Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from “Lunchbox” Ben Murphy, producer and morning show personality for The Steve and Nina Morning Show on The New KMLE @ 107.9.
During an amazing project with the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing and the Associate of Late Deafened Adults, I got the chance to meet and interact with “Lunchbox” Ben Murphy. Murphy came on board to experience what it would be like to live with hearing loss for a panel at the ALDAcon. He was so eager to be a part of this project and I am so glad I got to know him as a result.
So, “Lunchbox” Ben Murphy, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
How about we start with the basics? My name is Ben Murphy and I go by the name of “Lunchbox Ben” in the mornings with Steve and Nina on The New KMLE @ 107.9 here in Phoenix! I grew up in the lovely state of Illinois in a northwest suburb outside of Chicago called St. Charles. I spent my whole life growing up in the city of St. Charles – which I would consider a small town that was a hybrid of a rural and urban city.
Growing up I spent a lot of my time playing sports. I am a massive sports fan. I grew up playing soccer, baseball and basketball. When it came time to pick a competitive sport to play – I chose soccer. I was lucky enough to make the varsity team as a sophomore and captained the varsity team my senior year. Although I strongly debated pursuing playing soccer in college – I ultimately chose to attend a small Division 1 university where playing soccer just didn’t come to fruition. It all worked out, though – because that is where I discovered the potential career of radio!
I ended up attending school in a small central Illinois city called Charleston – home of Eastern Illinois University! This is where actor John Malkovich attended school – as well as Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton attended. During my time at Eastern Illinois University – I discovered that radio could be a career choice. I grew up LOVING radio in the Chicago area – would listen to it every day on my way to and from school when I could drive. When I got to college – I initially declared my major as History with a goal of teaching high school History and being a varsity soccer coach. My freshman year – I began doing an online radio show for “The Odyssey” – our school’s online radio station. I did a sports talk and music show with a buddy of mine. From that second of being behind a microphone – I knew I needed to pursue it as a career . I then worked my way into our school (and county) radio station – Hit Mix 88.9 WEIU. I spent my sophomore through senior year being an on air personality for the station as well as helping with the promotions and programming department of the station!
During my time at Eastern, I also spent time on our concert committee. I was in charge of bringing major musical and comedy acts to Eastern Illinois at least two times a year – with guidance from a staff advisor and graduate advisor team. I would put together crews for shows and make sure everything ran smoothly. I was involved in bringing sell out shows to Lantz Arena – such as Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Goo Goo Dolls, Jason Mraz and more!
I got an internship lined up once I got out of college with a booking agency in downtown Chicago called Monterey International (I believe they have now merged with booking agency Paradigm). The internship left me wanting more – and I knew I would regret not pursuing a career in radio – so I began applying at stations throughout Illinois. With no luck and almost all hope dwindled – I began a full time job at our local soccer organization in Public Relations where it was very unfulfilling. I then found out one of my best friends in the world was moving to Phoenix, and already had a place to live lined up…
That is where one of my biggest crossroads and decisions in my life took place. I decided to pack up my 2008 Chevy Cobalt (I still have it!) with all of my personal belongings – and move to Phoenix to pursue a career in radio. I landed a serving job at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse about six months after I moved out here – and also got hired on in the promotions department as a promotions assistant (the most part-time, entry level position you could have in radio outside of an intern) with CBS Radio Phoenix (94.5 KOOL FM, The New KMLE @ 107.9 & Live 101.5 Phoenix).. I started in that role – and made it my mission to grow within the company that gave me my first opportunity.
After promotions assistant came promotions coordinator for 94.5 KOOL FM. Then I ventured into the sales department and became a Sales Associate. After a year in that position – I became an account executive for The New KMLE @ 107.9. After about six months in that role – I realized sales just wasn’t for me. I then became the promotions coordinator for the whole cluster of stations…and now – am currently living out my dream of being the producer of a major market radio station and even joining Steve and Nina on the air. It has been a long time coming – but I wouldn’t change anything I have done in the world…because it all led to where I am at now. I hope my story serves as a lesson to some of the youth that want to get involved in radio – that it is NOT easy…takes a lot of hard work…but CAN happen!
Outside of work – I still enjoy being active and smiling. When it isn’t insanely hot out – I like to go on hikes, play basketball with buddies or play in competitive soccer leagues (when I am in shape). I have a step-brother who is married and lives in Michigan and a brother who actually lives in Santiago, Chile teaching English at a “Universidad”. My parents still call home Illinois, in a beautiful city named Geneva – until the winter hits! Then they try to travel (both retired) to some warmer states – typically Florida!
I have grown up enjoying country music – and now get to surround myself with it. It is extremely tough to narrow down some of my favorite artists…but at the moment I would have to say Keith Urban and Eric Church are my go to bad asses of country music. You can never go wrong with a little Garth Brooks or George Strait, either!
Causes dear to my heart include raising money for any kinds of cancer and bringing awareness to our troops (both past and present). I lost my mother to lung cancer when I was five years old – so I know firsthand how horrific of a disease it is. It hurts my heart to see so many people affected by such a horrible disease – including children.
Ultimately – when it is all said and done…my goal in life is to make another person smile and feel better every day of my life. If I do that – I consider every day a success.
Thank you for taking the time to read this – please take a chance to listen to myself, Steve and Nina on The New KMLE @ 107.9 every Monday through Friday from 5:30-10 a.m.! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as LunchboxBen (no space on Twitter and Instagram). Stay positive and do something helpful for someone else once a day – no matter how small! It makes the world a better place!