R.A.P. Interview: Paul Turner

R.A.P.: You're the voice for all of Howard Stern's affiliates, correct?
Paul: Exactly. I believe he has eighteen affiliates now. I've been very fortunate in the fact that Howard and I have developed a very good rapport, a very good working rapport, and I think the world of him. He uses me for all of his affiliates' ins and outs - the "we're back with the Howard Stern show," "you're listening to Howard Stern on...."

He's used me on a lot of his side projects including his Butt Bongo Fiesta video and the Howard Stern New Year's Eve Pageant, which was a big success on Pay-Per-View. I was there with him the whole time. I was the in-house announcer and did a lot of pre-recorded stuff, too. It was very interesting. A lot of people I talked to did not even realize it was me on the live parts. The recorded parts they knew, but I used a different style on the live parts. Howard and I met ahead of time. The whole show, basically, was a parody of itself. It was a parody of an actual beauty pageant, and he wanted a very Don Pardoish kind of voice from me.

It was a lot of fun, and just working with him in a close situation like that is a tremendous opportunity. He's a true professional. It's amazing to see an undertaking like that actually take place, and the preparation involved is tremendous.

R.A.P.: How has your affiliation with Howard helped your voice-over business?
Paul: Howard -- and I've told him this many times -- has opened the doors very often for me. Whenever I'm in New York, he'll have me on his show live, and we'll talk about voice-overs in a very off-the-cuff kind of joking way, which is pretty much Howard's MO. Every time I'm on the air with him, I will receive calls from my agent who will hook me up with some business that somehow comes from the appearance on the Howard Stern Show. The first time I met him, Howard asked me if I had an agent, and I said at the time that no, I didn't. Howard, over the last year or two, set me up with his agent, and that has helped out a lot.

Howard has been just tremendous to me, and it's nothing I've sought out and tried to obtain. He's just been a very nice guy to me, and I think it was basically a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I really owe a lot to him. There's not a day that goes by that I'm not just overwhelmed by his power in this media. It's just phenomenal. He has a gift and he knows what people like to hear and what entertains people. It's exciting to see people who really speak their mind, despite whatever controversies he's involved with. It's refreshing to see someone innovative like that come along. And not only do I enjoy working with him, I'm also a huge fan. So, you can tell I'm very much in his corner in all phases.

R.A.P.: Did the voice work for G. Gordon Liddy's show and the Grease Man's show come after you hooked up with Howard?
Paul: Yeah. Howard was the first, and then G. Gordon Liddy. The Liddy show has only been syndicated for about a year. Infinity's takeover of the Unistar radio network has allowed that syndication to become a very big success. At last count, I think it's on about 160 radio stations. Again, I do the ins and outs for the G. Gordon Liddy show.

A question a lot of people ask is whether or not there is a contradiction or conflict doing the voice work for both shows because they are such extremely different people, Liddy being the ultra-conservative, and Howard on the left side. There really isn't because the voice style I use, hopefully, is recognizably different enough that it sets them apart. I really don't think the listeners confuse that at all. It's just a voice they associate with the show on an individual basis, and there's probably not that much sharing of the audience anyway. But you know, what's ironic is that Howard and G. Gordon Liddy are fairly good friends. In times past, Howard has had Liddy on the show with him, and they get along very well.

R.A.P.: Did the Grease Man gig follow Liddy?
Paul: Exactly. I was asked by Infinity to do the Grease Man stuff, and that was a great opportunity. Grease Man is on about fifteen stations now, and he's talented in a completely different way than Stern. He has an entirely different shtick than Stern. I do all of the production for his show as well.

R.A.P.: Are you producing for Liddy and Stern, too?
Paul: I would say about seventy percent of Stern's stuff I do end up producing. A lot of his stuff is produced by Scott Salem, the engineer for the Howard Stern show in New York. Liddy's stuff is produced in Washington, D.C..

R.A.P.: As well as being a voice talent for Infinity, are you also the Production Director or Creative Director for WYSP?
Paul: Whenever someone calls the radio station and asks for the Production Director, they send it back to me, but we really don't have a so-called Production Director at the station. There's no slot for that. It's not that we don't have someone there to oversee things. If there's a production problem or question, I certainly will be there to answer it for them. In a market this size, the majority of production comes in as national. It'll need a tag here and there. Those things are handled by the jocks, and the jocks have a production schedule each day.

I am completely in charge of image production for the station. My job is to image WYSP, as well as WXRK and any other stations, and to create, with the Program Director and promotion people, any ideas for promos or sweepers or anything relating to those items. Therefore, I guess you could say I'm somewhat of a Creative Services Director for a lot of Infinity stations, but I don't have a business card with that title.

There are a couple of guys at WYSP that also handle a lot of production. One is the Assistant Program Directors, John Russell. He will handle a lot of the production and really assist in putting out fires here and there with production. But there is no on-hand Production Director at WYSP.

R.A.P.: Do you have a pretty nice studio to work out of?
Paul: Yes, I do. When I first came to WYSP, they were just in the process of having some new equipment installed. We just completely re-did the studio two years ago from the ground up. It's now a multi-track facility. We're still not at the digital phase yet, but that's hopefully something that's not far around the corner. We have an Otari half-inch 8-track with dbx. It's a studio that doesn't have all the bells and whistles that a full blown digital studio might have, but it's a studio I'm very comfortable in. It's like an old baseball glove -- you play with it for so long that you really become accustomed to it.

There's a second studio, studio B, which is a basic room. It doesn't have the nicest console. It still uses a rotary pot board, but the jocks use it. There are two MCI 2-tracks in there. It basically works as a room to do tags and sometimes straight reads here and there, but it's not used as often, obviously, as the other room.

R.A.P.: Is there any talk about going digital?
Paul: We've considered that, especially with the amount of stuff that I do for the Infinity stations. And, because they're all rock stations, a lot of times we will run the same weekend promotion or the same image promotion on more than one station. For instance, if I do a promo for an all-request weekend at WYSP, chances are pretty good that WXRK in New York will do the same weekend promotion because both stations are programmed by the same Program Director, Tim Sabean, who travels between Philly and New York. With multi-track, it's very easy to do the old trick of simply dropping in the different call letters when doing a promo, but with digital, it's even easier.

To be perfectly honest, I haven't pushed the digital thing probably as hard as I should. But, I would say that within the next year, even if Infinity Broadcasting decides not to do it, it's something I feel I will personally be doing for Paul Turner Productions.

R.A.P.: Do you have any kind of studio at home?
Paul: No, I don't. I use Infinity's studios. I work with about eighty-five radio stations and a bunch of TV stations. Ninety-nine percent of everything I do is all dry voice. So you're talking about either having one of my 2-tracks or one of my DATs in use. At this point, I just haven't found building a studio at home the most economical way to go. Infinity has been extremely good to me when it comes to using their studio. The 8-track studio is the one I use for their stuff morning till night, and then after my work is finished for them, I do my own work for my other clients.

R.A.P.: Eighty-five stations is a lot of stations for you this early in the game.
Paul: It is a lot of stations, and it's growing daily. This has been a tremendous year. Howard has made it grow big time, and, hopefully, that will continue.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Your post will be moderated. Your email address will not be shown or linked. (If you have an account, log in for real time posting and other options.)
0 Characters
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location