Broadcast industry stalwart Kevin Fine is station manager of Jacaranda 94.2. Fine had a long and successful on-air run before going behind the scenes. We find out what makes him tick.
1. What drew you to radio?
Listening to John Berks, as well as Stan Katz and the Morning Zoo drew me to radio. Then there was the American Top 40 with Casey Kasem and Martin Bailie, the Little Irish Devil in the Morning.
2. Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m a mean djembe drummer.
3. What superpower would you like to possess?
I would love to have a stun ray that works from my mind and translates spoken rubbish into the truth!
4. What is your best characteristic and biggest flaw?
How my Jewish shnoz guides my humour – definitely my best characteristic. I have flaws?
5. If you didn’t have a career in media, what would you be doing now?
Sports marketing and social development in sport.
6. What moment do you regard as career defining?
My advice call to 5fm in 1996 on how to grow our community radio sports portfolio when I was in charge at Smart FM.
7. What have you learnt the hard way?
The most unlikely people can disappoint you.
8. What is the best and worst advice you’ve been given?
Best: Being a radio professional is not about being famous.
Worst: “Eat this it tastes great and it’s really good for you.”
9. Who do you admire most?
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, and my wife Ya’el.
10. What quote best describes the way you see the world?
“Do good while doing good.”
11. What is your favourite holiday spot and why?
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I have great memories from there.
12. What book do you wish you had written?
I am still writing ‘Kevin’s Book of Fineisms’.
13. If you had a tattoo, what would it be of?
A spiritual thought in writing but that’s personal.
14. What are you addicted to?
Ultra Mel Custard and Mad magazines.
15. What are you afraid of?
Unprotected heights and facing the BCCSA when I know I’m gonna lose!
16. What do you regret most?
17. What cheers you up the most?
Listening to a great tune on the radio and feeling inspired just like Jerry McGuire did in the movie of the same name when he heard Tom Petty singing ’Free Fallin’.
18. What was it like moving from presenting to behind the scenes in radio?
Like putting on a Superman outfit and throwing the Clark Kent clothing in the phone booth.
19. What has been the highlight – or the ‘Aha!’ moment – in your career?
Walking from Jo’burg to Pietermaritzburg, dressed as the man in the MTN Box, to meet our (5fm) millionth listener. Being “David Blaine” [when he lived on a billboard for five days as an experiment to live life via telecommunications only. He ate every meal, showered and slept there with drunken louts wanting to wake him and others shooting at him with paint guns and thousands following him on air] and taking over at Jacaranda.
20. What are your goals?
There’s not enough space in this article but let’s just say radio domination.
This story was first published in The Media magazine.