My Interest in Podcasting, and Some Great Influences

podcast-microphoneFor those who know me, they know I like to be serious and have a good time as well, and I always call the ratio 70/30 – you can guess which falls where (getting down to business is an entirely different story though). For those who know me in person or have listened to me during a podcast know one thing that has stood out to many, and that’s my deep voice. In fact I have been told, all the way back since college, that I have a voice for radio. I did not graduate with a degree in broadcasting or journalism (nor had I done radio of any sort) – my degree is in sociology. The way I describe that is I can evaluate a situation pretty well, and what surrounds it. I have had a few misses where that’s concerned but for the most part my education in sociology has helped define certain situations and even successes.

In podcasting, one thing that you have to do is not only talk the talk, but also be aware of what’s taking place in real-time when the show is recording (or live if that’s the format). In producing the shows that I do or have done, I have to properly steer the show as well as determine any potential edits, if any, that may need to occur. At certain times there have been challenges with WiFi and such (in one show it went on for almost two minutes) and I have to listen intently (sometimes three or more times) to determine proper edit points. I have a terrific project manager at rAVe who I work closely with and he has continued to do an outstanding job with the AV Power Up podcast. I have been doing my own work with Audacity for certain projects that I do, including blog interviews that I conduct for rAVe Pubs.

I had detailed the experience at InfoComm 2016 and for me, while I have been involved in other projects and continue to seek certain opportunities, nothing for me compares to the scale of such a project. When I was in AV integration sales, the large projects, even the most challenging were the ones I put my all into as what drives me more than anything else is the challenge, although the smaller jobs certainly also mattered. In essence, it’s the full-scale scope of what you do that has to drive you toward doing more.

When I took over AV Power Up as host in January of this year (after my good friend Christa Bender went on to do her own rAVe show Tech Chaos) it was time to put some of my influences into play as well. Now there are those who have compared my voice (and in some cases demeanor) to Howard Stern’s and I guess that’s logical – it’s deep and the tone can be in reaction to certain subject matter discussed. Howard Stern certainly has been one influence of mine, however for those who listened to his show – Don Imus (Imus in the Morning) was actually one of my greatest radio influences. I would listen to him every morning on the way to work in New York City back in the 80’s and early 90’s. In fact, Don does an Imus in the Morning podcast show now – “Vinnie from Queens” being one of his subjects, near to my heart since I grew up in Queens, NYC.

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Where you talk about TV, some of my best personality influences were the great Tim Russert (Meet the Press), Chris Matthews (Hardball), John McLaughlin (The McLaughlin Group, a Sunday morning roundtable show that followed Meet the Press which still takes place on podcast) and yes, Morton Downey Jr., (who was also a radio show host) who presided over “The Morton Downey, Jr. Show” in the late 80’s and 90’s and never hesitated to take on, and even challenge a topic, guests and even his audience – highly unique and controversial on TV at the time it began. Here’s a classic video compilation from the show:

For those that host podcasts (as well as do industry interviews like myself), there has to be someone who helps or has helped put the thrust behind what they do – be it an influence in media or even in their own life. As podcasting has become a true passion for me, it goes without saying that what drives me are the influences I’ve had, even way before knowing they would become a part of this recent addition to my life.

One thing to add though, is that this can never truly be accomplished without the team as a driving force as well – since the beginning of the AV Power Up podcast in March 2015 I can lay claim to having the greatest team of Crew members that one could ever ask for. The Crew went through a change-over beginning in January of this year, however we never missed a beat – the true meaning of a total team effort, which is the only way anything you set out to do can succeed. I owe it to them all as influences as well.

A tribute to my great Crew members past and present, as well as outstanding guests of the show:

AV Power Up! – Episode 59: Friends of AVP at InfoComm 2016