10 Questions (about radio) with Josh Holliday from 2006

I found an old link for this bit I did with All Access, a big radio industry website. They have a weekly feature called On The Beach (an old radio term for being between gigs – guess it’s better than Wallowing in Self Pity, Thinking I’ll Never Work Again.) It was April 2006, after 102.1 the Edge, and before X92.9.

Please begin by giving us a brief career history …

For the last 13 years I’ve been both in front of and behind the mic. Started out doing creative for CFNY. Went on to do on-air entertainment reporting, including hundreds of interviews with local and international notables. Wrote all the imaging and on-air promos for Classic Rock Q107 for about 2 years, but had a jones to get back in front of the mic. Hosted a regular (and quite popular) daily show on 102.1 The Edge.

1 What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?

The first rule of fight club: never talk about fight club.

2 How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?

I’ve never limited myself to a single medium. I act for television, film and some stage stuff, do voiceovers, some animation, perform stand-up and improv, and sometimes hold doors open for strangers.

3 Some people get discouraged or enlightened with the business when they actually step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.

I’ve kind of been exploring all sorts of radio alternatives for my listening: including a fully-loaded iPod (music and podcasts,) public radio, college radio and most recently got satellite. I’m intrigued by the emergence of the new tech and programming, and how terrestrial radio is reacting (or in some cases not reacting) to it.

4 Do you plan on sticking with the music/radio industry?

I have a genuine passion for the radio medium, and all of its possibilities. There aren’t many places in the media anymore for a host with opinions and personality. I really enjoyed pushing the creative limits of radio, trying new and different things.

5 What’s the longest stretch you’ve had on the beach?

This is it. Helped out with a morning show here in the city, but been a little stretch since I was hosting solo.

6 What is your best way to get your foot in the door?

Depends on your career situation. If you’re a grad just starting out – volunteer or intern. There’s no better way to get in the building.

7 What is the next job you’d like to obtain?

I’d like to host a show on a rock station (Modern, Classic, Active, Triple-A) where I have some leverage to do innovative radio, and build a loyal listener base. I’ve also done some talk, and it’s an area that I really love and would like to get back in to. Talk radio Sabo-style.

8 How are you finding the “courtesy level” at places you’ve applied? (Callbacks, emails, rejection letters, etc.)

Generally the level of response has been pretty poor, but not unexpected. The one experience that stands out in my mind happened after applying to K-Rock (RIP) in New York. PD Steve Kingston sent back a personal note and a K-Rock T-shirt. That’s class.

9 What’s the most unbelievable question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?

“Will you make sweet love to me on top of my mahogany desk?” Actually, nobody ever asked this, but if they did, it would be the most unbelievable.

10 With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs, how do you separate yourself from the pack?

For a long time I’ve thought that having a genuine talent as a radio performer was enough, but I’m starting to question that theory. I still think the important thing is to be heard, and sooner or later there will be a program director who is tired of the same ol’ same ol’ and is willing to take a flyer on something unique, with a potentially huge payoff.

Bonus Questions

Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?

I spent a long time not listening to any radio, save for podcasts on my iPod. Now I’m checking out some of the satellite programming.

In your opinion, what has been your biggest career accomplishment in the industry?

As an on-air performer (at the Edge) I think it was developing a very loyal and dedicated listening audience that tuned in not just for the music, but to interact with me. I am also proud of some of the stuff I was testing out, including some hoaxes and a hybrid of talk radio and music, putting the callers between the songs, and mixing them seamlessly. Kept people tuned longer. On the far side of the mic, I’m really proud of the award-winning imaging and promos I wrote for Classic Rock Q107.

What do you miss most about music/radio?

Interacting with listeners and having an open mic for a few hours a day. I think it’s in my blood. I just really enjoy talking to people, voicing my opinion, hearing theirs and making people laugh.

You can find the article here.


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