Don Anthony: Morning Show Boot Camp
Updated: 5 days ago
If you've ever been in radio in North America, either as a producer or as talent, you've probably heard about Morning Show Boot Camp. Heck, you've probably heard us talk about it on the show before. But why should you care?
Well, for starters, it's been a killer resource for training radio talent since the 80's. Most broadcasters have either been to a session or know someone who has, because it's developed a reputation for being the best way to keep your on-air skills sharp. And today, we've got one of the original founders of the Boot Camp, Don Anthony, to tell us about how it's evolved and why it's still incredibly important and relevant.
Don knows, as should everyone, that people just don't listen to radio for the music anymore. Sure, it's nice to find a station that plays your favourite songs, but it's even nicer to be able to pull them up on Spotify or Apple Music and play them anytime. So the question remains: what's the draw of radio in 2023? Don's answer is simple. Streaming services don't have a personality. Radio stations do. He talks to us about the importance of a good host, and the ways Morning Show Boot Camp helps on-air talent learn to harness their entertainment skills. He also shares some of his favourite experiences from the last 35 years of watching people become famous right in front of his eyes.
If you want to stay updated on all things radio, check out Don's website, The Morning Mouth.
You can also sign up for their newsletter, Jockline, to get updates on all the latest radio news directly in your inbox. Submit your email, first name and last name here to register.
One of the things Don asked me in this episode, was what new subject matter should be explored. I can safely tell you that I did not get the question right. The correct answer is "NEGOTIATION". In this era of non-compete's, NDA's and digital rights.... this will be stellar.
Here is a fun moment from last year's even in Chicago where everyone took full advantage of discussing the implications from an erectile dysfunctional ad leading the stopset.
Tara Sands (Voiceover) 0:02
The sound off podcast. The show about podcast and broadcast... starts now.
Matt Cundill 0:13
Morning Show boot camp has been a fixture on the radio calendar since the late 80s. As a former program director, it was one of those discretionary budget items where you can send yourself and or the morning show off for a few days of living and learning alongside other people who get up at 3:30am. One of the things we know in this post pandemic era is that listeners are coming to radio stations for personalities marginally more than for the music. You can get the music anywhere, but personality leads to station ality. And while other events weren't held or moved online and 2021 and 2022. Morning Show bootcamp was in session. Don Anthony has been putting on the event since it's on set. And I have reached out to him today to help you make a decision on whether or not you want to attend the show, which is held every summer. Don Anthony joins me from Atlanta. You know, somebody said, Are you gonna stop your podcast? I go, I can't because I haven't interviewed Scott Shannon yet.
Don Anthony 1:09
Have you met him? Do you know him?
Matt Cundill 1:11
I've never met him. He's an idol of mine actually growing up.
Don Anthony 1:14
I'll send you an email and introduce you. He's very reachable, and very responsive to things. And a good guy. I've known him for a very, very long time. And the funny thing about him is that I was really terrible. Not terrible. I was just an okay DJ in New Orleans, and he was in movil Alabama. So you know, here he is this higher than bigger than life personality. And so we met him. He says, Don, I used to listen to you all the time in New Orleans. Oh, man, you were so good. I'm thinking, Scott, you're way too nice. But anyway. So that was that.
Matt Cundill 1:51
Scott's story starts I believe at WAAB in Mobile, Alabama? Where does your story start?
Don Anthony 1:59
Oh, I think they're legit start was probably a small station. And well, I worked at KRB in Houston. So long ago, it wasn't contemporary CHR back then. I was still in high school. And I just wanted to I was one of the radio geeks that everyone you know, when people sign my yearbook that always they can't wait to hear you on the radio. And I'd always get the you know, make me the PA announcer of school announcements. And so I ended up getting a job and I literally somebody said, you know, what you have to do and you heard this before, remember when if you want a job, right? You just keep knocking on doors, knocking the doors to people sooner or later to get a job. And I literally did that. So I went over to all the stations in Houston, and into formats. They were I just wouldn't say you know, Hey, my name is Don, I'm really want to get radio. Um, so let's go want to get out and go to school. Anyway. True story July 1. I can't remember the year it was a long time ago. But July 1, the day before my birthday, I had knocked on the door and the the PD was on the air. And he pulled his headphones off and spins around and see if he waved me in. And so I come in and he says, How can I help you? And I said, Mama Mama. And I'm what I want to be a DJ and he said, Can you be here tomorrow? Can you be here tomorrow to be Walter absorbed that you want me to be here tomorrow. And what I didn't know is back then that station was classical. And I knew nothing about classical music. And it was all subscription. So people knew exactly what you're going to play. You just follow the follow the Lord and occasionally introduce very sanguine and I had a pronounciation book to learn the differences, Wagner and Wagner and so forth. But I mean, I did horribly but you know, it was enough to get my feet wet. And all that got into school, I got a job offer in Louisiana, small city. And then I first started in mornings those city called Alexandria, Louisiana, then I made my way up to Monroe, Louisiana. And then from there got hired from New Orleans. And that's where I pretty much ended my on air career. And from there, I ended up in the West Coast went to Denver where I was running a marketing and research company. And in 1985 I had the idea to start with something I always wanted to do. I started a headhunting firm called Talent masters. And it was a pretty viable industrial company for over 25 years. Until consolidation station, the industry just shrunk. And you know, people were finding jobs and magazines and online services what but then 88 or 89 Actually, we started the morning should boot camp, two things I just wanted to do three, I want to be on the radio, I want to start a convention, and I wanted to publish a newsletter. And so I've managed to do the trifecta, but we still you know the conferences and also the daily newsletter. And that takes me to where we are now. So we've been doing boot camp now it's our 35th year and we've been doing the publication since 95. So and the reason we did the publication we wanted to market, the conference. And that was the reason we did that.
Matt Cundill 5:05
And for those who have not yet signed up for this, how do we sign up for it? Because I know there's people who aren't signed up.
Don Anthony 5:11
I'll have to send you a link, because it's kind of a lengthy link, you have to plug into- and don't ask me why, was just what they sent me was just four letter compared to it. But I will send that to you, which you can include in your post production.
Matt Cundill 5:21
Perfect. For anybody who, by the way, wants to sign up for that publication and get that sent to them. You can find that in the show notes of this episode. And of course, it's completely free. What do you love about working and being around talent?
There's a lot of things. And you know, I just spoke at a college last weekend. And I'm still one of those believers. And I want to discover the next big star. And in my career, I've been fortunate, especially in headhunting, I was able to uncover a couple of people that a few people actually that ended up becoming quite huge. And that's always gratifying. So my favorite part of what I do is finding new talent discovering new people. And it's becoming harder and harder because the proverbial farm League, what you're doing now is probably as much of a farm league for a lot of people doing podcasts. That's a good link to getting on the air. So that's certainly and I enjoy, I enjoy young talent I enjoy I don't I certainly like people that are mature talent, people have been around a long time, people like the bird show, and Dave smiley, and just name the show is there all day, Brian, and Minneapolis closer to you. And Mojo and Detroit. These are all phenomenal personalities and listen, as someone who kind of brought a new meaning to the word average, I'm in awe of really great talent.
Who's someone, and it could be from any era, who was on a trajectory for some other completely different career that you convinced you should really pursue radio just a little bit more, and has made it?
Don Anthony 6:47
I don't want to name names, because a couple I'll tell you why. Because some people would not want to share something very personal, I have had issues with some a couple of people that were on the brink of saying, I've been doing this thing for so long, I'm really you know, had it, I haven't gotten a break. And I kind of talked them out of it. I never, I always tell people that, you know, get into radio because it's easy. You find a job you find somebody to fund a program directors that believe in you, someone that will take you to another level, etc. But it's very hard. And right now, I think in the last year or two, I have come across, you know, I think the reality is where we are as a business, there are more people that are, you know, kind of deciding what to do. If you did you ever follow any of the AQ studies, the air talent questionnaires for Jacob says, I have that on the list to discuss, but go ahead. Yeah, those are in my opinion, you know, it's the callate opportunity to really speak up. And I always say, Fred, and I'd go back for too long. I don't want this to be everything that's wrong with the business kind of thing I want it to be this is information is what we're feeling. This is what we're going through. Here are our thoughts. And so they have a voice. And I think he's done a good job of kind of walking that line, but at the same time, making it very honest. Look, I got a call recently about the non compete, non competes going away and people not wanting them. And somebody called me up and asked me if I wanted to participate in an article he was doing. And I said yes and no, yes. Because I'd like to say something but no, because I can see both sides of the aisle on a very popular syndicated show. So you know, we lost somebody a while ago, that worked with us for several years, we took him from nowhere into a really established personality. And so suddenly he's negotiating, it falls apart. I don't want to see him go across the street and start competing against me. And I can see that. On the talent side. I certainly see I don't like when somebody leaves a job, let's say involuntarily. Somebody comes a couple of your budget cuts and you're out. And then all of a sudden, this person is on the beach and can't work in that market. I totally understand the situation there. But no, I mean, I think for things like that. I mean, you certainly. Oh, go back to your question. I'm very good about evading answers on it. Yeah, there are people that I've come across that were working in the wrong place. Okay. I'm sure you've met them. They were just in the wrong station. And getting nowhere, not the right people working with them. And they suddenly went somewhere else and things just happened. But like I say, I do love and I'm sure you do, too. I love when you come across a talent that you just see blossom just turned into this giant star. I remember a conversation many, many years ago, Mark and Brian, who were on the way to, I call them about the station in Los Angeles called Cale Lewis. And I'll never forget, I can't remember it's Mark Brown, one of the two said, Do you really think we'd work in a classic rock for him? Today? No, he's on Chr. And so yeah, I'm very glad, by the way that I said absolutely. And and there are other shows. Somebody came I believe that was originally from Canada. Let me think. Jeff and jer were they in Canada or Detroit? I think Detroit, Detroit, close to Canada and we got them to Chicago and then we got them to San Diego. And that was just a terrific journey to watch, they turned into one of the most recognized and famous shows in San Diego. So when did you start Morning Show boot camp, we began planning for 88. Our first show was in 89, we wanted to put together a, a little weekend thing that prepared people for the big fall book. So my thought was, if we could, you know, convince a couple of dozen talent to be able to come in and do this thing, you know, and we can help grow it and so forth. That it would be a good idea, because at that point, big morning shows really didn't have on top shows, really didn't have their own thing. There were seminars and things designed for talent, you know, general talent, and so forth. And but I really wanted to focus more on the high profile talent. So we started the morning, show the recap, I wanted to make it special. And I borrowed $20,000, to market it and give us a logo and give us a program guide and do whatever. And I'm here to tell you, I've shared the story before we lost $20,000, very first year. And we had about 100, we got about 130 people to show up that your lot of you know people just do something new, something different. No sponsors, but it was strictly new, a lot of people were coming in. And I knew I had lost money. But I kind of read the room. And I just knew it would work and knock on Formica or something. We have not lost money since then. We've never gotten rich off of it. But it's it's a in my, in my opinion, the opinions of others. Thank God. It's a it's a fun event. It's a very energetic, very vibrant. We try to keep people who's leaving, just say how do you you know, how do you if these people don't, they seem so after an energetic and what's the key and really met, I think the key for us has been bringing new people into the event every year. And infusing a young, young young young face of new people, newbies who meet established vets. And then there's that chemistry. And so all these people understand what it's like to be sleepy at four o'clock in the afternoon. And it's been a great, great event. By the way, I'm motivated at the end of my part as I am, I'm very encouraged and usually motivated by what takes place.
Matt Cundill 12:20
What was the effect of consolidation in the 1990s. And then sort of into the 2000s, as you sort of see with talent and how it sort of correlated with with the event, if any?
Don Anthony 12:32
Well, we've always had a lot of people believe it or not, there are a lot of people that pay out of pocket. I mean, as a tradition, I will drive to the event, only two events we've done that I haven't driven to what was in LA and what was in Vegas, because I live in Atlanta, that's a bit of a hike. But one of the shows that used to come in the early days of bootcamp used to drive from the Quad Cities and every year they packed the car, load the show on it and drive to boot camp. And as a tribute to them every year and decided I'm gonna get in the car, pack it up and drive to where you are. It just kind of has a young a humble touch to what we do. Consolidation we've done well, and it's it stays because so many people pay out of pocket, they're not overly reliant on Well, the biggest difference is stations used to pay for most everything. Station by and large would cover a lot of their shows a lot of shows had bootcamp under budget. A lot of shows had boot camp under contract to come to boot camp after consolidation, things a little tighter, and that kind of went away. But I will tell you that with the good fortune of great friends. And I at the risk of leaving totally out I won't go through that we have some phenomenal people of supporters and groups and whether it's Odyssey, cumulus Beasley Hubbard I heart we have some terrific friends who really supported us and believe in what we do. And they've kept it where the effects of consolidation haven't really heard us. Listen, we did to two of our last events, one sort of right at the very not the tail end, just as COVID was kind of fading. And then we did it last year, last year was terrific. And we certainly feel we're on track to have another great month this year as well.
Matt Cundill 14:20
I think one of the nice things about driving to the event is all the radio you get to listen to on the way.
Don Anthony 14:25
Yeah, oddly enough, you're- take me at my word, I actually try to listen to a lot of the shows that are going to be there that are new. And I will purposely try to go to some of their stream shows whatever, just so I'll know them. The single greatest thing I've always found you can say to someone when you meet them a talent, and I know you know this. Hey, I was listening to your show. I listened to your show. And some guy in Saginaw I'm using it just generically it he knows you've listened to the show that just means so much to them. When somebody knows you know knows your name when somebody you know recognizes you from- if you meet somebody and tell you, Hey, weren't you in this city in that city, it's a really good feeling. So we've really tried to stay true to that core, so.
Matt Cundill 15:09
You touched on it, and that's the pandemic. And somewhere in the middle of all of it from, you know, 2020 and beyond, I get the feeling that morning show boot camp went from being something that was nice to go to, if you had the budget, to, you gotta go, because it's really about talent more than ever. And some of the research that Fred Jacobs has done with tech survey has really shown that people are coming to the radio for personalities, more than they are for music. And that means talent is not as indispensable as they once were, they're actually more in need than ever before. Are you getting that feeling from the last couple shows you've done?
Don Anthony 15:53
Our tagline has always been, it's all about the show. And Matt, you know this, having programmed, great radio has always been about the show. And with all due respect to music, and the music and radio business had an unbelievable relationship, right? For 50, 60 plus years. And then all of a sudden, all these new platforms came along. And people could literally render music, who want to listen to music, they have all these new platforms, and they can share and you know, choose here, choose there, but there's only one great personality and that, you know, wonders great personalities that they want to listen to. And they can't get that anywhere else except that station from that show. And people are saying to, you know when to give me that line about where's the where's their talent, I can start naming names, because there are a lot of really good personalities out there that basically drive the car. They're the ones who get people to do by the way, the argument is that people get into is that if you've been in radio for more than 20 or 30 years, the question always comes up. How was talent today compared to 30 years ago? Don't you think? You know, well, it's fair and unfair to ask, because listen, I would have killed 30 years ago to have had the internet, or 40 years ago, you've had an internet to be able to, you know, pull, you know, get show prep, good ideas, good stories. And, you know, when USA Today came out, kind of dates me, that was like a big thing for you know, wow, USA Today, look what I've done. But that's all changed in a good way. So I think putting on great shows is still the, the engine that drives the truck. And I think that, you know, I'm all I'm a total advocate for great talent. Always have been when I when I come across, I was at this. I've spoken to college last Saturday. And there's a young guy, very quiet, kind of recalcitrant, sort of shy and not saying very much. And then we got into an air check session. So both myself and the guy who's running this program, we listen to the air check his first couple of weeks was in an urban station or kind of a kind of older, more classic urban kind of station. College. Okay. He was great. He was great. And then he popped out a video, he was phenomenal. I'm saying, I looked over the guy. He says, Who is this guy? And when you ask for you before, what makes life exciting that when I hear somebody who I think has potential, and I told him this in the air in the critique, it says, Look, you're ready. You may not be ready for a major market right now to go. Certainly weekends. You can get jobs and a lot of things for people, you know. So that's what's really all about. So in terms of where we are meant, I think that yes, it's a different time in our business, but a lot of change. I know technology has been front and center of late. But I got to tell you, great talent always cut through. Always does. And that's been true for talk radio. It's been true for rock radio, I mean, you know, just all the things that have happened over the past 30, 40 years. Sometimes change scares people. But at the same time, there's a shimmer of life that says, hey, wait a minute, there may be something we can learn.
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Matt Cundill 19:29
I'm sure that's gonna come up again this year, and that's that AI discussion. I personally find the discussion to be a little bit much. I just think that you know, you and I have been around talent for so long that we know it's just going to cut through and people are always going to have a yearning and desire for it. And I'm not- I'm certainly not afraid of any one of your attendees ever being replaced by AI at all. Am i naive?
Don Anthony 19:54
No, listen, I think the great shows are not going to be you know, I'm- You know, not Never, not big words, but I don't think it's intended for that. And in my personal opinion, as we sit right now, I think it's just too early to comment with any, you know, just I mean, people are using it, it's been around for a while, it's being used in a lot of different industries. But when talent hears that, they immediately think of, you know, job replacement. And I think that maybe in a few months, maybe a year, we'll know more about it. I just personally think it's, I'm not trying to tell somebody what they want to hear either. But I think for really good talent, they're going to be fine. Some of those shifts, or Dayparts, were there maybe four bucks an hour, things are happening? Hard to say. But no, I tend to agree. And we are developing a session, because I believe we'd be remiss in not having a discussion on that. But just where we are now, even two months, even two months away, I think it may change.
Matt Cundill 20:56
How did you involve Fred Jacobs in the AQ studies? What was the genesis of that?
Don Anthony 21:01
Giving talent a voice, you know, all the surveys that people do, so it's, you know, it's all feedback from these people, that people, audience members, and on and on. And I like when I talk to shows that are being totally candid, about what's going on how they feel what's going on, and I want them to have a voice. And so boot camps always been that kind of, we give them a voice. I remember, in the early days, when people had not been to boot camp, they come and say, cheese, they use some pretty foul language and some of these sessions. We allow them to speak the way they want. And you know, it's a private event. And it's their chance to really speak out, they given sessions very open about it. Is there been some other issues, too, when we first began, I think, if you look at our sessions, and what we do, and worked on the last few years, actually, the last 30 years, we've always tried to make it more diverse, give women a voice as well. So we had the Women's Forum. And I can tell you very candidly that in the first you may 2 year, we had trouble getting women on panels. Some of the some of the women were nervous about getting on the panel and saying something that would upset their co host or boss, whatever. And there was a lady on CNN here in Atlanta at the time, Catherine Cryer and we had her as a special guest and one of our things right. And we were having just a conversation heard I believe the lady with a Mary Katherine Sneed, who at the time was at Summit, had a program, terrific woman. And she was a very big proponent of getting her people to boot camp and very strong supporter, one of our original members of our committees. And but we were talking to doing this thing, and I said, How do you get more, you know, I'd like to get more wind and panels went to summer, just kind of hesitant on doing it. And I remember Catherine saying our words to the effect, why don't you give them their own forum. So we created the Women's Forum. And that lasted for even now, this year, we're doing a little, a couple of things differently reading we're trying to get as many winners can two more panels, because one of the one of the comments some of the people would say is that instead of just limiting to one panel when it just we've always said, I don't try to make it where you look and count hits, but I'm very conscious of how our panels look and and how it looks to people than when they're looking at those panels. So anyway, so that was one of the sidebars. So what's taking place over the years.
Matt Cundill 23:25
One of the great moments of the show is when the data is revealed, it's done to all the talent who are incredibly intent on finding out how they feel about what's going on in the industry. The phones are away, people are paying attention, they're ready to the question. There's a lot of oohs and ahhs going on. And there's a lot of really deep questions that get asked, such as, you know, are you getting enough feedback, but how's your mental health?
Don Anthony 23:50
We're actually doing a panel on that, devoting a panel to it this year, Odyssey has been very supportive of helping us with some ideas and then we actually pulled a couple hundred people who have been to boot camp and ask them what they want on the agenda this year. What are the topics they want? And to my surprise, well I'll ask you. What do you think the top two topics were? That they wanted discussed?
Matt Cundill 24:14
Mental well being would be one of the big ones that they would want discussed. What would the other one be? The other one would be- it would probably revolve around something job security, and I'm gonna say AI.
Don Anthony 24:26
Job negotiation, salary negotiation, you know, that's all changed. Now people would have large contracts I mean, everything is being adjusted and a lot of people you know, we're negotiating ways to never have before so that was very near and dear to them. But mental well being, I was speaking to a lady yesterday with a supplier, and he wants to sponsor this year's boot camp. First time ever. And as we're talking to it's asked me to rundown on some of the some topics and the the agenda and the schedule and what and for some reason, she was looking for something to sponsor, and I was giving your list of the items and what? And when I went mental well being she went, ah. I liked that one. And I said, I said really? Oh, yes, definitely. I've been very involved in suicide prevention. I'm very, I'm all about having dealt with situation like that in real life and being a mom, etc, etc. So yeah, it's a very hot topic, hotter than- and by the way, even in Fred's studies last year, that proved to be a very hot topic, people were all over the Fred's done an amazing job with it. And he, they work in those things, and really, really tried not to sugarcoat the questions and throw softballs. But every year, you got to, you got to, you know, this is a 15 minute survey. Now, think about it. That's a long survey for a lot of talent to sit down and actually answer all these questions. And I don't mean that I mean, that the respectful way, they they're tired, they're gonna reorder, they suddenly here, it's 15 minutes early to fill up. But last year, I think we had over 700 respondents, you filled it out. And it gives you wonderful feedback. I'll be very curious how AI will pop up in this year's survey, or the feedback I should say to it.
Matt Cundill 26:09
Well, I'll roll it back to last year, because Fred did appear on this show. And we talked- one of the things that I saw in the data that I guess I found interesting was how a lot of radio people were maybe feeling a little bit behind by some of the stuff that was that was going on in their in their studios. And I'll just play the clip for you.
They want to learn, they understand that tech skills, and social media skills and keeping up with new technology is critically important to their success. I think they very objectively assess their own skills as being poor to mediocre. And I think they really want to get better, they don't want to be left behind. They don't want the digital parts of their company to go well beyond them. And I think there's a fear there, Matt, on a lot of people's parts, the I'm in the old dinosaur wing of the building here in radio, and meanwhile, the company's off doing streaming, and podcasts and video and all this stuff, and am I being left behind by the technology and by my own company, and God, I sure love training.
Don Anthony 27:15
Here's the deal, and you know, this better than me. The last few years, compared to any other time and radio, I can't think of a time it's been more taxing. People were at homes, they're broadcasting in makeshift studios. They're not connecting, they're not, you know, it's just it's a different environment all of a sudden, and we all in radio, live with a certain insecurity, some greater than others. And suddenly, we don't have access to these people we've been to engage with for all this time. And so it was the new reality, and so some navigated better than others. But yeah, there was definitely that feeling of attachment. And listen, let me say in defense of it, because I think programmers sometimes or you hear that my biggest disappointment is we don't have enough time to be able to spend time with our PD, I want to go over, you know, error checks, I want people to just give me feedback. And what I hear from PDS is, I'd love nothing more than to spend more time with our talent, spend more time at the station, you know, doing those kinds of things. But they too, are very stretched. And I think that in their defense, I think if they had the opportunity at the time, they would like that opportunity to do that. But and that's why and this is not a cheap plug for morning show boot camp. Boot Camp has given them a place where suddenly everyone can connect. We had VPs of programming tell me that it's been extremely eye opening to them to people spend time not just their talent, but a lot of other talent, and kind of hear their side of the story and hear some of the things going on in their lives. And I'm very refreshing because they kind of walk away. Look 20 years ago at Boot Camp, PDs, programmers would tell me they were a little nervous about going to boot camp to the NFL, they're gonna be they're gonna be all the panelists bashing PDs. I don't think that was ever the case. People would complain about certain things but bash I think would be too harsh a term. But I will tell you as more more programmers and VPs programming talent scouts would have come to boot camp. There's been a real connection for him there. Some of these people have become a dentist Clark with I heart is friends with so many people outside of IR Dave Richards with Odyssey and and this year, we have a lot of other people that are coming in. And so just these people have a chance to really connect with talent they didn't know before. So it's really a good thing. So I'm really happy about that.
Matt Cundill 29:40
There's somebody listening to this somewhere in Canada or the United States who's thinking, Should I go? Shouldn't I go? Tell them why they have to go.
Don Anthony 29:48
Well, every person has a unique situation, but I think this: This is a show that was created specifically for, and about, the show. If you're connected to a show, if you're on a show, if you're part of a show, if you're a believer in personality radio, if you want to hear what talent are doing, saying the stuff they're using and different things, what, it's a place to go. It's a very cool event. I say that openly. I think it's, it's very cool. It's very engaging, unbelievable networking, you'll meet people, and we have a ton of people that have been friends now for life, since that they met at boot camp, and now can't go a week without some kind of connection or, you know, get together what, and really, it's not a place where you walk into and you don't know who's we're, you see a lot of old friends meet a lot of new friends, I think the last couple of years, we have over 100 100 new people at each event. And that, to me is very refreshing and encouraging. Because it makes me feel like there is a there's a new era, there's a you know, a new frontier. And yet, I always, I always tell the people at the top, I sometimes look you know, I got things that are whatever we try to talk him into going because I can't express to them, how important it is, and how special it is, for a young up and coming personality to meet somebody like a mojo or a Dave Ryan or Bert Weiss. That's a big deal. And it's something they never forget. And we have people that tell me stories today that when they first came to boot camp many years ago, he's coming this year but I'm not gonna mention his name. But he tells the story that when he first boot camp he ever came to he met Kid Craddock. And the late Kid Craddock, one of the most amazing morning show hosts ever. And he just, you know, he didn't think he was gonna meet him. And he suddenly you're meeting and he's just kind of talking. And he said he left went to the room and through it. And by the way, this guy is now a pretty famous disc jockey. I mean, having that kind of an impression on someone. I know, when I was a kid coming up, when I met the first big jock. That was a big deal to me. And so I think there's a need for the guys at the top to come to share their their wisdom and experiences and talent. And on the younger the younger side for people to engage with some of the other people and meet them and get to know them and follow them. Because look nothing better than meeting a great mentor. Right? And I'm sure you've mentored a lot of people, haven't you?
Matt Cundill 32:07
Yes, and I had a chance to meet some of my mentors along the way too. So I can totally see why this becomes something that you gotta go to.
Don Anthony 32:14
And I say, with some embarrassment, that I'm not really like, I'm not trying to be- I don't want to sound like I'm overselling. We're 35 years old now or going on 35 years. And I think we've been doing something right to be able to keep it going. But this thing is not about me. I've never said come to boot camps or something. I'm just the guy in the kitchen putting dinner together. Everybody else brings the groceries. But the real secret of boot camp are the people who come to boot camp. They bring a energy and an excitement you can't find anywhere. And I I owe everything we've accomplished to them.
Matt Cundill 32:53
Don, thanks so much for being on the show and telling us about it. We'll see you in Dallas. Great, and listen, if you're- if anybody's interested they can always click on radiomsbc.com, and start that with an HTTPS, okay? But radiomsbc.com, we'd love to see you.
Tara Sands (Voiceover) 33:09
The Soundoff Podcast is written and hosted by Matt Cundill. Produced by Evan Surminski. Edited by Chloe Emond-Lane. Social media by Aidan Glassey. Another great creation from the Sound Off Media Company. There's always more at soundoffpodcast.com