Straight From the Mouth
The Morning Mouth's August interview with Paul Cubby Bryant
(Reprinted by permission; Copyright © 2009 Talentmasters Inc.)
1988-1990, nights at CHR WGH/Norfolk. 1990-1996, nights & MD at KRBE Houston. 1996-2006, afternoons & MD at Z100 NYC. 2006 to present mornings at 103.5 KTU.
Was adding "Cubby" your call or someone else?
My first PD in Norfolk used to make note of my name being the same as famous Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, but when my first on air gig happened at 16 he tagged me as "Cubby" because I was just a baby DJ. I used it on the air and it stuck.
What do you remember about your first radio gig?
It was a dream come true. I was answering phones for MJ Kelli and Jeff Moreau who were the night and afternoon jocks. I grew up listening to them and they were always open to answering any questions I had. Still have my first paycheck, $64 baby!
Who made it happen for you?
Jeff Moreau was the jock I used to call and bother on the request line noticed my love for radio, he was the first to invite me down for a tour and phone-op internship. Then MJ Kelli and PD Tony Macrini along with Jeff were the ones that said lets give this teenage kid a shot on the air. WGH was like my hometown Z100, so it was amazing to be a high school kid and working on the air.
Who were the shows that impressed you when you first got into the
Too many, lots of local talent in the area. DB Cooper (Roy Jaynes) Jeff
Wolfman Jack, Rick Dees, Casey Kasem.
Just so we get what "enquiring minds want to know,"give us the Whoopi story. When did you know the wheels were coming off?
I hate to sound negative but I knew first week it was doomed. It looked good on paper, but at the end of the day it was just on too many formats and had trouble finding it's niche. It lacked entertainment value I feel. It was great working with Whoopi and she couldn't have been nicer, but there were too many cooks in the kitchen and the direction of the show was never properly defined.
Was The View already in play when the radio show started?
Well actually, Clear Channel hired her a year before The View did, she was not working at all before the radio gig came along. The hardest thing for me was being a small fish in a big pond. I was used to driving the bus and on this show I felt more like a passenger. I feel I never really adjusted to that.
Tell us about your current show. Being in New York, you're in a land of giants and they want you to maintain a music presence on your show. How difficult is that while trying to compete?
We play 9 to 10 songs an hour and at first I thought it would be impossible. But we're keeping it tight and playing the PPM game and it seems to be working. Back in the Wake Up Whoopi days we were #17 25-54, but in the last month we've been hanging around 6th 25-54. It's been a year and a half and it's finally kicking in. Me and my co-host Cindy Vero and my producer Matt Bosso are friends on and off the air and I think the audience can hear it.
You just got back from Morning Show Boot Camp and PPM had people buzzing. What's your own take on this?
Hey, PPM is here to stay so just play the game. Everybody has ADD nowadays so you have to get into topics quicker, know when their dying and bail. Also, check your ego at the door and realize a song in some cases is better than a bit. I'm still getting a morning show salary for doing less and
Twitter's and Facebook's. Shooting a Tweet about a topic or contest coming up can be pivotal. In fact, follow me on Twitter and I'll follow you? My Twitter name is paulcubbybryant
What's the best and worst thing about doing a morning show in New York?
The best part is that there is always something to talk about and never a dull moment. The worst part is that there is too much damn talent on the air between 6a-10a but I'm up for the challenge.
With so many stations, how do you manage the guest circuit?
We do share a lot of the big ones, for example Shakira came up recently and since Z100 is in the same building it's one stop shopping for the label. But we do a lot off the air and send people to www.ktu.com.
If you could spend a day with anyone in radio, who would it be?
Probably Seacrest. I don't know how he does it, wait a minute, yes I do, $40 million a year!
Lots of radio tension these days. I'm appointing you President of Radio for a moment: What would you do first?
Hire back all the good people out of work, hell I'm the President right? We'll find the money!
Something you did on the air your first day back from Morning Show Boot Camp?
Wow, learned so much. It was my first boot camp and I felt pumped my first week back, I really felt how lucky I was to being doing what I do. We have a couple of small tweaks we're going to implement especially after watching the presentation that showed many people don't listen to the radio in the morning at home. That Arbitron study was eye opening. But to be able to network with so many great morning peeps a lot of fun topics were traded and used. Can't wait for next year. I'm hearing New Orleans? Hmmmmmm... I smell gumbo and lots of fun!
(Editor's note: that's just a rumor. Exact location to be announced soon.)