Today marks the last “Fresh Brew” show on WGNU.
After 34 great invigorating shows, my radio show has met its end-and the reason is quite simple: sales.
In order to stay on the air, a radio host must hit the streets, sell ads, and create revenue, because if not, he or she represents what to a station? That is the name of the game in this current landscape of radio hosting. If you aren’t on salary or a well-known name, your future on the air always has a clock attached to it. That is the painful reality, and something I have long accepted.
Whether it’s getting a family owned business to hand over a wad of cash every month or figuring out innovative ways to connect with larger companies, radio sales are hard. Going door to door, asking for money, and I’m not a good salesman. I am a peoples person until my last breath, but that is far different from being a good salesman. I am no Don Draper-and I am fine with that. Life gets a lot easier when you understand what you are good at and what you are not good at.
While the show ends, that doesn’t mean it didn’t teach me a few things. I hosted my first radio show-a guest spot on We Are Live’s original time slot-a little over a year ago. Nothing prepares you for a life of radio more than three long hours of talk radio. I fell in love instantly, like a teenager staring at the girl across the hall. During my time on air, I have had the opportunity to work with several good people, the occasional asshat, and connected with many people. I’ve been called wise, good, bad, and a complete moron-par for the course when it comes to my profession.
A few good people to mention here:
*Chris Denman. The wolf of Washington Avenue brought me on his show in January of 2016 to talk about the Rams, and he’s been my mentor ever since I stepped in a radio booth. Talk about a great salesman; this guy could sell an empty bag of potato chips to a stoner. He’s also a hard ass worker who knows the game.
*Travis Terrell. My bald brother also let me step into his radio world last summer, and I am grateful. I’d also like to take the time to say a few words about the late beard of Travis: I am sorry Travis really likes Lebron James.
*Tim McKernan. He gave me a time slot last August to see what I had to offer, and gave me a spot even though I had no experience and barely any revenue stream. He may be the radio warrior of the Lou, but he’s also a good dude.
*Matt Whitener. My original partner in crime at CBS Sports 920 and 590 The Fan is as good as it gets when it comes to sports analysis and cracking a wise word about a subject. He was my #1 choice to join me on Daybreak Dose, and I think we had some fun. He’s a talented one.
*John “Giamatti” Rudolph. Board guys are more important than people think, because they are the eyes a host often locks up with for the duration of his show. If the board operator has an attitude or doesn’t respect the host, the show goes to shit real quick. Giamatti is a talented board Jedi who smiles a ton, takes last minute requests, and never bogs down a show. If I see him in the booth, I know I am in good hands.
*Seth Gabriel. He threw me a lifeline after my time with 590 came to an end-and was indispensable in getting my shows up on the page, assisting me with interviews, and creating killer promos and intros. He’s a true asset.
*John Semar. The Sea Monster isn’t just a great producer for the most popular radio show in St. Louis, but a good dude behind the scenes. You won’t meet a more laid back guy than Semar, who tries to help every host at a station and not just his own.
*Burt Kaufman. He took a chance on me when Fresh Brew didn’t even have any sponsors, giving me a great morning time slot that had potential gold sitting inside of it. An old school radio guy who is slowly building WGNU back up after the departure of McKernan’s Inside STL team, Burt was very classy and candid when I had to sudden end the show.
That’s right. I am ending Fresh Brew. It’s my decision. WGNU didn’t cancel my show or take my time slot away so another show could slide in. Without sponsors, I had to throw in the towel. No matter how much people try to deny it, money talks louder than everything else. If you aren’t making it, it’s time for a change. Fresh Brew was fun to do, but brought my family and I zero funds. That could be due to the fact that I am a shitty salesman, or maybe I need to take a hint. Hosting a radio show is a lot of work, and when dollar bills don’t back it up, the work becomes tedious.
Is this the end of my voice on the radio? No. It’s impossible to say “never” in the radio, and I am going to be doing hits on ESPN COMO on KTGR, Saint Louis Live, and possible 590. I am going to walk the radio earth like Kane in Kung Fu, getting into little adventures on the air. While my show is ending, my voice will stick around.
I’ll still be writing furiously for KSDK News while contributing to St. Louis Game Time and Redbird Daily. There will be periscopes, Facebook live segments, and perhaps a podcast. You can’t get rid of me, so only have one bottle of champagne this morning.
Right now, I am feeling unburdened by radio sales for the first time in a ten months, and that is great.
Finally, thank you to the listeners, all four of you. I never took your ears for granted, and appreciated the time. Whether it was the morning or night, I had some good moments on the air.
Remember when I accidentally and hilariously mistook the Jeffersons for the Jetsons? Good times.
Thank you to Frank Grillo, Bill DeWitt III, Harrison Bader, Dito Montiel, Matt Servitto, The Fog Lights, John Henry, Holy Elle, Brad Lee, Jeff Jones, J.J. Bailey, Art Lippo, Joe Schwarz, and others for taking the time to come on my show and dish.
This isn’t goodbye, folks; it’s just I’ll never see you again.
So long for just a little while.