top of page
Z100 Classic Logo
102.3 KFIV
95-5 The Beat
WRCN
WAPP
KISS FM New York
POWER 92 Phoenix
Hot 97 New York
K94
Hot 97-7 San Jose
X102 Reno
Kiss FM Birmingham

RADIO STATIONS I WAS PART OF

It was an honor to be part of these Great Radio Stations...

CLICK ANY for more position insight on each

Stations

RADIO STATION SUMMARIES and AIRCHECKS

Hot 97

HOT 97 WQHT NEW YORK

Emmis Broadcasting

References

Ric Cummings, Emmis Pres.: RCummings@emmis.com

Steve Smith, Cox VP Prog Steve.Smith@coxinc.com

 

Positions Held:

Programming Coordinator

Research Director

On Air Talent

 

Dates:

Nov 1993 - Apr 1996

HIGHLIGHTS

  • HOT 97 was America's FIRST 24/7 Hip Hop Station

  • HOT 97 went to #1 ratings in NY

At HOT 97, I was Programming Coordinator, and was brought in by programmer Steve Smith (now VP with Cox Radio).  At the time, Hot 97 was ranked 7th in the market, and had lost it's identity as a dance station, afther the departure of PD Joel Salkowitz.  After being in Phoenix with Steve and seeing the rise of the influece of Hop Hop on the west coast, the decision was made to go in that direction in New York.  The result was not only a huge success for the radio station, but a change in the acceptance of Hip Hop as a music format in radio across the country, and as a lifestyle across the world.  Back in the 90s, radio still was able to define and lead the way in establishing trends, and the reality is, if HOT 97 wasn't there to cement itself in this new format in the #1 radio market in America, anything related to Hip Hop today may be totally different.

 

We were the first station to allow personalities to present the format (not just "DJs").  The jocks were part of the lifestyle of the genre besides just being on air talent (Ed and Dre, Angie Martinez, Funkmaster Flex).  HOT 97 was a groundbreaking radio station, of which it's impact is still felt today.

 

As Programming Coordinator, I was responsible for organizing the talent, making sure the formatics were correctly presented, and also oversaw the research department.  I also did an on air weekend shift to keep in touch witht he station and formatics, and make sure everything flowed smoothly.

Hot 97 New York Aircheck - Mike Abrams
00:00 / 00:00
Z100

Z100 WHTZ NEW YORK

Malrite Communications

References

Steve Kingston, Program Director: steve.kingston@wrnr.com

 

Positions Held:

Researcher

Asst. Research Director

 

Dates:

Feb 1986  - Nov1987

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New York's NUMBER ONE Radio Station

One of my first jobs in radio was at Z100, New York in the research department.   I was fortunate enough to work under Steve Kingston, Scott Shannon, and many other talented programmers.  The station was continually number one in NY during this time, and it was amazng to be a part of this legendary radio station at the start of my career.

KISS NY

98.7 KISS-FM NEW YORK

Emmis Communications

References

Steve Smith, Program Director: steve.snith@coxinc.com

 

Positions Held:

Programming Coordinator

Part of LMA Programming Tranistion Team

 

Dates:

Nov 1994  - April 1996

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New York's NUMBER ONE Radio Station

  • Highest Ratings of ANY NY Radio Station for 10 Years

  • 1st "Classic Soul" Radio Station - Started a national radio trend

WRKS KISS-FM because the very first station in NY to be LMA'd by another company, creating the first FM duopoly in New York.  Ay the time Emmis obtained KISS, it was a mainstream urban station, competing with Hot 97.  After seeral research projects which I was a part of, it was determined that KISS would take a "CLASSIC SOUL" and Smooth R&B approach.  While this is common place now, at the time, this was not being done at any major radio station in any market.  We started in December 1994 with several weeks of just "Classic Soul" to let people know about the change (and eventually added current R&B at limited amounts).  I worked with programmers VInny Brown and Steve Smith to get this station ready for air, including working on music scheduling and assembling formatics.  The result was a debut with a 7.4 sharte of the audience 12+, which was the highest ratings of ANY NY radio station since Z100 debuted with their "worst to first" book with a 7.2 10 years earlier.  Steve Smith had Barry White voice the station, and it became a phenomenon in New York.  The success of KISS in this format launched a wave of these type of radio stations nationwide (including KISS in Birmingham which I later programmed).  This was similar to what happened earlier with Hot 97 and Hip Hop.  It was amazing being a part of KISS, which was once 99X WXLO, then FM 99 (Disco), and finally 98.7 KISS FM (Disco/Urban).  This was a station I grew up listening to, and to be a part of it's renewal as a market leader was a highlight of my life.

POWER 92 KKFR PHOENIX

The Broadcast Group

References

Steve Smith, Program Director: steve.smith@coxinc.com

 

Positions Held:

Research Director

Promotions DIrector

Programming Coordinator

On Air Talent

 

Dates:

Mar 1991  - Nov 1993
Power 92

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Became ONLY Phx CHR Station after eliminating competitors

  • Highest Ratings of station (4th in Market)

Being part of the small team lead by programmer Steve Smith to bring Power 92 to dominance was amazing.  The statin was not owned by a larger company like our competitors (Edens, Nationwide) but by sheer determination, drive, desire, and programming skills we dominated the market, and ran each competitor out of the format completely.  This led to Steve Smith being tapped to program Hot 97 WQHT in New York (where history was made) and myself going there as well.

 

When arriving in Pheonix, there were 3 CHRs in the market.  More mainstream KZZP had been a market leader for years and was a mainstream CHR.  Y95 and POWER 92 were both more rhythmic, reflecting more of where the market was demographically.  KZZP flipped to a "Hot AC" called Variety 104.7.  This left Y95 and POWER 92. Y95 started experimenting with "Generation X grunge" by shifting their format to that direction at night, which totally alienated their listeners and sent them to POWER 92.  Both stations were trying to do what they could to pick up the old KZZP listeners.

 

In today's world, change takes time.  During the days of POWER 92, it was an actual eppiphany, something I still remember vividly, which led this station to it's greatest success and market dominance ever.  At one time, we reduced the talk and clutter, which was taking away from the "energy" of the radio station.  We tweaked the production with a more agressive edge.  ANd we removed the slower songs and ballads altogether, making the station an upbeat fun, music intensive machine.  Once that happened, immediately, the ratings went up, while Y95 went into the 2 shares.  Right before leaving Phoenix Y95 was sold, and changed formats altogether to COYOTE, an eclectic rock mix.  POWER 92 was 4th in the market with it's highest shares ever.  And then it was off to New York!

Power 92 Phoenix Aircheck - Mike Abrams (As Big Daddy)
00:00 / 00:00

HOT 97-7 SAN JOSE

 

References

Steve Smith, Program Director: steve.smith@coxinc.com

 

Positions Held:

On Air Talent

 

Dates:

June1988  - Nov 1988
 
Hot 97-7

HIGHLIGHTS

  • San Jose's NUMBER ONE Radio Station

  • Became ONLY Phx CHR Station after eliminating competitors

HOT 97-7 was a San Jose dance station, similar to Hot 97 New York. although programmed much more agressively at the time.  This was the first time I worked with programmer Steve Smith.  There were 3 CHRS in San Jose at the time... KATD and KWSS (whcih was a market leader for  years).  HOT 97-7 went to #1 in the market, and both competitors left the format altogether.  The energy level at Hot was amazing.  Steve was amazing at motivating the staff and treated everyone with respect and lke family.  I still remember going from the station in a Limo to a closed club, where food was served for a staff meeting.  The station had a weak signal, good jocks (but not market jocks that were there for years like on KWSS), and didn;t even have a music scheduling program (no selector!) , but it became an amazing formace in San Jose.

95-5 THE BEAT WBTS ATLANTA

Cox Broadcasting

References

Steve Smith, Programming Consultant: steve.smith@coxinc.com

 

Positions Held:

Program Director

 

Dates:

Sept1999  - June 2000
95-5 The Beat

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Highest 12+ Ratings in History of Station

After having much success at KISS and JAMZ in Birmingham for COX, I was tapped to program start-up WBTS 95-5 The BEAT in Atlanta.  This was a new station with a weak market signal, that was going up against STAR 94, a market leader.  While STAR was a very safe, "adult" type CHR, The BEAT aimed to disrupt, aiming for the younger end of the CHR spectrum.  In the short time I programmed the station, it had the highest 12+ ratings it ever had for  years after.  The station took advantage of STAR by explotiing it;s weaknesses.  There were many key artists (such as Sisqo and even Britney Spears) that STAR would not play or play at night.  We aimed to take ownership of these artists, and have a fun upbeat vibe to the station which paid off.  If you listen to the production aircheck below, you'll see it was all about fun and creativity (of course it was the late 90s and the sound is of that time... sounding "dated" today).  

95-5 The Beat Production Composite - Mike Abrams - Program Director
00:00 / 00:00

X-102 RENO, NV

 

References

Carey Edwards, Program Director: careysonair@yahoo.com

 

Positions Held:

Music Director

Asst. Program Director

On Air Talent

 

Dates:

Nov 1988  - Oct 1990
X102

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 4th in Market in 1st Book

  • Highest rated Night show in Reno

X102 wame into the market going up against market leader 97.3 KWNZ which had a monster signal.  We had a weak signal, which didn't cover the market well, and parts of the market not at all (Lake Tahoe). Even with that disadvantage, we went right to 4th in the market.  At night, we were rated #1 in every demo.  Musically, we were more agressive then are competitor, and under programmer Carey Edwards, did a lot of fun entertaining promotions.  The station was eventually sold and format flipped at the end of 1990.

WRCN LONG ISLAND, NY

Lenny Block, Program Director

John Graponne, Program Director

 

Positions Held:

On Air Talent

 

Dates:

July 1986  - Jan 1987
WRCN

My first on air job was in market 12, at WRCN in Riverhead, NY part of the Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) market.  It was an AOR station, and although I was not a huge fan of the format at that time, and it took literally half  a day to get to and from the station each weekend, I wanted to be a part of it, felt honored to be on the air for the first time.

WAPP NEW YORK

Doubleday Broadcasting

References

Gary Spears, Asst. Program Director:

@wrnr.com

 

Positions Held:

Researcher

Asst. Research Director

 

Dates:

Sept1985  - June1987
WAPP

My first paid job in radio was at WAPP int he research department.  I called Gary Spears while he was on the air, and asked about positions and that is how it all started.  WAPP just went from a rock station, to a CHR and was then at a "CHR/AOR hybrid" format.

102.3 KFIV

102.3 KFIV MODESTO

Community Pacific Broadcasting

References

Carey Edwards, Program Director: careysonair@yahoo.com

 

Positions Held:

On AIr Talent

 

Dates:

June 1988 - Nov 1988

KFIV was a legendary radio station, and the one that is imitated in the movie American Grafitti.  There were 3 CHRS in the market at the time, Q97 which was rhythmic and operated out of a trailer, KHOP which had a huge signal, and KFIV.  Even with a smaller signal, KFIV was a market favorite, and was entrenched in the lifestyle of Modesto.  This was the first place I worked on the west coast, and it was great being a part of such an historic radio station. 

K94 MONMOUTH-OCEAN, NJ

Press Broadcasting

References

Pat Gillen, Program Director: pat@allaccess.com

 

Positions Held:

On Air Talent

Music Director

 

Dates:

June1986  - Feb 1988
K94

K94 (formerly WJLK FM) was in the Monmouth-Ocean county market between NY and Phildelphia.  It did an amazing job reflecting the "local" flavor of the counties.  Pat Gillen was the PD, and I learned a lot from him in my early years. Eventually, I became Music Director at the station, my first director position, under then PD Tim Downs.

KISS Birmingham

98.7 KISS-FM BIRMINGHAM

H & P Radio / Cox Radio Inc.

References

David DuBose, General Manager: ddubose@charter.net

 

Positions Held:

Program Director

Cluster Operations Manager

 

Dates:

June1996  -  Sept 1999

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Birmingham's NUMBER ONE Radio Station

  • Highest rated Urban AC in AMERICA (AQH)

As Program Director at KISS, the station went from being brnad new to #1 in the market, and dominated 25-54.  Besides playing a great list of music, we had exciting events, special weekends, and mot importantly, we had great talent fromthe market.  Not only were they local, but they had ties to the market and reflected what Birmingham was about.  Although it was market 55, there was still a small town feel there, especially within the urban community.  Going up against heritage urban station WENN meant we had to challenge and solidify our place as a real home and place that cared about the market, which we did.

Use this arrow to go to next page

bottom of page