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Jake Fogelnest: Part Two!

Monday, October 11th, 2010
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Without further ado… I give you Part Two if my Jake Fogelnest, Sirius XM DJ and Stern contributor!

What’s the best part of working at XMU/Alt Nation?

The people are great.  It amazes me, I’ve been at Sirius XM for four years and I’ve never had an argument once.  I love who I work with. Rob Cross and Jeff Regan, Gregg Steele, Steve Blatter. It’s like all the guys who GET IT in radio seem to come work at Sirius.

It’s also pretty damn awesome who passes through the halls.  I get to interview all these amazing bands and see them perform a few feet from my face.

And the way we produce stuff it gives me lots of free time to work on other projects.

I am really happy to be at Sirius XM – it’s the best job in radio.  I feel bad for anyone who works somewhere else!

Do you get to choose any of the music you play?

Jeff and Rob are extremely good about that. I’m always asked for my input but I don’t take advantage of it nearly as much as I should. The thing is those dudes are so great at programming there’s not a lot for me to complain about!

What have been your most memorable interviews? The good / The bad?

I got to interview DEVO this year which was a total dream come true.  I’ve been interviewing bands since I was a kid, but no band has meant more to me than Devo.  Just getting to sit down with those guys and get them to sign my energy dome was amazing.

Do you ever get to hang out with Howard?

Howard is amazing.  I’ve been lucky enough to be around the Stern show since I was 17.  The first time I called in to the show I was 13.  I made a phony phone call to a local Bible show in Philadelphia:

“Can you say a prayer for my sick daughter… and have you ordered Howard Stern’s Butt Bongo Fiesta 1-800-52-Stern?”

Howard and Robin loved it.

The whole Stern show crew have been so cool to me over the years.  I got to see a screening of “Private Parts” with them, one of the first times the whole crew had actually seen the film.  I got to go to Scores and have Lonnie take care of me on my 18th birthday.  They just recently replayed me as a guest on the Stern show when I was seventeen years-old.  Howard had me on as a guest because MTV had canceled my show, there were all kinds of rumors about me with drugs and he wanted to hear the story.

I was actually pretty amazed listening back to it a few months ago.  I was seventeen when it aired. My show had just been canceled.  I wasn’t officially hired at K-Rock yet.  That could’ve been the absolute end of my career right there.  And I found myself listening to it, almost fifteen years later… and it wasn’t the end of my career at all, but the start.  I can’t tell you the gratitude that filled me with.

One other cool Stern story: The day after he left for Sirius, I ripped the “MIC 1″ button off of his radio console.  I didn’t like the idea of anyone turning on that mic besides Howard. I stole it to ensure it would never be used by anyone but him. Besides, it was easy to replace. David Lee Roth could use a replacement.

One morning I heard Howard was gloating about the demise of K-Rock and CBS Radio and he mentioned feeling a bit nostalgic about his old console. I decided it was time to return this item to Howard.  So I gave it to Tim Sabean.

Tim had the button enclosed in a glass box and gave it to Howard.  He thought it was really great and has it in his office.  I thought that was an insanely cool thing for Tim to do.  I’m glad I was able to return that little piece of history to the Stern Show.

Anything else you can think of that our TSS Contingent would want to know?

I think it’s the job of a disc jockey to be unobtrusive and as non-annoying as possible while playing the music.  There are so many DJ’s that try to force in their agenda instead of just presenting the music and some brief cool stuff with it.  Those DJ’s need to find other outlets to get that sh*t out of their system.  I hope that when people listen to me on Sirius XM I’m doing my job right — just trying to be slightly amusing and not being too much of a pain in the ass in between the songs!

TSS Radio is awesome – all you guys are so cool and such great fans of what Sirius XM does.  And it’s been a pleasure to promote it during my idiotic webcast on Friday night!!  It’s cool to talk radio stuff and Howard!  Not that I don’t love VH1 and comedy and everything, but radio is such a big part of my life.  You guys are like Sirius XM’s biggest supporters and that is AWESOME!!!!

Thanks, Jake… We think you’re alright too!

Follow Jake on Twitter at @jakefogelnest

And follow me on Twitter at @TSSKaren

:-) Karen

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Jake Fogelnest, Sirius XM DJ: Part One!

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
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In a new feature on my little section of the TSS-Radio blog, I bring you an interview that I did with Jake Fogelnest,Sirius XMU and occasional Sirius XM Alt Nation DJ.

Jake is a regular contributor to VH1’s I Love the 80’s, I Love the 90’s, and I Love the 2000’s, and Best Week Ever. Jake’s work has been seen on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update,” the film We Hot American Summer, The John Stewart Show, Howard Stern, and Late Night With Conan O’Brian. You may also have caught his stage work with the likes of Sarah Silverman when he served as the assistant director for her one-woman show Jesus is Magic.

For us old-school fans, we remember Jake fondly as the kid that interviewed Liz Phair and Cypress Hill on his bed in the MTV show, Squirt TV:  SQUiRT TV!

Jake was nice enough to let me ask him pretty much whatever I wanted about his new digs at Sirius XM. I bring you, JAKE FOGELNEST: PART ONE: Behind the Scenes

TSS-Karen:

How did you go from SQUiRT TV to VH1 to Sirius but you’re a writer/blogger/tv personality… How did you get into satellite radio?

Jake Fogelnest:

In 1996 K-Rock switched from a classic rock format to “alternative.”.  My show had just ended on MTV and I was seventeen and unemployed.  I  called the request line and a DJ named “Sluggo” picked up the phone.  I said, “Hey, it’s Jake Fogelnest! I wanna be on K-Rock!” He knew who I was and thought it was an awesome idea!  Next thing you know I was having a meeting with legendary KROQ programmer Kevin Weatherly and I was on the air.

I know, I know – I’m a terrible person. I didn’t travel around the country. I got my first job in radio over the request line…

I worked at K-Rock from like seventeen to nineteen.  I hosted a weekly new music show called “The Buzz.” Then I quit for some stupid reason.  Probably because I was angry they wouldn’t let me play a Sleater-Kinney record or something.  I got involved with comedy stuff with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

Around 2004 I heard that same DJ Sluggo back on the air in New York so I called him up just to say hello.  Turns out he was being ISDN’d in from LA and that there was an awesome new program director at K-Rock, Rob Cross that Sluggo said I had to meet with.  So I met Rob and he was AWESOME.  I was quickly hired back at K-Rock and it was so much more fun the second time around.  Rob and I have very similar sensibilities so it was a blast.

Then Howard Stern announced he was leaving terrestrial radio for Sirius.

That’s when things got really interesting.

David Lee Roth showed up on Stern and they announced he’d be taking over and they were switching the format to FREE-FM in a few months.

In an act of madness I decided to get in a cab, go up to the station and ask Gary if Howard Stern knew that he’d indirectly just fired a bunch of people with his announcement.  During the cab ride up I left a voicemail for Ross Zapin who was already working at Sirius. I told Ross, “I’m on my way up to Stern… And I want a job.  Call me later”

I ended up on the Stern show that morning for almost an hour.  Howard was amazing.  I have the tape if you’d like to hear it. He thought the way management was handling things was terrible and was beyond unsupportive.

Sometime after that Rob Cross, the awesome program director I was working for decided to leave K-Rock and go work for… You guessed it, Sirius.

I was still on the air at K-Rock, but in a few months I’d be done.  A new program director came in and didn’t like the attitude I had been using on the air so he suspended me.  I had to go meet with him.  I figured he’d either pull me off the air immediately or let me back on for a few weeks after giving me a lecture.  What did it matter, I was out the door anyway?  Instead he didn’t something I wasn’t expecting.  He offered me a job.  I am the only person in the history of EVER to get offered their own talk show by getting fired by the same person who hired me.

Right as I was preparing to start this new talk show on Free FM I got a call from Sirius.   An executive named Walter Sabo called me in for a meeting. He said “You’re amazing, you should be over here with us – how would you like to EXECUTIVE PRODUCE Howard’s new years eve show?” Howard’s contract was going to expire at midnight and it would be the first time he could call in and legally be heard on Sirius.

The thing that sucked was, I had this handshake with Tom Chiusano and CBS to start the new Free FM show in a few DAYS!  So I took the gig for the weekend, but kept my name off the air.  Instantly I knew after producing that show I had to be at Sirius.

I made a deal with the folks at CBS Radio – I would do the talk show, but if I could put something together at Sirius, I’d like to do that too.  At first they were okay with it and then the whole thing with Howard’s lawsuit went down. They went back on their word.

I never signed a contract with CBS which was one of the smartest things I ever did.  David Lee Roth was s***canned and they were bringing in Opie and Anthony.  I knew I was about eleven seconds from being canceled.  So very quickly and quietly, I signed my deal with Sirius XM.  Then when CBS called to give me the bad news… I beat them to it and said “Actually, I just signed a deal with Sirius — but I’ll still take my severance since you technically “fired” me.”

It was one of the rare instances of show business where things worked out PERFECTLY and I did stuff right.

Part Two: Coming Soon!

:-) Karen

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Hot Times in the City

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
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There are two products that TSS-Radio carries that you may not be aware of but I really think you’ll like. One is the Stiletto 2 Armband and Case, which TSS-Radio had specially made. The other is the Sony Portable Travel Speaker.

If there is one thing that Chicagoans do really well, it’s complain about the weather. 75% of the year, it’s subzero and we all fear that our faces will freeze off. The other 25% of the year is spent in the humid seventh circle. The north-side of Chicago is currently residing in that 25% so our manager, Harper, decided to go for a jog… with his Stiletto 2.

Harper was able to comfortably jog the 400-degree streets of Chicago using the Stiletto 2 Armband and Case. The cool part of the product is that it’s made of neoprene, so you can strap it to your arm and not have to worry about your Stiletto 2 getting damaged if the strap gets wet!. The Stiletto 2 Armband and Case basically protects your Stiletto 2 from sweat, from rain and from the sun. It also holds the receiver away from your body so you can use earbuds.

There is also an Armband and Case for the XMp3!

The product I’m really into these days is the Sony Portable Travel Speaker. I just moved from one apartment to another and one of the first things to get packed was my home stereo.  So, I got one of the Sony Portable Travel Speakers so I could still rock out while packing up, moving my stuff, and then the subsequent five hours of cleaning. The next day, I brought my Sony Portable Travel Speaker out to the back deck with me so my friends and I could listen to Sirius XM Alt Nation while grilling out with friends who I had kinda sorta forced into helping me move… But you’ve already read that blog ;)

:) Karen

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A New Summer Must-Have!

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
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Spending the summer at the beach is amazing, right? Imagine spending it rocking out to your favorite music or catching up on game scores in between elaborate sandcastle reconstruction duties. Now, you can!

Did you know that Sirius and XM both carry a line of boomboxes that run on batteries – thus making your satellite receiver 100% portable!

Another awesome and lightweight option for some serious poolside or porch-grilling good times is the Sony Portable Travel Speaker.

I, shall we say, “borrowed” one of these handy gadgets to try out a a friend’s housewarming barbecue. I knew there would be a bunch of snooty local Chicago musicians (aka, my friends) there hanging out on our friend’s porch eating veggie burgers and “swimming” in the new crummy baby-pool in the backyard. I figured this would be the best time to test out the Sony Portable Travel Speaker and see how the sound quality stood up among the my-guitar-is-cooler-than-yours din.

The phrase, “Oh, this song is my JAM!!!! What are we listening to” was heard more than once after I turned on Sirius XM First Wave. I had situated the Sony Portable Travel Speaker and the Stiletto 2 I had attached to it, on a table next to the guacamole in the middle of the deck and the sound was heard throughout the deck and the backyard grotto (read: crummy baby-pool). At $19.99, my friends and I feel that the Sony Portable Travel Speaker is the new summer must-have – along with one of the cute iPad cases TSS-Radio now carries to protect your new baby from the potential damage from the aforementioned sandcastles!

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Father’s Day: Round Two!

Thursday, June 17th, 2010
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The boyfriend’s dad is a Pharmaceutical Rep.  On paper, it sounds like an amazing job…  Getting to drive around the country seeing The World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn, the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Aquarium, trying Chili Cheese Fries in all time zones, you know… Awesome, right?! Ryan’s dad says that misses two things: his bed and his television. While I can do little to advise Ryan on a Father’s Day gift on how to ship his dad’s bed around the country, I can recommend the Slingbox.

The chief complaint of Dan, Ryan’s dad,  is that he constantly misses his shows.  At dinner last week, Dan was complaining about how he had to cover his ears every time he entered  a room in case people were talking about the LOST finale. Apparently, Dan had the last four episodes on his DVR at home and had yet to watch them.  The Slingbox will allow Dan to watch his DVR’ed shows and his television anywhere in the country from his laptop! And, while I love the thought of Dan running down corporate hallways with his fingers jammed in his ears, I think the Slingbox would be a great Father’s Day gift so the doctors offices on his route can not think he’s insane.

TSS-Radio just dropped their price on it by a whopping $30 and there’s always Free Shipping on Slingbox orders so Ryan can even wait til the last minute, as he did last year with the Obama Chia Pet Head,  and still get it in just a few days. The best part of it, though, is that there is no monthly fee! The Slingbox is a one-time purchase!!

:-) karen [at] tss-radio.com

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Father’s Day Gift for My Wacky Dad

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
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With Father’s Day right around the corner, I thought I’d try to find a gift that my dad would actually really use. Gone are the days of the ugly tie (Dad’s retired) and the orange with the cloves stuck into it that I made every year in Sunday School. I think the point of those things was for him to hang them in his closet to make his clothes smell nice (and not at all like the total hippie it actually made him smell like). No, this year I decided to let dad rock out.

A few years ago, I bought dad an iPod and then also loaded his favorites on it: Ozzy, Alice in Chains, The Moody Blues, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Linkin Park… Dad’s an interesting guy. Mom’s been dragging him to the gym lately so he really only has the opportunity to listen to his iPod when being forced into walking on the treadmill. That was, until I decided to get him the Jensen Docking Station and Clock Radio for iPod or iPhone.

The Jensen allows him to rock out to his Ozzy Osbourne (or whatever mood he’s in), and torture my Carly-Simon-loving Mom, when their alarm goes off first thing in the morning because, in addition to being a speaker docking station for his iPod, it’s also an alarm clock!

What really sold me on the Jensen iPod dock was the fact that, with one of these guys, Dad can connect to his Stiletto 2 and listen through it too!

Times are tough and Chicago rent isn’t cheap. This year, I figured that, for Father’s Day, I’d buy something for my Dad that he’d actually love and use — and didn’t make him smell like a total hippie. I’ll have to come up with something  awesome for Mom’s birthday this year to make up for all of the Mick Jagger she’s been waking up to lately.

:-) karen [at] tss-radio.com

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My Rosie Review of Rosie O’Donnel’s Sirius XM Show

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
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When I heard that Rosie O’Donnell would be adding a Sirius XM talk show to her repertoire, I couldn’t wait.

She had been so friendly and kind on her television show but we never really heard much about her personal life.  After her show ended we got to see a different, more vocal, Rosie O’Donnell.  She came out as a huge advocate for the gay community and, of course, made waves for a while on The View.

I can’t say that I caught many episodes of The View but I always caught the, er, highlights on The Soup each weekend; especially when she flipped her hair over and impersonated Donald Trump. I knew that, on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, she could do and say anything she wanted so I was definitely intrigued to find out about the real Rosie.

I’ve been recording her shows daily with myXM XMP3i Portable Radio and after hearing her for the last few months, I’ve been blown away almost every show.  Her guests have included not only other Sirius XM hosts like Howard Stern and Covino and Rich, but also award winning authors, child advocates, comediennes like Kathy Griffin, Broadway stars, and even women she met at the grocery store. She crafts, she sings, she discusses her divorce, her kids, her new relationship, her struggles with weight, her political views, her childhood, her love of her new squirrel friend, Shady (whom she named after rapper Eminem – who knew?!), and, well, the daily doings of Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Rosie is, hilariously and unapologetically, who she is.

In addition to her Sirius XM duties, rumor has it that Rosie will be starting up a new tv show in the coming months. I, for one, am looking forward. I imagine it’ll be similar to Oprah’s After Show or Howard Stern’s Wrap Up Show, in that, Rosie will interview her guest and then take to the radio to give her real thoughts and opinions on that day’s program.

You won’t want to miss the Real Rosie! You can hear her on Sirius channel 108, XM channel 155 from 10-Noon Eastern.

:-) karen [at] tss-radio.com

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The Tivoli Sound System: Good Enough for Grandma?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
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My White Zinfandel-swigging, poker-playing, 1940s music-loving, lead-foot-driving grandma recently turned 86. It’s hard to imagine. So, what do you get an 86 year old for their birthday? When I called her, I asked her. Our conversation went a little something like this:

Karen: “Hi, Nana! You’re having a birthday soon, huh? What would you like for a gift?

Nana: “Great-grandkids.”

Karen: “Oh, Nana… Don’t I need to nail down that husband first?”

Nana: “Not really, sweetie. I’ve been watching that Maury show and none of them have husbands!”

Karen: “I was thinking something along the lines of a Sirius XM Satellite Radio so you can listen to your 1940s music all the time!”

Nana: “Honey, my fingers don’t work as well as they used to because of this damned Arthritis. I appreciate it but I don’t think it’s something I can really set-up. I do love the music though.”

At this point in the conversation I could have given up and sent her something unremarkable.  Of course, I didn’t want to do that and I was convinced that, like me, once she experienced satellite radio, she would instantly love it.  My only dilemma was figuring which product would be best for her.

Luckily, this is something I get to do every day.  I talk to a wide variety of customers that have a wide variety of needs and it’s always fun to be able to figure out the best product for each specific situation.

In my grandma’s case I knew she’d want to listen at home, the radio had to be easy to set up and easy to operate.  I instantly thought of the Tivoli:


The Tivoli
is a great looking Sirius XM Satellite Radio. It is simple to set-up, but my 86 year old grandma wasn’t very tech savvy, so I wanted to be sure she’d be able to do it. I figured, if I could set it up with minimal effort and not have to bust out any screwdrivers or other tools, she’d be in.

I took a few pics just to show how easy it is.

The Box!

The components out of the box.

The three plugs in the back.

Success! Granddaughter approved!

E-mail me and let me know what your thoughts are: karen [at] tss-radio.com

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