WMMR(FM) morning show personalities Preston and Steve have reached the two-decade mark working in Philadelphia radio together, and this year, WMMR is also celebrating 50 years on the air (now owned by Beasley Media Group). Additionally, Preston and Steve been nominated nominees in the Active Local/Regional (10 years or more) category for the 2018 class of the National Radio Hall of Fame.
To help mark the occasion, Radio World asked Preston about what it’s like to work with Steve at WMMR and how his job has evolved since the late ’90s.
Radio World: What's your favorite part of working as a morning show host? Favorite segment?
Preston and Steve: It’s fun. We get to laugh at work every single day. No matter what kind of mood I am in, I know that at least for a few hours a day I am going to enjoy myself.
My favorite segments are when we go off the rails on something unplanned and just nail it! Unfortunately, you never know when things like that are going to happen — but when they do and you’re in the middle of it, it’s pretty exhilarating.
RW: How has your show evolved over the past 20 years?
P&S: We’ve gotten more long form as the years have gone by, and we’re not quite as stunt-heavy as we used to be. You can get just as much entertainment out of the right conversation as you can with an over the top gonzo street bit.
RW: Has technology changed the way you approach your job? If yes, how?
P&S: In some regards, yes, it has. We can use social and text to get some immediate feedback, as well as more opportunity for larger contesting. But for the most part, we try to focus on what comes out of that speaker.
RW: What's unique about Philadelphia radio and Philly listeners?
P&S:They don’t take any shit. If you’re not being “you,” they can call you out on it. That’s why I think we’re a perfect fit for this city. We don’t put on any affectations. We don’t do any canned bits or taped interviews. It’s all live and real, and I think the city knows it and appreciates it.
RW: What has been a more significant development for you/your station — online radio streams or podcasts?
P&S: Podcasts, for sure. We jumped on it before most people had any idea what it was all about. At first management was pretty iffy on it, but we saw it as an opportunity to grab people who couldn’t listen to us during morning drive for whatever reason.
We encouraged fans of the show to share or podcasts with friends who either didn’t care for us or weren’t familiar with us. It ended up paying off big time. We had people get on board left and right after giving us a shot when it was convenient for them to listen. Most ended up finding a way to tune in to the actual broadcast, which, of course, helps the numbers.