IT’S THE GREAT DONOVAN!!!!
Anyone who listens to Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, has noticed a new voice going out over the airwaves from noon to three. Donovan Lewis has been added to BaD Radio, and is on the air with Bob Sturm and Dan McDowell. He is the 1st black daytime personality since Chris Arnold left the station some years back. I had a chance to ask Donovan a few questions about his first 5 months at The Ticket.
DSB What brought about your move from 93.3 The Bone to The Ticket?
DL The company was sold to Cumulus Media Partners in early May and the guy I was hosting the morning show with on The Bone was let go to make room for a new morning show. Since I was doing sports on The Bone, management thought that it would be a good fit to move me over to The Ticket, particularly BaD Radio since they didn't have a third person working with them at the time like the other shows and since I've sat in with them on previous segments before it seemed to be a good fit.
DSB How would you describe your role on BaD Radio?
DL Usually they refer to a sidekick/third person role on The Ticket as a "yuck monkey", but I don't feel like I'm there to only do bits. I am there to bring my perspective to whatever is going on, whether it's sports, movies, television, or just life in general. I was told to just be myself and do what I do.
It was a little tricky at first, coming fresh into a 7 year old, established show and at first it was frustrating trying to find my role. It was right during the Mavericks championship run and I was very nervous coming into a new situation. But our 2 week trip to Cowboy's training camp in Oxnard really helped Bob, Dan, and I develop a chemistry as a team.
DSB What's been the response to your work at The Ticket so far?
DL Everyone, including Bob, Dan and management, have been very encouraging and supportive so far. They allow me to develop and execute my own bits and ideas with full support.
As far as listeners, there are always going to be haters. You can't possibly please everyone with the things you say or do, so you just have to let some of the negative things roll off. The majority of the people have been cool, and that's all you can ask for.
DSB You have spent the majority of your career outside of the Hip-Hop/R&B/Gospel formats. What's been your experience as an African-American male at the stations you've been on?
DL It's been a real eye-opener. I didn't know KLIF and talk radio in general existed when I started working there in 1993, and working in classic rock at The Bone was a culture shock. Growing up, everyone who loved radio wanted to work at an urban station, but I'm glad I took this route because you have to be flexible in this business or you won't last long.
Anyone that can survive in rock, talk and sports can basically work anywhere and that's a big plus. It also let's other people who want to get in the business know that there's more out there than hip-hop and R&B so they can keep their options open and they can succeed.
DSB Obligatory Sports Question – What do you make of the whole Bledsoe/Romo quarterback situation the Cowboys are going through?
DL I was shocked that Coach Parcells would change quarterbacks this early in the season. Bledsoe gives you the best chance to win now, Romo is more for the future, which I don't think includes Parcells long term. So for him to make that switch, it seems as though he has either given up on this season or plans to be here for a while to groom Romo into a winning quarterback.
He stuck with Vinny Testaverde for a long time and didn't pull him, that's why I'm surprised he benched Bledsoe. One bad pass at the goal line against the Giants doomed Bledsoe and possibly ended his career.
DSB Since you've come to the show, it seems like the guys go out of their way to let everyone know you are the black guy on the show, especially during "Why today doesn't suck." Does it sometimes go overboard? In general how do you handle it?
DL It can get old at times, seeing that the focus is just on me being black, but all the guys on The Ticket are like family, and family tries to find the buttons to push to get a reaction. I don't take it personally and I don't think bad of my teammates. It's only been once where I stepped up and said something rubbed me the wrong way and then it was squashed.
If that was the only thing they ever focused on then it would definetly be a problem, but since all the guys have been cool on and off the air, I know that's not the only way they see me, so I can take some ribbing on the air. It's a fun atmosphere and I feel I found the job of a lifetime.
Donovan Lewis can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 pm on 1310 am. or online at The Ticket website.