24 Days Of Xmas – Day 9: Imaging the SPORTS…

I got introduced to Mike a few weeks ago and we have a common partner in crime, Dan Kelly ,former Iron Imager  WPLJ prod genius and awesome superhuman.

Mike was so kind to take the time and answer my questions and shares his experience in Sports Imaging and creating magic for market No1 NYC! Check this awesome interview and dig into the secrets of positioning the sports leader!

1. Which production system do you use and why? 

I use Pro-Tools. (PT 10.3.5 to be specific). I’ve been on it since around 2001 when my small market station took the leap and bought PT.  I just love it. It’s easy and powerful. 

2. What are your favorite plugIns? 

Im pretty basic with my plug-in usage. We’re a sports station so there’s no need to get too crazy.  I have a template set up (Thanks Dan Kelly@WPLJ). Basically Compressing all my vocal tracks with the C1 Compressor.  I like a little slap-delay just for some color and the EQ3 1 band on a Hi Pass. I’ll throw the L1 +Ultramaximizer on the master.  That’s pretty much it. 

3. How do you schedule your work/priorities? 

Because we’re a sports station, the news of the day will always dictate priorities. On top of that, we do a lot of contesting here. So it’s basically the combo of the news of the day and then contest promos and just general big sports story news/game promos. We do a bit more with the New York Jets, New York Knicks and New York Rangers as we’re broadcast partners with those teams as well. That’s a broad look at how my day/priorities break down.

4. What do you love about doing imaging for the Sports format?

What do you love about imaging ESPN? The drama of sports is great. The stories are always changing. One season the Jets might be an abysmal football team(currently), but on the off chance they’re good. Everything changes, the mood, the music, what you’re writing. Essentially the ups and downs of sports franchises and how you tell those stories is really what’s interesting to me about doing Sports.

5. What is the best protools or production trick anybody should know?

I wish i could impart some wisdom here. Im sure everyone who is reading this has better tricks than i do. 

6. How do you get inspired and what do you use as source of creativity?  

A lot of times i feel like my best shit comes from listening to music. Sometimes i’ll just go through libraries and listen to music and many times i’ll get inspired if the right piece of music hits me. If the music makes me feel something….then hopefully the promo with that music might get the listener to stop and pay attention.  I also get inspired from stuff I see on ESPN TV. But I’m always on the lookout for things that move me. 

7. Who were your radio production idols, who influenced your work as a producer recently? 

I started my radio career in market #145 in Springfield Missouri.  There was a guy there named Steve-O. He was a strong writer and he understood beats and production and someone who was just really good for me to connect with early in my career. Along the way Dan Kelly@ WPLJ is an absolute stud and was so kind to me when i got to NYC. Our stations were in the same building. He taught me a ton about big time radio.  Tim Thomas@ESPN Radio in Bristol has been very influential for me. He was doing really great stuff in the early years of the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN and still continues to kill it there.

8. What have been the key advices in your career till now? 

A couple of mantras i follow are “just be like-able.” No one wants to work with an asshole. You’ll always get the benefit of the doubt if people like you.  and #2 Stand your ground. People will take advantage of you in this business if you’re  talented. Know your worth and stand your ground.



An excerpt of Mike’s work:

NBA Draft Lottery Promo

Yankees Twins Wildcard Promo


Caller Ray Promo

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