Word has traveled far and wide that I am moving to Indianapolis to become the new host of Indy’s Morning News with Tony Katz on 93.1FM WIBC. The columns and the comments about the move have been mostly complimentary, with a few people lamenting the fact that someone with the ability to wake people up might actually, you know, wake people up.
It has been an amazing run since starting the radio show from scratch just over four years ago; Amazing, tiring, exciting and filled with mistakes and mis-steps that had to be overcome.
The question I’ve been asked most (aside from, “Do you have any idea how cold it gets in Indianapolis? The answer is yes, I do. Yes, I’ve purchased many coats. Yes, my cigars will keep me warm.”) is, why a morning radio host?
If I’ve learned anything about this business, it’s that opportunity is everything. I never saw myself as a morning host, but I never ruled it out. When I first had an interest in radio, I did mornings on a very small station in Clearwater, FL for two hours each morning. It was fun.
I went on to do shows in the afternoon, and in the evenings. I filled-in for people in the mornings and the mid-day. It was all fun. Every part of every day on the air was (and is!) fun. Sometimes, the off-air stuff wasn’t fun. The technical issues were not fun. At times, the personalities I had to deal with were not fun. But once the mic was hot? Every moment has been great, regardless of the time slot.
Opportunity is everything, and being ready, willing and able to take advantage of the opportunity – when it presents itself – is the most important skill an entrepreneur can have. (And, really, every radio host is an entrepreneur. Or, at least, the successful ones I’ve met and studied.) When the opportunity to do late nights at WIBC came available, I took it gladly.
I’ve been fortunate to have two outstanding program directors; Jeff Allen at KFTK in St. Louis (who, after listening to me fill in for Dana Loesch repeatedly, gave me a weekend show) and David Wood, who is my current program director at WIBC. Both took interest in the show I was doing and the way I was doing it. Both considered it important to help make it better; Not with negatives, but with ideas and thoughts and research and the valuable insight of their experiences in radio.
I have been very fortunate, indeed. Fortunate to have great people on my side, and fortunate that I understood early on that I needed to be ready when the opportunity arises, and be willing everyday to do what it takes to make those opportunities happen.
It was David who called me one day and said, “Hey. What do you think of mornings?” I said, “I think mornings are great, and I’d love to have the opportunity. But, I don’t know how others will see me as a morning host.” He said, clearly and deliberately, “Don’t worry. I see it. And they will, too.”
Opportunity presented. Opportunity seized! Mornings is a unique beast. It’s faster. It’s more demanding. It’s a challenge. In the immortal words of Barney Stintson, “Challenge Accepted!”