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Spike Eskin Finding His Calling at SportsRadio 94WIP

“I want us to be the most important and most well-liked radio show in Philadelphia.”

Derek Futterman

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Spike Eskin

Audacy found itself in a difficult spot when trying to retain Jon Marks as co-host of afternoon drive on SportsRadio 94WIP in Philadelphia, Pa. Marks had been working in the daypart since 2017 with Ike Reese and ultimately could not reach a new contract with the company. Spike Eskin, who was serving as the vice president of programming for WFAN and Infinity Sports Network, was involved in trying to retain him on the airwaves.

When that endeavor proved fruitless, SportsRadio 94WIP program director Rod Lakin began discussing different options to fill the void in the daypart. Lakin eventually asked Eskin outright if he would be interested in the position, something that he was not sure was a genuine entreaty. While he laughed off the inquiry at first, it was a potential opportunity that he found impossible to ignore.

As a result, Eskin spent the ensuing weekend thinking about his future in the sports media industry, a task that he presumes has come around once every half decade. Eskin had been managing within the radio business in various different roles for two decades and discussed the possibility of getting back into hosting with his wife.

Asked if that was something he would want to do, he remembers explaining that getting to host with Reese and producer Jack Fritz would be an amazing opportunity. By the end of the weekend, Eskin had decided that he would follow up with Lakin to gauge his level of sincerity about selecting to take that path. Lakin confirmed that he was indeed serious about the possibility, which from there began the process of exploring if the move made sense for all parties involved.

“If everybody was in on that, then it was something I would want to do,” Eskin said. “And then it just became conversations with Chris Oliviero, who was incredibly supportive, even though I’ve caused a big pain in the ass for him.”

When Eskin initially took the job to program WFAN and Infinity Sports Network upon the retirement of Mark Chernoff in 2021, he did so to maximize the opportunity at that time. Thinking back on it, he is not sure if he had an expectation that he would finish his career there, although he did render it possible that he could be there 10 to 15 years.

Eskin had more of a tendency to plan things out in his early years within the industry after graduating from Syracuse University. Early on in his tenure, he was the assistant program director at Q101 Chicago and WYSP Radio while also hosting the midday show on the latter platform. Eskin eventually joined SportsRadio 94WIP in 2012 where he worked as the station’s social media manager and an on-air host before being promoted to the outlet’s program director two years later.

Returning to the outlet that he left to take a managerial job in New York, albeit with the same company, presented initial nerves and doubts about his capability to thrive as a full-time host again. The last time he moved for a job, he successfully grew into the role and the grind.

“I think the reason that I was able to adjust to the job so well is that the staff was really open to thinking about things the way that I wanted to think about them,” Eskin said. “We all worked very hard and [were] very creative, and that made the experience at the FAN and Infinity Sports Network really great.”

The benefit that Eskin had in becoming an on-air talent again, however, came from coaching his peers, along with having a comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of a radio station. Combined with Eskin’s early familiarity with sports media watching his father, Howard, succeed as a host and commentator on radio and television, he was entering the role with an unparalleled skillset. On top of that, Eskin created and has grown the popular Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast centered around the Philadelphia 76ers, a venture he continued to invest time in while working in New York City.

“I think the thing that I’m missing obviously as a sports talk host in Philadelphia, though I have done it, is the number of reps that a normal afternoon drive host would have had at that point,” Eskin said, “but I think managing and growing the Ricky over the last 11 years has given me reps doing it better, just sort of not on the radio.”

There were difficulties in staying up to watch the games and doing podcast episodes immediately thereafter when he would have to be awake at 4 a.m. the next morning. Most of his time spent in New York City came at the office building and commuting from New Jersey, but he was able to grasp the zealous fandom and passion fans have for their favorite sports teams within the role. Eskin does not have any regrets in taking the role, examining it as a valuable learning experience that has continued to position him for future success.

“As a program director, I think my goal is always to have the people there – the hosts and producers and digital people who work for me and with me – to say that after I left, they’re in a better position than when I got there,” Eskin said. “…I think if you were to go to a lot of the people there and ask them if they are, they would say ‘Yes.’”

Eskin was involved in programming decisions borne out of the departure of Craig Carton from afternoon drive, including the new pairing of Evan Roberts and Tiki Barber. Moreover, he was also at WFAN when Brandon Tierney and Sal Licata were slotted into middays and Keith McPherson was added to host at night. Infinity Sports Network moved Maggie Gray and Andrew Perloff to morning drive under Eskin as well, along with adding Zach Gelb into afternoon drive and JR Jackson into evenings.

Former ESPN New York program director Ryan Hurley is currently overseeing both outlets in his new role as brand manager, a process that took several months to finalize. Eskin remained in his role at the company until a new hire was made in April, upon which he transitioned to hosting afternoon drive on SportsRadio 94WIP. Eskin knew that Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero was capable of making a strong decision and was available to answer questions or speak with potential candidates when asked.

“I tried to not allow my sort of like what I would do influence Chris all that much because it doesn’t matter what I would do,” Eskin said. “I wouldn’t be the person working with him, so it mattered more what Chris did.”

Eskin officially made his debut as a full-time co-host with SportsRadio 94WIP in mid-April to begin his new partnership with Ike Reese and Jack Fritz. Although he used to serve as program director of the station, he recognizes that Lakin is the manager of the station but also can leverage his expertise to make sound decisions with the show and guide it for success. Over his first month back at the station, he has not noticed any sentiments of disquiet or peril among his colleagues, some of whom he hired and/or promoted several years prior.

“To be quite clear, I have no desire to be the program director of WIP,” Eskin said. “I had that job, and I could have kept it and I didn’t, so I have respect for that job and I’m glad I did that job, but that’s not why I came to WIP [and] it’s not why I stopped being program director at [W]FAN.”

In reality, Eskin wanted the things that served as pressure to be motivating aspects within his career, such as hosting a daily sports talk radio program. Conversely, when he would be waking up to 120 unread emails that required his attention, he did not find himself enjoying the job as much. While Eskin does not consider himself a de facto manager in the new role, the afternoon show has utilized his prior stops and experiences to its advantage.

On the second edition of the new show, he introduced the “Bill of Spike,” rules for callers looking to express their opinions on the air. Some of these mandates pertained to callers getting to their point immediately, along with not asking the hosts how they are doing and not talking on speakerphone. Fritz came up with the idea after Eskin had mentioned the protracted, loquacious nature of some of the listener interactions. Although Eskin respects the audience and Philadelphia sports fans as a whole, he said there would be a new sheriff in town upon his arrival.

“I’m sure we’ll argue a bunch about a bunch of different things, but I do not take this all that seriously,” Eskin said. “I take my job seriously, but I’m not taking what we’re doing [in that way]. It’s not rocket science, so a lot of the time things like the caller rules are, like I want people to obey them, but the way we presented them was pretty tongue in cheek.”

The new trio is in its first full quarterly ratings book and aiming to make an imprint on the media landscape. Eskin has never hosted in any other daypart but still understands the inherent differences that exist in afternoon drive related to topic selection and how to best appeal to the listening audience.

“We’re trying to have fun and talk about sports and bust each other’s balls, and that is, I think, would be the same no matter what daypart we’re doing it in,” Eskin said. “I think you sort of attack the topics a little bit differently depending on when you’re on, but as far as what the show is, I don’t think about it too much differently than if we were in mornings.”

Since he has been hosting in afternoon drive, Eskin has yet to look at the ratings for his program but told Lakin to provide him with feedback and criticism if necessary. During his tenure at WFAN, he informed the staff that the ratings are what they are, but that they do not provide a basis for contextualization as to the rationale behind such computations. Eskin judges his own performance and that of the show from the on-air rapport and collaboration with his colleagues.

“A chef doesn’t think about making a popular meal – they think about making a great meal, and a great meal will end up being popular because it’s great,” Eskin said. “I want us to be the most important and most well-liked radio show in Philadelphia.”

As the show continues to move forward on SportsRadio 94WIP, Eskin aspires for it to remain on the air for years to come. When he officially joined the program, he promised Reese that he would be on the air for at least the next decade, although he realizes that the choices are not always made for the talent and that it is incumbent on a variety of different factors. For now though, he is concentrating on the next edition of the show and exuding his penchant for and proficiency of Philadelphia sports.

“We have to be successful, so I can’t predict the future there,” Eskin said. “I also can’t predict the future as to what I would want to manage or not manage…. I don’t really plan out that far, [but] I can tell you I am loving doing this. It feels natural, it feels like what I’m supposed to do, and I would love if this is what I did until the end of my career.”

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Charles Barkley Is Simply Irreplaceable

Needed: One former NBA Hall of Fame player. Need to have a personality that is larger than life. Can’t be afraid to laugh at himself or have fun with his fellow panelists.

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Screengrab of Charles Barkley on Inside the NBA
Screengrab: Inside the NBA/TNT

Hopefully we find out it’s not true. Maybe it’s a business decision or an attempt to get a better deal elsewhere. Let’s hope that’s the case, because there will be an emptiness on my television screen if there’s no Charles Barkley to entertain. The “Round Mound of Rebound” shocked us all last week by saying after next season, “No matter what happens, next year is going to be my last year on television.” It can’t be real.

Barkley hinted at this a couple of years ago at the All-Star Game, when he spoke on a conference call. Via the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend, Barkley said he has 2 years left on his contract “and that’s probably going to be it for me.” Barkley continued, “It’s been a great, great thing. I love Ernie, Kenny, Shaq and everybody we work with. But I just don’t feel the need to work until the day I die. I don’t, man. I’ll be 61 years old if I finish out my contract. And I don’t want to die on TV. I want to die on the golf course or somewhere fishing. I don’t want to be sitting inside over [by] fat-ass Shaq [waiting] to drop dead.”

After signing a 10-year contract extension, that included an opt-out if TV lost the NBA, Barkley seemed ready to continue to work. He told SiriusXM NBA Radio last month, “I don’t know what’s going to happen with Amazon, ESPN or if we lose it to NBC, so I’m not sure how to answer that question,” Barley said. “I just don’t know. Ernie would not go to another network – I’m damn sure about that. But I would listen; I would listen before I made any decisions.”

Could it be that the other networks involved in NBA coverage made their offers and Barkley wasn’t pleased with any of them? Or as I mentioned at the beginning, is he looking to cash in on ‘low’ offers from the others that may or may not want his services? It’s depressing to think that the boisterous Barkley won’t be part of it all going forward.

We, however, should be prepared if this is the truth and a decision that’s already been made by “Sir Charles”. So let me begin the process of properly saluting Barkley for nearly three decades of a job well done. Let’s coronate the King of the NBA studio shows and give him his due.

Barkley was one hell of a basketball player, he’s a Hall of Famer after all. He won the MVP in 1993. He went to the All-Star Game 11 times and had his #34 retired by the 76’ers and Suns. My point? As good as he was on the court, he’s even better off it. There aren’t many athletes of his caliber that fared as well if not better as an analyst than as a player. I’m sure there’s a young generation of fans who had to be told by a dad, older brother or uncle that Barkley was a great player in his day. It’s actually a compliment, because it means he’s transcending generations with his basketball knowledge and personality.

Let’s pick up on the personality that makes him one of the best to ever analyze. He’s ready, willing and able to be silly, outlandish and outside the box. The man is so confident in all that he does, he doesn’t care what it looks like, he goes with the flow. He can take it but can also dish it out with the best of them.  He has personality and its genuine. That makes him likable whether you agree with him or not. His humor is some of my favorite kind. Unintentional.

Barkley is probably the most honest analyst to ever analyze. He makes a point without tip toeing around things. If a play was bad, he tells you about it. If Charles disagrees with one of his fellow panelists on Inside the NBA, he lets them know about it. Not in the way someone like Stephen A. Smith would, because instead of screaming and carrying on, Barkley just makes his point. He may add some humor to the cause, to lighten the mood, but you know where he’s coming from. His credibility affords him the opportunity to drive something home, in a less combative way than most of the screaming heads on television these days.  

He’s probably one of the best teammates on a television show in history as well. Barkley is likely the most popular and well known of the group, yet he continues to ‘get along’ with everyone. As much as he ‘roasts’ his fellow panelists, you get the sense that there’s a great respect among the former players, who all played different positions in the pros. It’s a rare quality. I think Barkley realizes that the show is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s what makes the show so great. The consistency and respect make it work. 

The problem now is if in fact Barkley follows through on his retirement, his replacements are in a daunting position. It’s hard to be the guy to replace ‘the man’. They can’t be Barkley and if they try, it won’t work out all that well for them. I really haven’t seen anyone out there that can match what Barkley brings to a show or broadcast. Don’t get me wrong there are some very capable former NBA players that show some promise, but not to the extent of replacing Sir Charles. Jamaal Crawford, Vince Carter, Dennis Scott and Richard Jefferson are among the ‘next’ wave of quality analysts, but none are Barkley. JJ Redick is more suited to the game analyst chair than the studio analyst role in my opinion. Basically, what I’m saying here is, Barkley is not replaceable. He brings so much to the table and if anyone tried to copy or tried to be like him, they’d fail. Badly.

What would it take to actually replace him if you don’t believe he’s irreplaceable? Oh, not much. I can just see the ‘want ad’ now:

Needed: One former NBA Hall of Fame player. Need to have a personality that is larger than life. Can’t be afraid to laugh at himself or have fun with his fellow panelists. Must offer ‘takes’ that make people think and have opinions that you will stick with no matter what. Need to have a warm, inviting, non-broadcaster style that will sit well with all audiences, whether they agree with you or not.

Still don’t believe that he’s not replaceable? If you won’t take my word for it, how about that of a well-known and respected broadcaster? In a recent interview on Nothing Personal with David Samson, released earlier in the week, Bob Costas explained why he believes Barkley has the upper hand with TNT management in their ongoing dispute, which was punctuated by Barkley announcing his pending retirement over last weekend.

“Barkley, on a national basis, is as close to indispensable as anyone I can think of. And he knows that if he wants to, wherever basketball ends up, he can go,” Costas said. “Everyone will want him. It might not be the same as Inside the NBA … but he can go wherever he wants to go, and he will be welcome. And if somehow TNT retains the NBA, no one there is going to say, ‘screw him, we don’t like what he said, screw him.’”

I’m going to take it a step further. If they built the Mt. Rushmore of sports analysts, Barkley’s face would be in the George Washington spot. He’s that good. That means he’s a top four guy, keeping some good company. Also on that famous mountain in South Dakota would be Howard Cosell, John Madden and Dick Vitale. All were crucial in growing the sports they covered and becoming more famous in their ‘second’ lives than the first.

Cosell was a lawyer, journalist and radio show host before becoming extremely well known for his ‘hot takes’ on Monday Night Football. Madden of course was an NFL coach for the Raiders, and won a Superbowl title, before becoming an analyst on CBS, NBC and later Fox. He was best known as part of the duo of “Summerall and Madden”, along with Pat Summerall they called national games on CBS and Fox. Vitale was a former NCAA Basketball coach at Detroit-Mercy before hitting it big with his catchphrases and up beat analysis on ESPN.

I’m hoping that Barkley was only speaking out of frustration and that he will not follow through with his threat to retire after next season.  That would be terrible.

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Barrett Media Hires Jeff Lynn to Spearhead Music Radio Coverage

“Adding Jeff to our editorial team to spearhead our music radio coverage is important for building brand identity and trust across the industry.”

Jason Barrett

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Barrett Media is expanding its content focus starting on Monday July 15, 2024. I announced these plans on May 6, 2024. Since then, I’ve had many conversations to identify the right person to bring our vision to life. Music radio will be our first addition. Coverage of tech and podcasting will come next.

Making sure we’ve got our finger on the pulse of the music radio business is the first step. With over 11,000 stations nationwide playing music, and entertaining listeners, there’s no shortage of stories to tell. I maintain that coverage of the music radio industry isn’t sufficient. We’re not going to solve every problem and nail every story but we’re going to work our tails off to try and make things better.

So, how can you help us? Email [email protected] so we’re aware of your success, career related news, and how to reach you for future feature stories. Sharing our content on social media and telling folks about the website once it’s live is another easy way to offer support.

To avoid any confusion, we will not be writing daily news on artists and record label activity. It’s why I’ve continued to mention ‘music radio’ each time I promote this expansion. We’re looking to focus our coverage on broadcasters, brands, companies, ratings, content, etc.. Artists and music labels may become part of our coverage down the road, but that’s not our immediate focus.

Which leads me to today’s announcement regarding our Editor. I spoke with a lot of smart, talented people for this role. Adding someone with management experience, who has a passion to write, a can-do attitude, a love for the industry, and relationships across formats is very important. I’ve found that person, and hope you’ll join me in welcoming Jeff Lynn as Barrett Media’s first ever Music Radio Editor.

Jeff’s experience in the music radio business spans nearly 25 years. He’s been a program director for iHeart, Townsquare Media, NRG Media, and Rubber City Radio Group. Those opportunities led him to Milwaukee/Madison, WI, Cleveland/Akron, OH, Des Moines/Quad Cities, IA and Omaha, NE. All Access then hired him in 2022 to leave the programing world and serve as a Country Format Editor, and manager of the outlet’s Nashville Record promotions. He remained in that role until August 2023 when the outlet shut down.

“I am honored to join the team at Barrett Media to guide the brand’s Music Radio coverage”, said Jeff Lynn. “Radio has been a lifelong passion and pursuit of mine. To be able to tell stories of the great work being done by radio pros and broadcast groups is very exciting. They are stories that need to be told. I can’t wait to get started.”

Jeff Lynn with Jelly Roll

I added Ron Harrell, Robby Bridges, and Kevin Robinson as columnists two weeks ago. Bob Lawrence and Keith Berman then joined us this past Monday. We’re quickly assembling a talented stable of writers, and with Jeff on board as our Editor, we’re almost ready for prime time. The only thing left to do is hire a few features reporters. I’m planning to finalize those decisions next week.

Building this brand and making it a daily destination for music radio professionals will take time. It starts with adding talented people, covering the news, and creating interesting content consistently. If we do things right, I’m confident the industry’s support will follow. Time will tell if my instincts are right or wrong.

Jeff begins his new role with Barrett Media on July 1st. Adding him to our editorial team to spearhead our music radio coverage is important for both building brand identity and trust across the industry. I’m eager to work with him, and hope you’ll take a moment to say hello and offer your congratulations. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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Greg Hill is Turning the Tables in Morning Drive on WEEI

“I think this business is slowly moving farther and farther away from dollars being dependent on being the #1 station or where you’re ranked when it comes to Nielsen.”

Derek Futterman

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Greg Hill
Courtesy: Audacy

Earlier in the week, the Boston Celtics secured their 18th NBA championship. Across a variety of sports radio stations, especially those in the Boston-Manchester designated market area, the triumph was a subject of discussion on Tuesday morning. Within morning drive on WEEI, host Greg Hill provided his thoughts on the team and its achievement.

Akin to the Celtics, Hill aims to position his weekday program to thrive and sustain success. After working in the industry for many years, some professionals can exhibit a sense of apathy, but for Hill, it is quite the opposite, exhibiting congeniality and authenticity to the audience as a whole amid this quest.

Although Hill broadcasts on a sports talk station, the morning show spans beyond comprehensive sports discussion while implementing a variety of other topics into its daily discussion. In fact, Hill defines the breadth of topics into two distinctive categories, one of which is sports while the other covers an assortment of miscellaneous subjects mentioned on the show.

“I think it’s more beneficial if you are a radio person and you know what you think works when it comes to doing radio,” Hill said. “If you can find a way to keep the audience entertained and engaged and try, if you can, to present content that’s different than [what] they might find somewhere else, then that’s more important than necessarily a vast X’s and O’s knowledge when it comes to sports from my perspective.”

Sports teams in the city of Boston have established a tradition of grandeur and excellence, making a habit of remaining in contention for championships every year. In fact, the Celtics championship ended the city’s title drought that spanned just over five years. During that time, the media ecosystem has changed with a prioritization on digital distribution in addition to more niche content offerings. As a long-tenured radio host, Hill has been able to successfully adapt by optimizing the idiosyncrasies of the medium while also being open to innovation.

“The old adage about, and I think it still remains a unique advantage when it comes to this medium, is that when you wake up in the morning, you want to know, ‘What happened? What happened last night?,’ and you want to hear people give you their slant on it,” Hill said. “My function, I think, is to give everybody the opportunity to share their opinions on stuff.”

While Hill has become a respected sports radio host, he initially started working in another sector of the industry. During his time as a middle school student, he worked a paper route and saved his money to buy two turntables and several 45-rpm records. Hill would then go to the garage of his parents’ house and host a radio show with no audience, working to master the craft in his nascence. As he grew older, he started to bring his records to his high school radio station and take the air.

The passion and verve he possessed for the medium, along with his talent in the craft, helped him land a job at WAAF as a promotion coordinator. As he began to showcase his abilities, he earned chances to go on the air over the weekends and overnight. Morning show host Drew Lane later asked Hill if he wanted to do sports on the program, and he continued to grow from there.

When Hill was named the host of the new Hill-Man Morning Show on WAAF a few years later, he needed to find a way to stand out in the marketplace. After all, he was facing competition from Charles Laquidara on WBCN and a variety of other media outlets, and it took time for the program to eventually break through. Hill took the opposite approach of other stations in the area to render the show distinct from those on other media outlets.

“WBCN at the time was an older-targeted station, so we targeted the station towards Men 18-34 and figured that we could grow as they grew,” Hill said. “So we were just going out attending every single possible event where somebody might be, going out before concerts and shaking hands, and doing all that stuff that I think you have to do in order to try to get people to try your show and try your station.”

Hill’s program catapulted to the top of the marketplace, and he signed a lifetime contract after 26 years on the air to stay at WAAF. In signing the deal, he never thought he would work anywhere else, but things changed three years later when Gerry Callahan hosted his last show in morning drive on WEEI. Then-Entercom announced that it was adding Hill to the daypart to host a new morning drive program and retained co-host Danielle Murr in the process, commencing a new era for the outlet. Shortly thereafter, WAAF was sold to the Educational Media Foundation and re-formatted with contemporary Christian programming.

“I never thought [W]AAF would go away,” Hill said. “It was a legendary rock station, and I still to this day will flip by that station and hear Christian rock music and sit there in silence for a couple of minutes for that great radio station, but being the same company and the same market manager at the time [in] Mark Hannon, when that opportunity came up [to] try something different and to make a change, I was really excited about it.”

In moving formats, Hill and his colleagues evaluated the program and determined how they could grow their audience on WEEI while staying true to the essence of the show. The program, however, was going up against Toucher & Rich, the hit morning show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and others.

“I think this business is slowly moving farther and farther away from dollars being dependent on being the #1 station or where you’re ranked when it comes to Nielsen,” Hill said. “To me, the most important thing is that we’re doing what we should do to get partners for the radio station on the business side of things and delivering results for them.”

Hill is cognizant of the success of 98.5 The Sports Hub but articulated that the ranking does not matter to those spending money on radio. Instead, he claims that it is about the level of engagement and patronization of the product that facilitates interest in the brand.

“From a differentiator point of view, we’re up against, on the sports side of things, an incredible radio station that has done an amazing job of being #1 in this market for a long time with really compelling personalities,” Hill said. “I think it’s incumbent upon us to try to find ways to be different when it comes to our choice on content and the way in which we present it, and then outwork them when it comes to going out and meeting people who might listen to the show.”

Whereas Hill was originally a solo host during his early days on WAAF, he is now joined by Jermaine Wiggins and Courtney Cox, both of whom bring unique aspects that enhance the program. Wiggins, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, provides his knowledge of football and the perspective of a professional athlete. Cox is the youngest person on the program and has a unique approach from her time covering sports at NESN while embracing the humor and repartee on the show. Show producer Chris Curtis, who worked with Hill at WAAF, also contributes to the conversation as well and has helped maintain synergy.

“Whether it’s the co-hosts on the show or callers, I love when they are having fun at my expense, and I think that self-deprecating humor to me is the best,” shared Hill. “If we have a show in which I end up being the punchline or end up, whether it’s my age or lack of technological skill or my frugality – whatever it is – that to me is my favorite part of what we do and that personality coming through, I guess.”

Hill uses his platform to benefit the community through The Greg Hill Foundation, a nonprofit organization he founded to provide families affected by tragedy with immediate needs. He created the foundation in 2010 to celebrate two decades on the air at WAAF before the advent of crowdfunding in a quest to give back. The foundation has donated over $20 million to more than 9,000 beneficiaries during its 14 years.

“We’re lucky in radio because we have this incredible tradition of public service, and I think everybody in radio feels this obligation – this great obligation to use the airwaves to help others,” Hill said. “We’re granted the incredible platform in which we can actually get people to respond when help is needed, and so I wanted to be able to use that microphone and the radio station on those days to be able to help the beneficiaries in our area who needed it.”

Hill recently signed a multiyear contract extension with Audacy-owned WEEI to continue hosting The Greg Hill Show. Part of what compelled him to remain at the station was working with Ken Laird, the brand manager of the outlet who used to be his producer at WAAF. Moreover, he has known Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas for over two decades as he leads the cluster of stations in an environment with many entities looking to garner shares of attention.

“To be able to have the opportunity to work with those guys, know what they are, what I need them to do to keep them happy and to have the opportunity for us to, from a team perspective, that we have one clear mission in mind, and that is to be No. 1,” Hill said. “No. 1 in revenue and No. 1 when it comes to ratings, so to be able to sit there and go, ‘Alright, since I came here five years ago, we definitely have some wins, but there’s still a lot that we have to do,’ and to be able to do it with them together was way more interesting to me than any other opportunity.”

Even though Hill has worked in the sports media business for many years, he remains energized by the prospect of achieving goals and having the privilege to host his radio program. In the past, he has stated that he would like to slow down in his career, yet he is unsure what he would do without working in radio.

“That being said, I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn for 30-something years, and I’m definitely feeling it more than I used to,” Hill said. “But sometimes I think it would be fun to go and do one more radio show where I play seven great songs an hour, as long as I get to pick whatever I play and there’s no research and there’s no computer programming the music. I sometimes think about that, but I just love doing this.”

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