Get to know WIFC's PD

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Posted by on October 24, 2008 at 14:20:03:

NAME: Tony Waitekus
MARKET: Wausau, WI
OWNER: Midwest Communications

10 Questions with ... Tony Waitekus

Please outline your radio career so far:
Started in Southern Illinois at CIL-FM/Carbondale, WTAO/Murphysboro, WHTS/Davenport, WERO/Greenville-Jacksonville-New Bern, WIXX/Green Bay, WIFC/Wausau.

1) How would you describe your first radio gig?

The first job was a blast with a lot of great people who still keep in touch and consider themselves part of a special family. And still are. We had high standards as most of us grew up in Chicago. We would accept nothing less than that level of professionalism.

2) What led you to a career in radio?

A radio class in high school.

3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?

Because Hip-Hop does not work here like in other parts of the country, we often have to find other hits to balance out our playlist. That can mean looking for hits. At WIXX, we broke "Hey There Delilah," "Paralyzer" and "Sorry." I also know of songs that are stone-cold smashes that spread all over Northern Wisconsin -- and still could be national hits if they were played, such as "Tongue Tied" by Faber Drive and "Your Guardian Angel" by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

4) What is your favorite part of the job?

Dealing with and discovering new music.

5) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?

I like root beer and pizza. (I guess they already know that.)

6) Could you give us a little insight into your on air staff?

Mornings are dominated by Dave Kallaway, Stacy Cole and Tom King. They put on an amazing show and are always on top of what is going on. PM drive is Belky, who keeps up the pace and comes across as your true friend. Mike Mathers handles nights, and is very passionate about radio and the audience. Overnights is Shannon Thomas voicetracked, who keeps everyone company while most of us sleep.

7) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?

WCFL and WLS/Chicago.

8) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?

It's all about the music. Finding it. Discovering it. Seeing the audience get excited by it.

9) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?

Be kind to the people who are paid to be kind to you. (Bill Gavin.) Don't burn any bridges. It's a small business. Everyone knows everyone.

10) What would you like to do to save radio from its "dying-industry" image?

Have radio be about radio, and not about stock prices and monthly trends.

Bonus Questions
What artist/act (living or dead) you'd love to meet and why?

Elvis. Why is not needed.

(10 Questions, All Access)

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