#MediaMonday – Mike Russell
Being outdoors is one of Arizona’s best draws. Today’s Media Monday is all about that: Get Outdoors With Mike Russell. Mike’s show airs each Saturday at 1 p.m. on KTAR 92.3 FM. It focuses on the world of hunting, fishing, camping and conservation and is Arizona’s only FM radio show dedicated to the outdoors.
Mike, time to share.
I’m a newbie in the radio game. Eight years ago, my real estate partner and I decided to give talk radio a try. Neither of us had ANY industry training, therefore no one in their right minds would hire us. Soooo, being the capitalists that we are…we bought time. The Mike and Winey Show aired on AM960 Saturday’s from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. We were terrible…at first. Passion filled in where talent was missing.
We began shopping a demo and were picked up by AM550 KFYI. By picked up I mean we were doing fill-ins for free. Sure beat paying for it! Then we got the call from KTAR that became a paying gig and the beginning of regularly scheduled airtime as well as gainful employment in the radio biz.
As we know, all shows have an expiration date. Mike and Winey was no exception. Although trading barbs on air for five years was a complete blast, we both decided to follow our passions. Winey (Michael Weinstein) went the corporate route and I headed outdoors.
Get Outdoors is racing towards its fourth year as Arizona’s only FM radio program dedicated to our outdoor playground of a state. My focus is on conservation and yanking the next generation off of the couch and out the front door.
Get Outdoors has also been the driving force behind Arizona’s Get Outdoors Expos. Two expos celebrating all things Arizona Outdoors at Fort Tuthill in Flagstaff and Westworld of Scottsdale.
You might see a theme here. I was late to the outdoor game as well. I was born and (mostly) raised in Southern California. My parents weren’t outdoorsy at all. Any outdoor activity that I took part in was led by my grandparents.
Then, at age 27, I was invited to an offshore fishing trip by my father-in-law. I hooked into and landed four 40-pound albacore tunas and never looked back. I was addicted to the outdoors. I wanted to experience all of it. Each adventure seemed to pull me deeper into the fold.
Then, I began taking my kids along. This took our family to another level. We celebrate the outdoors. This is what seeded my passion to make sure that there is #nochildleftinside!
I made a choice many years ago that I was going to turn my passions into a career. I am technically always working…that’s a good thing. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. We are creators, builders and “worker bees.”
When the weather is outdoor-prohibitive I like to stay inside, watch movies, build lego sets with the kids or tinker around in my mancave. We survive the heat playing basketball in the pool.
I am an unapologetic Star Wars nerd. My hunting dogs are named Jango Fett and Boba Fett. This affliction was passed down to my children who think ComicCom is our annual “Nerd Superbowl”
I have a passion for cooking, grilling specifically. My four grills and I are always coming up with new ways to dazzle the crew’s taste buds.
My passion for craft beer has taken on a life of its own as well. I have partnered with my pal Rob Hunter and formed The Brewmance. Just a couple of guys reviewing great beer while partaking in a lengthy list of shenanigans.
Basically, I am a passionate guy that found a way to make his passions pay the bills.
You can follow me on Twitter at @GoMikeRussell and @GetOutdoorsAZ, as well as on Facebook and Instragram.