American radio personality, Dave Pratt, also known to his fans as the “Morning Mayor” is at it again. Known in Arizona for his long time career at 98 KUPD and his popular radio broadcast on KMLE Country 108, Dave Pratt in the Morning, Pratt has something new up his sleeve for the radio industry that might just change it’s future — his new project called Doublewide Network. Check out this interview to see what he’s been up to since his leave as a radio personality.
AF: How do you think Doublewide Network offers innovation and the future of media, or how will it change the future?
Dave Pratt: The future of media is in your hand. It is a mobile phone. It is the most mobile form of media in the history of the world. It is more mobile and personal than old school radio and far more than television. Big clunky transmitters and tall steel towers with blinking lights are no longer necessary. It is 2013.
Dave Pratt Live and the Doublewide Network have already embraced the future by launching an aggressive digital platform distributing a wide variety of shows. These are not minor league, cheap little “podcasts” from somebody’s kitchen or basement. Our Doublewide Network hosts, produces and distributes our shows “LIVE” from state of the art studios high above Scottsdale and streaming worldwide.
Dave Pratt Live already has thousands of mobile app downloads. Plus, our new Doublewide Network has a mobile app in development that will host 100 shows or more. We are building a model and creating a new media currency for others to follow. We are blazing a new trail using new media that will create opportunities for others. And it is all happening from right here in Arizona. We get calls from all over the country, Puerto Rico, Europe, troops in the Middle East, Japan and South America. It’s insane. But at our core, we are still Arizona loud and proud!
AF: How did this idea come about in the first place?
DP: After 30 years, I just got sick of generic, corporate radio and all of the idiotic robots managing from 15,000 feet and 1,000 miles away. I assumed others felt the same.
Listeners, other air talents and advertisers were also sick of homogenized, corporate radio and television. When the economy turned sour, radio and television stations knee-jerked and downsized on every level, dramatically reducing their product. Listeners and viewers are smart. They know the difference. So do smart and experienced advertisers.
I didn’t want to be another washed up, old radio guy who is too stubborn to either recognize or embrace the future. I want to grow. I want to learn. I want to get better! I want to look ahead instead of just waxing poetically about my “glory” days. I feel sorry for those types of radio personalities whose only view is in their rear view mirror. I just want to grab them and say “Get up! Fight back! Get rid of your sad face and quit pissing in your Wheaties. Learn! Grow! Do something creative! Help others!”
I want to create something new and something that I can own without interference from broadcast suits and bean counters. I want to help resurrect the sleep, tired, apathetic broadcast industry. Listeners and advertisers deserve to be super-served. Our studios have the best atmosphere of any media company in Arizona and throughout the world. We are a happy, dysfunctional family. We break all of the media rules, and we have fun every day.
AF: What sort of progress has been made so far, or how has this whole project made you feel so far?
DP: We started over two years ago with many doubting our ability to grow listenership and to sustain revenue. Now, those doubts have been put to rest. Our 900-sq.-ft. single studio that hosted Dave Pratt Live is now being expanded to nearly 10,000 square feet, hosting multiple state of the art audio and video studios. Plus, we have now launched a network that will grow to 30 shows this year alone. In fact, Arizona Foothills should host a weekly show! We are blessed, grateful, and excited. And we are still an Arizona family-owned and -operated company.
AF: What sorts of things do you talk about/do in your own shows on Doublewide Network?
DP: Dave Pratt Live has been a general entertainment, locally based morning show for 33 years. Our Doublewide Network shows will cover every category imaginable. We want to give others the same opportunity. Everybody is welcome.
AF: Have you been doing anything else lately?
DP: My priority in life is being a husband, a father and a son. I spend every minute with my family. I have a beautiful bride of 25 years and four healthy children, three boys and my girl. And of course, our yellow lab, Rio, is our CEO of Doublewide Productions—not joking.
AF: What is it like being a father to three boys and a daughter?
DP: Mrs. Pratt runs the house. I am more like the fifthchild. All of our kids are active so I have coached teams and shuttled kids to every corner of Arizona and beyond. We also love to travel and just hang out together. Simple stuff is usually the best.
AF: What do they like to do, or what sorts of things do you do with them?
DP: We have a close family, so we do quite a bit with all six of us. If one kid has a game or a school activity, then all of the Prattsters show up in support. Or if I have a public appearance or anything related to my show or our company, then usually my family joins me. We laugh with each other every day and try not to take life too seriously.
AF: What's the idea of having your dog as the CEO?
DP: It’s true! I thought the attorney who originally did our corporation papers would understand the humor when we had to list company officers. I actually listed “Rio Pratt” as Chairman of the Board and President. I guess he didn’t know that “Rio” is our dog. Our yellow lab attends every corporate meeting, which are usually held around pool or in the hot spa. We have a very formal company.
AF: What sorts of recreational activities or fun to you do as a whole family, or with your wife?
DP: Dan Harkins and Gonzo are close friends so we take total advantage of them all the time! LOL! We go to movies or sporting events, or we go on road trips. We love Arizona, and we are lucky to have a show heard around the state. We are also big American History fans. Exciting family huh? Norman Rockwell would be proud.