Bob Miller who hails from the lovely city of Chicago has been in the radio “since long before we ever heard the word ‘embedded’ from foreign correspondents”. He took over mornings at WBPM on October 24th 2011, before this Miller served as morning host at 97.7 FM (WCZX) in Poughkeepsie before losing his job in February. Miller had been at WCZX since 1994 and had been on the air in the Hudson Valley since 1982.
This veteran of the biz was gracious enough to answer a few questions for my blog. This quick interview is full of humor & insight to a very interesting person. This is what Mr. Miller had to say:
E.C – What is your background?
B.M – Communications degree, FCC 1st Class License, Broadcasting professionally since 1982. Also have a humor blog with the Poughkeepsie Journal.
E.C – How did you get started in this gig?
B.M – I called Don Verity (Station Manager) and begged him for a job because I was two days away from driving a cab to and from The Poughkeepsie Galleria about twelve times a day. He understood my pain and hired me.
E.C – What is a good early story about your time working on the radio?
B.M – The General Manager of my first station (WCKL, Catskill) was doing a remote at a hardware store with the sales manager and I was ‘running the board.’ The Gm’s name was Carmine and he ‘knew people,’ so was really nervous and didn’t want to screw it up. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the connection was made and I hear them at the remote through the board. What a great feeling that was…until 5 minutes later when the G.M. called me and told me to ‘Take the God Damn thing out of cue!’ It wasn’t pretty.
E.C – What’s your target audience?
B.M – Women 30 to 55 but we accept anyone really. If you have a radio, you can listen.
E.C – What is unusual or unique about your job, in comparison to other radio stations?
B.M – I like the people. Unlike other stations, they sometimes say ‘Good Morning,’ smile occasionally and hardly ever take your lunch out of the refrigerator.
E.C – Is there a certain experience or anecdote you’re most proud about?
B.M – Yes. I once introduced The Moody Blues on stage and didn’t throw up. Very exciting.
E.C – How much do you guys use social media to promote your radio station?
B.M – We use Facebook, Twitter, our website and try to post items that are of interest to our listeners. We hardly ever put stuff up about professional wrestling.
Skipped #8 & 9
E.C – Do you do any charity or nonprofit work?
B.M – I have been a very active fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association for the last 6 years. During that time I have raised over $20,000. My father-in-law passed from Alzheimer’s and we were caregivers for longer than I care to recall. I also jump in frigid water in February of every year to show my hatred for the disease (www.subzeroheroes.org) I also have been known to adopt otherwise ‘un-adoptable’ felines from the SPCA.
E.C – Who are your competitors? (As far as the kind of audience you reach out to)
B.M – I would say that WRNQ (Lite 92.1); WWBZ (93.3) WHUD (100.7) WCZX (Mix 97.7) are the biggest competitors, even though Mix is horrible.
E.C – What is an interesting story about an interaction with one of your listeners?
B.M – I got a call from the Police years ago where a woman (listener) was threatening ending her own life and she wanted to see me first. I went over to her house and chatted for about an hour. We were able to defuse the situation. It felt great and the intern that came with me said, “It’s too bad you’re married.” P.S. She was 19! Not bad, huh?
E.C – What are some of your greatest challenges in working for a radio station?
B.M – Staying on top of everything in the world and then daily running it all through a colander to figure out just what our listeners care about. Also, getting up at 3AM.
E.C – Anything else you would like to include?
B.M – Carmine ended up doing time for trafficking in cocaine.
This year will have the honor of having Bob Miller at the Women’s Health & Fitness Expo to play the Healthy You Game with chances to win healthy prizes including health club memberships, and if you really wanna get on his good side you should bring him some baked mac & cheese.
Bob has a blog that can be found at www.929wbpm.com (click on bob miller) and also at www.poughkeepsiejournal.com (miller’s musings). He also has an e-mail blast for members of their special club called ‘Loyal Listener Club; decoder rings are soon to come.
Come to the expo & hang out with us.