Tim Mihalsky – Host, The Block
By Amanda Belo
Sometimes internships result in more than school credit and a line on a resume. With the right fit, an internship can set someone on a path to a fulfilling career they didn’t even know they wanted. In 2007, Tim Mihalsky found his calling while interning at On-Air with Ryan Seacrest. During his stint at the show, he realized he was able to effectively form opinions about current events, and more importantly that producers valued what he had to say. While he always knew that entertainment was the industry for him, it wasn’t until his internship that he realized he wanted a platform to speak his mind. He wanted his own radio show.
Now with his own show, The Block, the young 20-something recently found success and can add the title of syndicated radio host to his resume. Picked up by FoxRock Syndication this month, The Block is broadcast from KRXA-AM in California and caters to 18 to 34 year-olds. The talk show discusses a variety of topics that this demographic finds appealing, informative and entertaining. The Block features news, interviews and regular segments on hot button issues.
“It is a water-cooler-style talk show about everything that is going on in the news. With this demographic, the majority of people don’t necessarily have one main interest; rather, they are interested in a variety of topics. The show makes it so that no matter what friend you’re talking to—the sports fanatic, political wonk, entertainment-tabloid-buying friend—you know the general gist of what’s going on. You may not be able to have a debate, but you at least know the top stories.”
The show features daily contributors, including experts from the sports, political, legal and entertainment worlds, and it also features the Hot Air or Headlines news segment, which discusses whether top news headlines are actually newsworthy.
Syndication does not just happen overnight, and Mihalsky worked hard to get to where he is now. From cold calls and pitching to making sure distributors were the right fit, he had his hands full. But for something he wanted so badly, all the work seemed like nothing.
“Prior to joining FoxRock, I would basically do the show in the morning and the rest of the day was spent calling stations and advertisers. It gets very old after a while, but I stuck with it because I didn’t want to go and get a job doing something I didn’t like, and I will always wake up every day excited to go to work and get to do what I do.” He added that he also wanted representation that would promote the show in a way that it deserves.
Mihalsky likes the national platform that syndication makes available to him as well as the prospect of opening the window up to a larger variety of guests. “I was on a few stations prior to the syndication. Now with the syndication representation and distribution, I get a larger variety of guests because more people want to be heard on the national platform.”
He said a big difference that comes with broadcasting to a national audience versus a local audience is that to connect with his audience, he can’t localize anything; whatever he talks about has to be relevant to the entire listening audience.
Just as newspapers and magazines have integrated new media, so have radio and television. Mihalsky is still a fan of traditional media, but he also finds the fusion between radio and television with the Internet interesting. He mentioned how YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have created so many celebrities who have transitioned to television, and vice versa. For his show, he primarily uses Twitter to communicate with, and create an interactive experience for, his audience.
“I promote my show, guests and endorsements all on Twitter. I also tweet my opinion and use questions tweeted by other people for upcoming guests. Twitter, for my show, is a way for people who miss the show or a segment they wanted to hear, to then go back and catch up. It’s instant and right there in front of you. Twitter is all about what you think and say.” He added, “I also like to tweet because it’s uncensored, without monitoring by the FCC.”
Although Mihalsky has joined the new form of radio and television (He also hosts an Internet-television show called TYT Now, a spin-off of the online news show, The Young Turks), he still finds relevancy in traditional media. One of his goals is to continue growing his national platform, eventually creating a television version of his radio show. He likes pairing radio and television together, which is why he wants to turn elements of his radio show into a television show. He said, “Each format is a different way to express your opinion and a different way to talk about things.”
About traditional radio, he said “It’s still relevant—you’re always going to be driving. You can put your podcast and listen to music on your MP3 player, but it may not necessarily be current, and a lot of people that I know don’t necessarily update their MP3 player so they can stay current.” For Mihalsky, radio does that for his listeners; it keeps them informed, entertained and engaged.
“I always just go with what I like and what I want to talk about. If people listen, great; and if they don’t, that’s their loss. And it seems as though people are listening.”
To reach out to the show and get more information about guest booking, contact and producer information can be found on www.theblockradio.com.
The show is available as a podcast.
Follow Mihalsky on Twitter at @TimOnAir.
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