Straight From the Mouth
The Morning Mouth's June Interview with Nick, Tricia & Shaggy
(Reprinted by permission; Copyright © 2009 Talentmasters Inc.)
So Tricia, last time I saw you was a Boot Camp a couple of years back... you brought your new hubby. What happened? Did radio people completely freak him out and you had to swear you never hang with us again?
Tricia: Please, he's married to me! Nothing freaks him out. Sexy Jim would probably loooove to send me off on a four-day weekend, except that means he's got the kids.
Alone. For four days. And you're a mom now, too, right?
Tricia: Yep! I have two girls about 16 months apart that are gearing up to be mini-me's! Noel is two and sings along to damn near the entire soundtrack of Mamma Mia. Karrington will turn a year old in July and is struggling to keep her energetic over-loving big sister from squishing her with hugs and kisses. At least they like each other. And while I'm not pregnant now (Nick said he needs a break!) we do plan on a few more babies.
I see you still have your "guys" around. How have you kept them happy? How many years together?
Tricia: Shaggy and I have been together for 8 years and Nick joined us over 5 years ago. They are simple creatures really. Nick needs his Pepsi at 7am on the dot and Shag goes from zero to 1000 after shooting a Redline. It's all about the stomach for all of us - food in the studio keeps us happy. Crablegs at 6:50am? Sure! Ribs at 7:20am? Absolutely!
This one's just for Nick and Shaggy: How has marriage and babies changed Tricia? Does she have to behave herself out at remotes?
Nick: The best part is the breast pumping during the show. It makes a Monday go by a lot quicker. As for behaving herself, she never did before, I don't know why she would start now.
Do you guys ever get in trouble at home for things you said on-air?
Nick: Every time I mention the women I date on the air, I get in trouble. This morning I said that I spent my weekend drinking, watching hockey, and hanging out with "women of ill repute." Got 3 text messages instantly. All said the same thing, "Thanks a lot jerk."
Tricia: Not yet, but the day my kids are old enough to figure out what a moron their mommy is will be a sad day for me.
Shaggy: Torture Tuesdays get me in the most trouble when I wind up in the back of a squad car or in the E.R. but my wife still loves me. She just worries about me.
Okay, have to bring it up: the state of Radio. You may have read something about downsizing, budget cuts and PD's having to run Selector and mop at the same time. How has it affected your show? How are you compensating for less promotion & marketing?
Nick: Downsizing sucks. I only hope in some way it levels the playing field a little. I've been in a market where I was the morning show host, head producer, music director, promotions guy, and janitor all at once. It was good for me. It taught me a lot about hard work. We all have to wear more hats now and work a little harder, and there's nothing wrong with that. As for the promotion/marketing dollars, go for non-traditional revenue. Can't get any money to give away? Time to get a sponsor for a contest involved. For years the record company "sponsored" contests in radio (some even legally!), it's time to look elsewhere.
Tricia: Luckily the three of us have remained together, but we never had a hand-full of interns and phone-screeners and video-editors to spare anyway. We're just going anywhere we can -within the confines of the laws- to get those prizes and promotions.
Shaggy: I'm bringing in as many artists and guest as I can into the studio and on the air for us. It's either that or I get naked for the web cam.
Nick: Shag and I are on Twitter and Facebook. The station is as well. Tricia is still into this exciting new game called "Tetris." She's trying to get everyone hooked on it.
Tricia: I absolutely refuse to succumb to the pressures of this crap. Yeah, I'll say it. It's crap! It drives me bananas! As if my cell phone, office phone, hotmail, Z104 email, Entercom email, written blogs and video blogs aren't enough to keep up with, you want me to update WHAT?? And how often am I supposed to do this? It's just too much. Why do you want to know when I changed a diaper? Who cares that I just showered (and got to wash my hair for the first time in 3 days, but who's counting!)? Yes, I'm on my way to Sam's Club for the umpteeth time. Really? It's ridiculous. Please, don't make me do it.
Let's talk material: Give me each of your favorite bits, stunts, ideas you've done on the show ever!!
Nick: Favorite bit: Dirty Work Wednesday. Wanna know what it is? Listen online from 8-9am at Z104.com. Stunt: placing Shaggy in a barn with over 500 live bats while they were sleeping...with an air horn. Funniest thing I have ever heard in my life. Idea: the man panel. It's amazing. Women want to know what guys are thinking. Who would've guessed that? Plus it works both ways. If you have a man demo, do a Woman Panel.
Tricia: Favorite bit? 80's sing-a-long Friday!! It's a nice refresher for endless Soulja Boy and Lady Gaga records! We just throw in random 20 seconds of everyone from The Human League and Bon Jovi to Guns n' Roses and Patrick Swayze. Stunt? I still love the time we celebrated The Running of the Bulls by stapling raw meat to Shaggy's t-shirt, then setting free a pack of pit bulls. Idea? Not really an idea, but I loooove our text screen. We have instant feedback without all the busy signals. We've been doing texting and contesting via texting since the fall of 2007 and it's a great way to interact with our audience immediately.
Shaggy: Favorite bit - anytime I get to sing She's Like The Wind. Favorite Stunt - you can't beat the Great American Pumpkin Drop. These jackasses drop jack-o-lanterns from a crane while I lay on a tarp. Favorite Idea - me singing She's Like The Wind on the web cam.
How much of your material is spontaneous? Or, are you organized to a fault? Somewhere in between?
Nick's job: keep the train on the tracks. Shaggy and Tricia's job: take it off once in a while. It's a perfect balance.
You're probably a ways away from PPM, but any preplanning going on already?
Nick: What we are planning for is TSL. We have the cume numbers we like, but CHR's toughest challenge is, and always has been, keeping 'em around for a couple hours when we play the same 10 records over and over and over...
When a book comes out, do you just let management give you the skinny, or do you like to go through it yourself?
Nick: Both, but I am more prone to thoroughly examine it during a good book than a bad ONe. I'm more of a "what did we do right" person, than a "OMG what did we do wrong?" person.
Tricia: I like to go through it on my own time, but I love to hear our management give their thoughts and spin on it.
Who on the show panics the most over ratings?
Nick: That would be me. We'll get 2nd or 3rd place and I'll be livid about it all day.
Tricia: It's got to be Nick, you don't want to be within ten feet of him if he's having a bad day.
Shaggy: I'm pretty hard on us too, I take it personally.
And of course there's syndication. Following the cuts by Clear Channel, there seems to be lot of gaps being filled by satellite-delivered shows. Is this something you're considering as a show?
Nick: I say this with the most humility, we've been ready for a long time now. We are so eager to try it.
Shaggy: Why not? It seems like the next step for us.
Last question: American Idol is down to the final two contestants. I'd like each of you to give me your prediction of who will ultimately win. Winner get a couple of free drinks on me at Boot Camp.
Nick calling Adam Lambert, while Tricia likes Kris Allen. Shaggy, on the other hand, is hoping for a monster comeback from Anoop.