Being a radio show host is more than just showing up before your show starts and talking between songs – there are hours of work to be done beforehand.
Craig Fee, the host of The Craig Fee Show on Dave FM, said he has to be up and working hours before his show starts. “I have to do tons of prep before my show. I’m up pretty early in the morning, usually around five or six. It’s not work just for work though, I have two kids in school and two not in school yet, so I end up getting up when the two youngest decide.”
When he does get down to business, he said it’s a lot of browsing on websites that interest him and checking social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. He has to find interesting facts that interest him, but also news that will be of interest to the listeners.
Dave FM is a rock station that caters to Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge residents. They play a lot of music from the ’70s and ’80s and some from the ’60s, so the audience tends to be older and doesn’t care as much about the latest celebrity gossip. They care more about what’s the latest news on bands and relevant news that affects them everyday, Fee said.
Fee may be a radio show host now, but that wasn’t his original career goal. His plan was to be a commentator for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. After going to school for civil engineering and leaving because he wasn’t interested in it, Fee tried a few other programs while working at Western University’s radio station and learning the trade.
“I slowly migrated from doing sports to news and then having my own show,” Fee said. “I realized that my side hobby was something I could make a living out of.”
So he decided to go to Humber College for broadcast radio and 19 years later he still enjoys it. “It doesn’t feel like work to me, you can have fun with it,” he said.
Fee isn’t the only one up early for news research. Devine Drive show host, Mike Devine, is also up pretty early browsing social media sites trying to find the latest news for his audience. “I’m up at about 8 a.m. I’m all over the Internet and listen to the morning news.”
Devine’s show is on Kitchener’s 91.5 The Beat which is a Top 40 station. They tend to have a younger target audience, so most of the news and stories he talks about are light and easygoing. With the younger audience, they tend to be more interested in listening to the music, so there aren’t long breaks between the tunes.
Media had always interested Devine. His career goal was to be a music producer or artist manager, but he ended up gravitating toward playing the music instead of producing. “It was a fixation on radio and broadcast.”
His background was music-oriented. Devine was even a DJ, playing for young crowds at roller rinks. That was the only way to be seen and become known because YouTube didn’t exist.
Devine has now been in the industry for 22 years.
“I like playing the Top 40 format. It’s more fast pace, more of a challenge,” he said.