Jackie O’Neal founder of Media Connections Lab, an online network for radio/TV hosts, authors, and experts in publishing interviewed radio host, Julie Spira as part of our series profiling the most dynamic people in media today.
1.What are you trying to achieve as a broadcaster?
I started out as a radio broadcaster over 30 years ago and have a degree in Communications (Television-Radio) from Ithaca College, Ithaca, N.Y. As a broadcaster, I am hoping to educate and entertain singles with my dating advice as well as introduce them to a variety of online dating sites and bestselling relationship authors.
I created Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show as an extension of my site CyberDatingExpert.com and launched it last year on Valentine’s Day. This was in conjunction with the launch of my first published book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online which became a bestseller.
Why is this important?
There are over 90 million singles in the U.S. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau). About half of the single U.S. population have visited online dating sites. It’s my goal to help other singles in their quest to find love online. By sharing my first-hand experience and recommendations, I am hoping to help the single world connect through my messages. I have learned a lot in the 15 years that I have spend online and am extremely passionate about sharing my story to help other singles.
2.How long have you been in broadcasting?
I started in broadcasting in 1975 as an on-air personality and voice-over talent. I was the first female on-air personality at WAAL-FM in Binghamton, NY, a 50,000 watt FM-rock station. My broadcasting career including working in radio syndication, where I was responsible for the sales of American Top 40 with Kasey Casem along with other syndicated shows, and then joined RKO Radio Networks, the first digital-delivered satellite radio network. I later moved into the satellite industry where I was providing live satellite feeds for radio stations for their remote broadcasts around the world.
Who/how did your career as a broadcaster come about?
As a teenager, I listened to the radio all of the time. My favorite station was WNEW-FM in New York, where Alison Steele – The Nightbird, was on the air from 10pm-2am. I listened to her show every night and decided that one day, I would have my own radio show as well. I went to Ithaca College, one of the best communication schools in the country, where I received a B.S. in Television-Radio.
Tell us something about a key person behind your media organization- what did they do before, what was their motivation, their other interests? How did they influence you in positive ways?
I didn’t have a female role-model in the 1970s in broadcasting. I met Jessica Savitch, also an Ithaca College alumni, and felt a tie to her as she had been the first female radio announcer at a station in Upstate New York as well. I was devastated by her tragic death. She was a brilliant anchorwoman who died much too young. To this day, I surround myself with Ithaca College alumni in my career. As a matter of fact, the Publisher of my first book went to Ithaca College as well as my publicist.
3.Describe any highs and or lows about working in media- personally or as part of your organization as a whole?
For me, having a radio show on BlogTalkRadio brings everything together –my radio experience, my Internet experience, and social media experience. It has become an integral part of my platform as The Cyber-Dating Expert. Years ago, I dreamed about owning a radio station. I regret not taking that path in the days before deregulation. Now, small broadcasters don’t have a chance. They have been bought out by the few large monopolies. As a young radio announcer, I enjoyed getting fan mail and entertaining rock fans. Now, I enjoy the comments on my blogposts about Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show.
4.If you could have anyone in to interview, who would it be ?
Walter Cronkite, but I missed the chance.
5.Is there anything unique to how you are doing things? What’s your approach?
My approach has always been about being a one-to-one communicator. The methodology and technology has changed over the years. I have remained at the leading-edge of technology, from land-lines to satellite to Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. When it’s time to go live, I always make sure I am smiling. I sound better when I do so.
6.Tell us a key frustration working in your field?
There just aren’t enough hours in the day. As a social media expert and dating expert, I keep on top of the latest social media trends to make sure my show gets the promotion it deserves. It now has a terrific following and it’s time to get major sponsors for the program.
7.Tell us something about you outside of work.
I volunteer my time for charities that I believe in. I am on the Board of Trustees for Jewish Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Los Angeles where I am a Big Sister and member of the marketing committee. I am also a member of the Board of Directors for the Costume Council at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
8.Where are you located? Geographically, what area(s) do you cover/help?
I am in Los Angeles, but my message is global. I have fans from around the world visiting my website and listening to my radio show. I provide dating advice, online dating advice, information on the latest online dating sites, and create IRRESISTIBLE online dating profiles for singles to find love online.
9.Explain the type of segments you enjoy doing the most and the type of guests that you are looking for.
I enjoy the segments with the CEOs of online dating sites and best-selling authors who help singles look for love, both online and offline. I am looking for guests in these categories for my radio show who will attract a large amount of callers.
10.What do you love the most about your work in media?
My loyal and devoted fan base. When I get an email after a radio show telling me how much they enjoyed it, I know that my time was well-spent. Reconnecting with my former broadcasting friends on Facebook and LinkedIn has been terrific. They remembered me in the old days as Julie Evans. It’s been a complete reinvention and my radio community has supported me throughout the years.
To learn more, visit:
My Site: Cyber-Dating Expert http://CyberDatingExpert.com
VIDEO: KTLA Mobile Dating http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9ZvzDZ2WhQ
VIDEO: Julie Spira on THAT Morning Show with Online Dating Tips http://vimeo.com/8372926
VIDEO: Cyber-Dating Expert with the Cyberguy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfKRX6dWyJ0
Have you ever signed up to a dating site before? Let us know about your experiences in the comments section.