhere, where would YOU like to go?
Huatulco, Mexico is the most incredible spot in all North America. I love every Star Jet we do, but we could just do that spot every year and I would never get tired of it.
I seemed to have misplaced my TV remote, do you know where it is?
Check 1) car, 2) the fridge, 3) couch cushions, 4) the bathroom, and 5) the waste basket. Almost guarantee its there. :)
(UPDATE: he found it in his fridge. I did say any question would be answered. Glad to help)
JOKE THIS WEEK
A small guy was sitting at a bar and staring at his drink, when a large, trouble-making biker stepped up next to him, grabbed his drink and gulped it down.
"Well, what you gonna do about it?" The guy burst into tears. "Come on, man. I didn’t think you’d cry over it. I can’t stand to see a man cry."
"This is the worst day of my life," the small man said, "I’m a complete failure. I was late to a meeting and my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot I found my car had been stolen, and I don’t have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab that I took home. When I got there, I found my wife with another man, and then my dog bit me. So I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all. So I buy a drink, I drop a capsule in it, and sit here and watch the poison dissolve. Then you show up and drink the whole thing. But enough about me, how’s your day going?"
Chelsey Faye Brown
Jade Noelle Brown
Andrew Carl Griffith
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 23, 2013