Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Frankie V, MD, KHTS/San Diego
&
Joey Brooks, CHUM FM/Toronto

Joey: You just landed the morning gig at Channel 933 about six months ago. How are things going with the new show on a scale of tanking to 10?
Frankie: The show gets a 10, I'm living a dream.  My sleep schedule gets a 0, because I've broken four alarm clocks already in six months!  It's an exciting opportunity that honestly feels like a dream each time I get into the studio.  My co-host Geena The Latina is a morning show PRO.  We have been good friends since I moved here almost five years ago.  Our producer Sonic is one of the hardest working and most creative people in the biz!  Waking up at 3:30am is still an adjustment considering for my whole career that was my bedtime.  Geena acts like my mom sometimes and will send me texts saying, “Get off your computer and go to bed!”


Joey: Who has given you the best advice for making the transition from nights to mornings?

Frankie: I'm very fortunate to have a Program Director (Haze) who used to be a night jock himself, and he totally “gets it!”  He has given me great feedback and has allowed us to learn as we go.  My OM (Jimmy Steele) is a radio GENIUS.  He is there to lean on whenever I have a question or need extra feedback!  I also have to give props to Ramiro from Ramiro and Pebbles on JAMN 94.5 in Boston.  His style is so PPM friendly and awesome. Luckily he has an unlimited text plan otherwise I'd owe him lots of money for the texts I constantly send, asking for advice when I have questions!


Joey: One of the best young talents in the industry is your brother Mikey V - nights at Radio Now in Indianapolis and the more talented brother in my opinion. Any advice you have given him that other new jocks can benefit from?

Frankie: I won't argue that! He is a radio stud.  He's only 23 and understands this business better than I do.  The advice I give him, is the same advice people gave me when I started out.  “Your worst day is going to be better than many peoples best day! Do everything you do in this biz with a smile on your face! Be fortunate for the opportunities you have, and more will come.” I also told him to not pick up chicks based upon their voices on the request line, it never matches up. “If I knew then what I know now...”


Joey: Have you talked about the fact that you shave your chest on the new morning show or are you keeping that one to yourself?

Frankie: I haven't mentioned that I shave my chest on the air yet.  Only mentioned that I shave my back, armpits, and get my eyebrows waxed!  I figure if I mention I shave my chest people might think differently of me.


Joey: You were a successful sales rep for Entercom Boston and have always been good at dealing with clients. Do you have any advice for the rest of us so we can make more endorsement money? 

Frankie: Getting the chance to do sales for a year and a half has paid dividends in my career for sure.   As a jock, knowing how the sales side works, I put pride in each endorsement opportunity I get.  I ask the sales rep (and client if I’m in the meeting) what needs they want to overcome and I work hard to help make it happen.  I've learned that if you show the clients you truly care, they are more likely to keep endorsing.  Go on the sales calls with the Account Executive, get to know the client, and help build the bond.


Joey: You are very active with social media. What are you doing to grow the new show online?

Frankie: Being interactive with the audience on social media is such a great way to connect to the listeners.  I recently had a girl at an event tell me “thank you for your updates on Facebook, I’m super busy during the day and can't always listen to the radio, but when I see updates that interest me I make sure to find a way to listen.”  All it takes is one more meter to listen to make a major PPM difference.  Social media is our biggest way to build new listeners and market ourselves...and it’s FREE!  Reply to listener comments, don't spam listeners but make sure to inform them, and make each social media “follower” feels special!


Joey: Have you considered changing the name of the show to “Masshole In The Morning”?

Frankie: I haven't yet! I like my job...I kinda want to keep it!  Although…hmmm...it does have a good ring to it!


Joey: Are you officially too old to wear Ed Hardy or are you going to try to push it for another year?

Frankie: I'd say I'm too old.  But then again, I'd say you are too old to still have your New Kids on the Block posters up, yet you don't seem to see a problem with it.


Joey: You just had your first “acting” role in the short film The Silent Partner. Has Hollywood taken notice? Will you star in a Seacrest production?

Frankie: The Silent Partner by Terrence King is a novel that is set to release. The short film based on the book was an awesome experience.  I played a character named “Skinny,” who is an east coast punk that wears a backwards hat, and has an attitude. Type casted? I think not! Hollywood keeps calling me about it, but I'm too busy answering Joey Brooks’ dumb questions to have time to answer the calls.  Stay tuned...


Joey: I’m sick of producing demos for you that lead to great jobs. Are you planning on doing mornings in San Diego for a long time so I don’t have to make any more?

Frankie: If you’re looking for a pat on the back and a thank you...here you go: YES JOEY BROOKS, THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY DEMO TAPES AT ALL HOURS OF THE NIGHT WHILE YOUR WIFE WAS YELLING AT YOU TO GO TO BED!  That being said, I am truly thankful for all you have done to help me get started in this biz. I still remember going on a sales call in Worcester and I had to sell against a sales rep that was selling you for a broadcast.  I emailed you shortly after that day and asked advice on how I get to the on-air side of radio.  You didn't hesitate to help me instantly!  I’m loving San Diego! The weather, beaches, great co-workers, Mexican food, good sushi, and a free couch for you to crash on when you visit.


 



 
Frankie: Be honest, where are the better strip clubs USA or Canada?
Joey: You obviously haven’t been to a Canadian strip club or you wouldn’t ask. Book a flight immediately!


Frankie:  You have lost three chins in the past two years. How did you make this happen?

Joey: They didn’t make it through customs! Yeah I was fat…thanks for bringing that up! I’m on my second round of P90X and I’ve also been playing a ton of hockey up here. All of the reps play (I’m on the Sony team) and it’s been a great way to get in shape while making friends and connections. I really came here to try out for The Maple Leafs…they can use the help!  


Frankie: What on-air personality did you look up to most growing up?

Joey: Being from Boston we had some great jocks to learn from: JoJo Kincaid, Dale Dorman, Ralphie Marino, Matty, Ed McMahon, Artie, Ramiro and Danny Meyers were and still are incredible. My old mentor and great friend Vinnie Peruzzi was a star and listener favorite. Dale helped me get hired at Kiss 108 and really taught me a lot. Ralphie did mornings at Star 93.7 and I did the overnights often before he came on. He’d listened on the way to work and aircheck me. Danny listened to all of my awful college radio tapes and was still willing to help me out even after hearing that mess. He came to Boston from PLJ in New York, and I remember asking him if that was a big station. I was clueless!  All of those guys went out of their way to help me break into the business and I couldn’t have asked for better people to learn from. These days I stream Billy The Kidd and Toby Knapp and steal their breaks.

Frankie: What is the biggest difference from doing radio in the US and Canada?
Joey: There are a few small differences. Sweepers are called “splitters,” jocks are called “announcers” and the overnight show is the “all night show.” We also play a crap load of Nelly Furtado.
          As far as being on-air, there isn’t a big difference at all. Toronto is a PPM market with a ton of competition and great talent. In that respect, it is very similar to my last market Philadelphia. The PPM principles that I learned there work here. I have adjusted my show slightly to fit this station and market. CHUM FM wins 18-34, but is more 25-54 focused. I run my content through some different filters to make sure that it’s aimed at the right target.
          One difference is working for a station with the history and heritage of CHUM FM. It is the biggest station in the country and we have an enormous audience that is incredibly passionate for the brand. I’ve been in stores when “Beat The Bank” comes on (a contest that has been running for many years on the station) and people literally stop what they are doing to listen. Then they talk about how they would have played the game if they were on. I’ve never seen anything like it in any other market.


Frankie: Would you prefer to wear New York Yankees’ boxer shorts or a Boston Red Sox thong?

Joey: I’d rather jump in front of a moving bus that had a Red Sox logo on it than wear anything Yankees. I’m going with the thong.

Frankie:  Who has helped you the most, to become as successful as you are in this biz?
Joey: I’ve been lucky to learn from some of the best programmers in the business so I can’t just pick one. I may also have to work for one again in the future on the odd chance I get deported, so I’ll just thank them all: David Corey, Rick Vaughn, Tracy Austin, Alex Tear, John Ivey, Dom Theodore, Stan Priest, Thea Mitchem, Ron Valeri, Pete Falconi and Jerry McKenna. Chase Murphy gave me my first real full-time gig and the best advice ever; “You’re pretty funny when you’re off air…maybe you should do that on your show. Your show is boring.”


Frankie: If you had to retire from radio what would you do?

Joey: Can I get back to you after my Maple Leafs tryout in September? I really have no idea what I would do without radio and I’m not ready to retire from my job any time in the near future. I started as a mobile DJ when I was 12 years old and have never stopped since my first gig. I’ve done A LOT of APD/MD work so I see myself programming a station in the future. If that doesn’t work out I’ll sell beer at Red Sox games. I miss Fenway.


Frankie: When you are trying to seduce your wife, what song do you put on in the background?

Joey: I’ve found multiple bottles of wine to be much more effective.


Frankie: You do a lot with social media, has that ever led you to creeping an ex while on Facebook?

Joey: Social media is so important to what we do. I remember a PD yelling at me years ago for interacting with listeners on A.I.M. while I was on air. “FOCUS ON YOUR SHOW!” Times have changed! Now we are not only expected to communicate with listeners both on and off air, but to do it on many different platforms simultaneously. Then there’s creating original content. I’m not a fan of going to TMZ, copying a story and posting it on my page or just embedding YouTube videos. My 54 year-old Mother can accomplish that with the “like” button on Facebook.   
          Video making is my new hobby. I produced a song and video to tie into the Charlie Sheen meltdown and it ranked in the comedy charts in seven different countries on YouTube. Clear Channel featured it in Viral Videos right up there with David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno’s Charlie videos. It took about 20 hours to produce, but it was worth it.
          I’ve also really gotten into blogging and I always try to put my own spin on a story. Blogs about a relatable life event get a great reaction from my audience. It’s also a good way to collect your thoughts, come up with some decent punch lines and organize a story before you go on air. They have a beginning, middle and end and hopefully some good content and humor. They are really just good breaks you can use as your online content. 
          To finally answer your stupid question, I did check out an ex’s Facebook profile once. That experience is covered at the end of my Facebook tutorial video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5_iFo_0oRI&feature=channel_video_title


Frankie: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could bring one battery operated object what would it be?

Joey: An iPhone with Twitter, Facebook and hopefully I have some good reception on that island.

[FMQB ORIGINAL CONTENT, published May 2011, please do not republish or reprint without the express consent of FMQB. Make sure you visit us on the Web at www.fmqb.com


FMQB NOW

Nick Petropoulos
Glassnote Entertainment
Group

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