On-Air With Erica
An all-access pass to the life
of a radio personality
By Megan McCluskey
Every weekday, Erica DeLong gets up bright and early to host one of the most popular morning radio shows in the Triangle, G105's"Bob and the Showgram."
Delong, a 30-year-old Durham native, has been in the radio industry since she landed an internship at G105, based in Raleigh. Although she lived and worked in several places after that, the Triangle eventually called her back home.
Here's a condensed conversation with DeLong about what it's like to work in radio and why the Triangle is so amazing:
"Bob and the Showgram"
Q: For people who don't listen to the show, how would you describe it?
A: Adult and crazy; inappropriate, but fun.
Q: What are some things you guys typically talk about?
A: Anything going on in the news, any celebrity. We pretty much cover everything, but we like to make light of situations when we can.
Q: You do the "Dirty 30" segment. What does that consist of?
A: It's all the celebrity gossip.
Q: Have you met any cool celebrities through that?
A: Yeah! Through this job in general, because I've been doing it since I was 19, I've met pretty much everybody. They're the same as us, they just have more money.
Q: Who's your favorite that you've met?
A: I love Beyoncé; I always love her.
Q: Is there anyone you still dream of meeting?
A: I still want to meet Oprah. And Mark Wahlberg because of my crush on him.
In the beginning
Q: How did you get started on "Bob and the Showgram?"
A: When I was 19, I started interning there. They hired me as assistant producer. After college I went to New York City, and now I'm back.
Q: How did you first become interested in radio?
A: Fortune Feimster [a comedian], who's on "Chelsea Lately" [a talk show on E!], was a friend of mine in college and she sent out this e-mail saying: "Hey you want to do this internship?" So I signed up for it, I was 19 and a sophomore in college, and they didn't ever write me back. But I was like, "They're going to write me back!" So I kept on and kept on, and then it took off.
Q: Where did you work in New York?
A: Premiere Radio Networks, where Ryan Seacrest and Rush Limbaugh are. Then I worked with a prep service [a company that researches the information radio shows report]. About a year into New York – I was there for four years – I started working for CBS radio; so I did that and Premiere.
Q: What challenges have you faced moving up in the radio industry?
A: It wasn't that difficult; I feel like I was at the right place at the right time. My New York job was offered to me while I was at "Bob and the Showgram," as assistant producer. We went to a radio convention and we were at Epcot Center around the right people at the right time. I jumped on stage to be funny and sing on a microphone when I shouldn't have, and they offered me a job.
The Triangle's best
Q: You grew up in Durham. What's your favorite aspect of broadcasting to the Triangle and living here?
A: The people here, specifically the listeners of "Bob and the Showgram," are like a big extended family. In places like New York and Detroit, they hear you but you're not as connected. I like the fact that here, because I know the area, I can do things in the community, whereas other places nobody cares as much.
Q: What are some things you've done in the community?
A: Bob's Buddies [a charity event benefitting The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation], going to schools to read. Peanut Butter [Brooke PB, another "Bob and the Showgram" host] and I started doing a monthly thing where we read to children at different hospitals. Plus, if you get listener e-mails, you can actually go and meet up and have lunch with these people.
Q: Your website said you had been to one of your listener's weddings.
A: Oh yeah! I invited myself, but it
An inside view
Q: What advice would you give to women who want to get involved in the radio industry?
A: Be yourself and be honest. Work really hard and try not to take shortcuts. Don't try to jump over someone else to get ahead.
Q: What is one personality trait you need to be a good radio personality?
A: You've got to laugh at yourself; I get made fun of every single day, but it's OK.
Q: What are other essential skills for your job?
A: You have to have a desire to want to win. You have to be a people person.
Why she loves it
Q: What's a day in the life of your job like?
A: Laughing, a lot of laughing. It's a lot of hours; it's not just sitting there talking. I go through a lot of press releases, about 200 pages of prep. I get there about 4:45, 5 o'clock and stay until 2 or 3 p.m. every day.
Q: What's your favorite aspect of working on "Bob and the Showgram?"
A: It's a challenge for me every day, and it's different and fun. I love it. The listenership is more involved than any show I've ever worked on. It's like a family; it's really and truly like a family.