Mark Featured on AllAccess.com's "Ten Questions" (FULL)
NAME: Mark Edge
SHOW: Free Talk Live
COMPANY: Free Talk Live
BORN: Sarasota, FL
RAISED: Bradenton, FL
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
"Free Talk Live" is the first show that I have been on. It started in Sarasota, FL on Real Radio 105.9 in Nov '02, and lasted for 9 months. The station died, and we moved to 1280 AM, then 1220 AM. We were syndicated in Sept '04.
1. How did you get your start in radio- why did you choose radio? Why talk radio in particular?
I began in radio sales after I sold a gym membership to Big Jim Davis. It was the last gym membership that I ever sold, but I found, for the first time in my life, a career that I truly loved. I sold locally for Clear Channel Sarasota for about 3 years. Then Ian Bernard, my co-host, asked me to screen calls for a new show he had put together on our Hot Talker, Real Radio 105.9. Fortuitously, there was a mic in front of the phone. I got on it and haven't stopped talking yet. I've been a talk radio fan for years, and I love the opportunity to counterpoint the big boys on my show.
2. What are you passionate about?
Doing "Free Talk Live," and making truckloads and truckloads of money!
3. What makes "Free Talk Live" different from other shows out there- what perspective do you bring that isn't available elsewhere?
"Free Talk Live" is talk radio for Generation X. Both of the hosts are Libertarians. This is a political movement that is huge with males 18-44. Many hosts claim to be Libertarians, but they are really just Republicans that want to stop the Drug War. "Free Talk Live" attracts disenchanted Republicans and Democrats who are looking for a breath of fresh air.
4. The TV networks are doing what the radio companies didn't and are challenging the FCC's indecency rulings. As libertarians and free speech advocates, what's your gut feeling on how this is going to end up? Will the challenge be successful in court?
The FCC has turned rabid in the last few years, enboldened by the boisterous Parents Television Council waving the flag of "morality". Conversely, viewership of broadcast TV has decreased over time, making the powers of the FCC less relevant. It is difficult to predict how the pendulum will swing between these two factors, but it is hard to imagine a court doing away with the antiquated FCC. The First Amendment was put in place to protect UNPOPULAR speach. Popular speech needs no protection.
5. If you hadn't gone into radio, what would you be doing today?
Radio is such an important part of my life, I can hardly imagine. I had planned on moving to LA and seeing if I could get "discovered".
6. Who are your mentors, your inspirations, the people you've learned the most from, in radio or in life?
I have two Radio Mentors, one on the "Talent" side and one on the "Sales" side:
James K. Davis, as mentioned before; I would not have ever entered the career of my dreams if it wasn't for this legend of K-Rock. Jim made sure I had all of the tools, and understood all of the rules of Talk Radio. Whenever I needed advice, his door was always open. I feel so honored to have been able to have worked so closely with this great in the business.
Bill Weed, he taught me the right ways to get in front of clients and to make it easy for them to say "yes." While not the most empathetic teacher, this veteran of Chicago radio sales taught me how to keep coming up smiling in the rough and tumble world of radio sales. Bill is a real pro, and I am proud to have met him.
7. Of what are you most proud?
I am most proud of being named to Talkers Magazine's Top 250. I believe that this honor is what will put Free Talk Live on the map.
8. What do you do for fun?
I have tropical fish and a '76 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, but I hardly have time for hobbies these days.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _____________.
...my Treo PDA phone. I don't know how I made it before I got this thing.
10. What's the best advice you ever got? The worst?
Best: "Fall down 5 times, get up 6." Although factually inaccurate, it sounds better than "fall down 5 times, get up 5 times."
Worst: "Radio is a dying business." Nonsense!