WBLM History – How Dom Got the Gig at the Blimp! [PICTURE]
Getting the gig at WBLM is a BIG deal. Dom's story is awesome. He started out on the weekends and worked his way to the Night Flight. Check out Dom's story here!
Getting the WBLM Gig
It was the Summer of 2005 and I just finished at USM with a media studies degree. I had no idea what I was going to do with it - it's kind've aimless. I was just happy to be done with school and not really looking for a job in the field.
While I was in college, I worked at Channel 8 on Congress street. I was running the studio cameras in the control room for the news broadcast. That was a good job, but it ended when school ended and I was unemployed.
Later that summer, I bumped into a friend of a friend outside of Shay's in Monument Square. Her name was Kris Currier and she worked in radio as a very talanted, web and graphics designer.
Kris said they were looking for a 'board-op' on weekends at WBLM. My initial thought was, 'I'm not qualified for that. I can't do that job. I can't run the board over at 'BLM. What does that entail?'
She told me to get a hold of somebody named Herb Ivy. I had never heard that name before, and actually, I had never heard a name like that before. I knew of the Captain, but, I didn't know a Herb Ivy. So I just said, 'Oh, wow, that's great, thanks, nice to meet you.'
Two weeks went by and I still didn't have any work. I bumped into Kris again - and because Kris is awesome - the first thing she said was, "How come you didn't get a hold of Herb?"
That's when I was like, OK, I'm not naive enough to ignore a clear sign post like that twice. I decided I was gonna email Herb who, I found out, was the Program Director at WBLM.
I sent an email to him, and within the day, I got an email back, saying, "Come on in for an interview."
I got nervous and I put a resume together which, when I walked in, Herb didn't even look at. He just threw it to the side and went, 'OK, great, cool.' He really just wanted to know if I was into it. He saw that I definitley was and said, 'What are you doing Saturday night? Come on in.' That's what Herb is really awesome at - it wasn't about what had I done, it was about how much was I into it.
I came to One City Center that Saturday and job shadowed with Brian James. The Gu gave me the run around the station for a bit, and I did that with Paul Baker too.
My shift was 10-10 which meant 10pm on Saturday night to 10am on Sunday morning. I did that for a year and it was intense. I wasn't just staying up late, I was trying to stay up all night.
It was tough because I would go to bed at a regular hour all the rest of the week. I would get in a groove, and then come Saturday night, I would stay up all night 'til 10 in the morning.
At that point, I was just running the controls at 'BLM and I wasn't on air. After awhile, Herb told me, if I was interested, I could start taking calls and doing breaks at 2 in the morning. That was really, really nerve wracking for me. They paid me to board-op and that was crazy enough to me - just making sure things were running right. I said I'd give it a try, but I really thought it was over my head.
I had never spoken into a microphone for broadcast, and I didn't want to go live. I wasn't about to just start doing that. Instead, I'd just record the calls and put them in the system. I'd edit them so they sounded good and played them on the air.
Along the way, Gu - this is the story he told - listened to a recorded call of mine and thought it was a call he had done. He was confused because he didn't remember doing it. He starts looking into it and realizes that it was me. It was one of my calls.
So he was like, 'Who the hell is this guy?' He went to Herb and said, 'Hey, we should give this guy a shift 'cause he sounds alright on the radio.' Gu thinks we have similar voices and I think we do too in some aspects.
Based on that, Herb offered me a DJ shift because he knew how excited about it I was. That was really cool. People here at 'BLM could see that I was really into it - and I was really into it then, and I'm really into it now. I think Herb probably saw that I had some potential that even I didn't realize at the time.
Captain gave me a weekend shift on WCYY and I did that for a year. I was still doing the Saturday, overnight thing on 'BLM and it got to the point on Sundays where I had shifts on 'BLM, 'CYY & WCLZ. Same voice. Same time slot. I was using three different names. Nick on 'CYY, Mark on 'CLZ, and Donavon on 'BLM.
For the first two years. I never used my real name. I don't know why I did that, but I did it. Once The Night Flight happened, Herb said, 'Why don't you just use your real name. It's easier to remember for everybody.'
Getting The Night Flight
I'd been at WBLM a handful of years, and at that point, I was pretty much doing my part time shifts on all the stations, and filling in for people all over the place.
The overnight thing - they got rid of that shift which was awesome. After a year, I was pretty burnt from it. I was sleeping on the floor some nights. I think if I had been doing it every night - maybe - but that one night a week thing was tough and I was like, 'enough.'
Plus, it was Saturday night - so, I never once went out on a Saturday night for a year. I didn't care, but I was also playing music in a band around that time, so I was having to make things work in that department too.
I don't remember exactly how it went down when I got the Night Flight. It's blurry. I do know that Paul Baker, who had been at 'BLM for a long time, gave a two week notice because he was moving to Florida. I don't quite remember the details to tell you the truth.
I just remember going in and talking to the Captain about it. Herb's a pretty nonchalent, easy going person so it wasn't phrased like it was a huge thing. It was just kind've like, 'Paul's leaving, we've got this open slot.' He said that they hadn't posted the position yet, and threw it at me that they were feeling, 'Would I be interested in having a full time job at 'BLM, doing evenings, with benefits, you know, X amount of dollars?' He told me to take some time to think about it.
I didn't even blink. I just said, 'I'll do it. If you want me to take some time, I'll definately take some time, and I'll give you a concrete answer in a day, but I'll do it.'
I was pretty psyched. That was my first ever full time job out of college. Like just straight up - here's some benefits, and here's a salary. That was it. WBLM was my first and last job