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Get the Scoop on Coop: An Interview with Producer Kyle Cooper


(1/28/2021) -- Last fall, we met Roxanne Wilder in a Q&A interview. Now it’s time to get to know Kyle “Coop” Cooper, the “Gen Z” producer of the MJ Morning Show who sits in a booth next to the studio in which MJ, Froggy, Fester, and Roxanne make radio magic happen each morning.

Q: How old are you?

A: 23 (a “Gen Z-er, as MJ constantly calls him)

Q: Where were you born and where did you grow up?

A: I was born in Orlando and grew up there until moving to Nashville when I was 16. I then moved back to Florida and finished high school at Sun Lake High School in Land O’Lakes.

Q: Where did you go to college

A: I graduated from the University of South Florida in May of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. I got to watch my name roll across the screen for our virtual commencement ceremony. It was definitely a weird segue going from college to the working world without a regular graduation.

Q: When did you first get interested in radio?

A: Growing up, I listened to XL106.7 FM in Orlando. I really enjoyed listening to Johnny’s House, the morning show on that station. I went to one of the show’s events and got to see them doing a show live on the radio in person. That really struck me about how unique radio actually is. When I lived in Nashville, I won a radio contest and got to hear my voice on the radio. I thought that was so cool. I realized this might be something I could see myself getting into as a career.

Q: When did you actually start working in radio?

A: I was a parking valet at Whiskey Joe’s in Tampa. They were having an event with 99.5 WQYK one day, and I got to park someone’s car who worked for the station. I mentioned my interest in radio and they said if I could find a spot for their car, they’d get me a job with the company. So, I immediately sent in my resume. I started as a street team member with the promotions department at Beasley Media Group in May of 2018 as a sophomore at USF.

Q: What roles have you had with Beasley?

A: I was a board op for Orlando and the Freakshow on Wild 94.1 when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit and they were doing the show remotely. I also got to fill in for Kevin on WQYK. Plus, I’ve done some Saturday morning shifts on Q105.

Q: Did you know about the MJ Morning Show or ever listen to it during its original run when its flagship station was 93.3 FLZ?

A: No, I wasn’t living in Tampa at the time. But I do think I had heard one of the Crotchety Old Man prank calls with Milton Fludgecow at some point because they sounded familiar when I heard them again.

Q: When did you find out you’d be joining the MJ Morning Show?

A: The show came on Q105 in October. We had a Zoom call internally maybe two weeks before the show’s return. At that point, I didn’t know if I’d be involved with the show or not. Then I found out like the Wednesday before the return of the show on the following Monday that I’d be a producer.

I started looking up the show online and realized just how incredibly popular it had been when it was originally on 93.3 FLZ.

Q: What is your role with the MJ Morning Show?

A: I’m a producer, so I do lots of things. I answer and screen calls from listeners. I monitor news sites and social media throughout the morning. I also find audio clips we can use for the show. If I come across interesting stories that might be more relevant to my age group and stuff that the crew might not find, I will bring it to their attention.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working on the show?

A: Whenever we have a good story we’re talking about and the crew start to joke around, the energy in the room is so high. Seeing everyone laugh and have a good time is what I enjoy most. I hope that the people listening in their cars are also cracking up.

Sometimes I look up in my booth and see some random stunt going on in the studio like when Froggy brought in his massive magnet. And then he was doing the Friday Fall Concert Series with his crazy stunts. You never know what they might be up to.

I think if we can help people escape reality for a segment of time by providing great entertainment, that’s our goal every morning.

Q: How would you describe the crew members?

A: MJ is definitely the guide of the show. He brings great content to the show and is really good at segueing into what he wants to do next. Froggy and Fester are definitely the jokesters. With Fester, he will even try to make light of some stories that aren’t necessarily that funny on the surface, but he finds a way to make them entertaining. Roxanne is the kind one and wants everyone to be happy. She also wants everyone to have their info correct in what they say on the air. Plus, I’ve seen her humor grow over the first few months of the show being back on.

Q: What would you say about the popularity of the show?

A: In just over three months, I think we have grown a lot in terms of listeners. We get a good number of calls, texts, and social media interaction.

I also think a lot of people who listened to the old show have come back and discovered the new one. And there are people who were kids back in the day who are now adults and have come back to listen as well.

Q: What was it like doing the Eggnog Challenge?

A: I’ve never been an eggnog person, so I don’t know why I agreed to do it. I guess I wanted to take one for the team. Drinking the first half-gallon wasn’t bad, but as soon as I cracked open the second half-gallon which hadn’t been refrigerated while I was drinking the first one, it was way too warm and thick.

I ended up drinking three-quarters of a gallon and was pretty proud of that performance.

Q: Do you think the show could be syndicated to other radio markets at some point?

A: You never know. Right now, we are focused on perfecting the show in Tampa, but I don’t see why some other stations wouldn’t want to air the show in the future.

Q: What are your goals in radio?

A: After seeing the energy from the MJ Morning Show crew, I’d love to host a morning show someday with a cast of characters like we’ve got here. I would also really like to work in a top 10 radio market down the road.

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: I like to go to the beach, fish, and have picked up golf recently.

Q: How can listeners find you on social media?

A: You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @thekylecoop.

 

2020 Year in Review: A Rebirth of the MJ Morning Show

(12/22/2020) - After nearly nine long years, many never thought it was even a possibility. But on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the MJ Morning Show made its triumphant return to terrestrial radio on Q105 (104.7 WRBQ-FM) in the Tampa Bay market. MJ opened the inaugural broadcast of the show’s return saying, “I guess I’d be lying if I said my heart wasn’t beating a little bit fast.” Instead of the Top 40 contemporary hits radio (CHR) station the show was previously on when its flagship station was 93.3 FLZ, Q105 is an ‘80s station, spinning hits from Stevie Nicks to Deaf Leopard to Billy Joel.

Following in the footsteps of Meredith, Roxanne Wilder joined regulars Froggy and Fester as the new female on the show. She had worked for Q105 for a few years on the Mason Dixon Morning Show and was retained when MJ took over the program. As expected, she has been “initiated” by the guys and is often poked fun at for not being very funny or for trying too hard, especially by Fester. Kyle “Coop” Cooper, a 23-year-old whom MJ constantly reminds is a “Gen Z-er,” also remained with the station and joined the MJ Morning Show as a producer in the “producer’s booth” next to the main studio. He screens calls for the show and handles various audio production elements for the broadcast, in addition to uploading a recording of the show each day as a podcast. Coop also attempted the Eggnog Challenge in 2020 but failed like Froggy had previously done so many times before.

Fester did a few “man on the street” stunts like he had done on the first incarnation of the MJ Morning Show. Around Halloween, he sold four pumpkins his wife didn’t need on a street corner in St. Petersburg, and he attempted to promote the return of the show via one of the PA systems in a local store but failed as he couldn’t figure out the password to enable the system. Froggy came out with a bang as “DJ Skrizzle” and produced several funny songs on various relevant topics (like MJ’s crazy hair and Roxanne lying about her marriage) before performing several crazy stunts in the studio, including jumping onto a flat-screen TV set and hurting his ankle to spraying Fester with a super-soaker gun filled with Listerine because of his bad breath. 

As for the ringleader, MJ, he keeps saying how much he missed doing the show and the mere satisfaction he gets out of doing an entertainment-driven morning radio show compared to doing The Schnitt Show. We’ve already heard him replay several Crotchety Old Man calls with Milton Fludgecow, and he has brought up a number of quirky factoids and ramblings, some of which the crew members have been quick to chide him on in order to keep the show flowing. His famous “Morons in the News” and “Hollywood Dirt” segments, along with calling Michelle to ask her random questions, have remained a staple on this second incarnation just like they were before. Plus, he and the crew have spoken openly about how small and warm their studio is, along with other internal drama within the Beasley Media Group radio station complex, and have even taken jabs at Ted Cannarozzi, the Q105 program director.

Overall, MJ and the gang had quite a memorable return to the airwaves in 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the negative impacts on the world, perhaps the best thing to happen all year long was the return of the MJ Morning Show to daily morning radio!
 

An Exclusive Interview with Roxanne Wilder

A headshot of Roxanne Wilder      

(10/14/2020) – We recently had the chance to speak with Roxanne Wilder, the newest co-host of the MJ Morning Show on Q105. Roxanne, a Tampa native and member of the Q105 team for a few years, brings a unique perspective to the show with her background in sports reporting, being a mom of two young kids, and her overall passion for living in the Tampa Bay area.

Q: Where did you attend high school and college?

A: I graduated from East Lake High School in Palm Harbor and earned an accounting degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Q: Can you describe your family?

A: I am married to Doug who works in real estate and construction. We have two daughters, Evelyn Jade who is three and Davianna who is 10 months old.

Q: Did you initially pursue a career in the media?

A: No, I actually worked in accounting for a few years. I decided that I really wanted to be a sports reporter, so I started moonlighting at FOX 13 in Tampa at night after doing my accounting work by day. I worked with Chip Carter, Kevin O’Donnell, and Chris Field there. I also did some work for Bay News 9/Catch 47. I covered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning, and lots of other teams and games. I got to attend eight straight Super Bowls, and I’ve had the chance to interview Joe Torre, Joe Maddon, Jon Gruden, Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, and lots of others in the sports world.

Q: When did you start working in radio?

A: I started in sports radio in 2011. I was part of the Kirk and Dinger Morning Show on 98.7 The Fan. It was kind of refreshing working in a radio station studio rather than always being out in the field doing sports reporting.

Q: What other TV work have you done, and how do working in TV and radio compare to each other?

A: I’ve worked on Studio 10 and The Morning Blend. I still occasionally do some TV work.

I will say I love radio because, especially as a female, there is a beauty to just having to think about what you are saying and not how you look. You can also tell stories more effectively on radio because you usually have a little more time to let the stories develop and create that theater of the mind for your listeners. But I do like to occasionally be on TV with that adrenaline rush I get when I know I’m live and on camera.

Q: When did you start with Q105?

A: I came to Q105 about four years ago and worked on the Mason Dixon Morning Show until MJ and his crew just started in the morning.

Q: What are your memories of the first incarnation of the MJ Morning Show when it originated on 93.3 FLZ?

A: Michelle really stood out to me when MJ would have her on the show. I remember hearing about how Michelle was going to law school at Stetson, when their kids were born, and just all of the family dynamics they talked about. I also remember the Crotchety prank calls, which were epic. My husband vividly remembers when MJ called Julia Roberts in the hospital and posed as Richard Gere.

Q: How did you first find out about your involvement with the MJ Morning Show?

A: I found out about 10 days before the show launched. My boss came in and told me and said he had some big news for me that would change my career. I had no idea what he meant. He told me that MJ was bringing back his morning show on Q105 and he wanted me to be the female co-host. It has been absolutely amazing how all of this has happened so quickly.

Q: In your short time on the MJ Morning Show thus far, how would you describe MJ, Froggy, and Fester?

A: I’ve always had lots of respect for MJ and what he has done with the previous morning show and his Schnitt Show. But when you work with him, you realize how brilliant and clever a man he truly is. I also have to include Michelle in this answer because she is such an amazing person and I know has helped MJ be successful in many ways.

I had met Fester at different promotional events before. He is very quick and funny. He and MJ are also very close in terms of how they work together, and Fester often helps bounce the ball to set up MJ for something.

As for Froggy, he’s like a mad scientist because he is always thinking creatively and wanting to come up with the next funny bit for the show. I really can see that creative process at work in both he and Fester every morning. They are comedians and sometimes you can tell when they’re just silently thinking to themselves about what to say or do next.

Q: What is your specific title and role on the show?

A: I’m considered a co-host, and MJ is calling all four of us co-hosts. We are all producers and contributors in some way, and we all feel like we’re pretty equal in terms of our roles.

My main goals are to be an observer of life around me so I can bring unique stories and perspectives to the conversation. I’m also constantly consuming content, anything from reading news sites and social media pages to listening to podcasts.

Q: What is the vibe like in the studio during the show?

A: It’s a very high-energy environment and intense at times. We are constantly either going to the well and trying to think of things in our minds, or we are looking things up online and trying to find the next great piece of content to talk about. MJ has a tendency to spring things on those around him, so you have to overprepare so that you can anticipate what’s coming. We all think it’s cool to have that element of improvisation.

Q: What can you say about the amount of music the show is currently playing?

A: I will say that Q105 listeners have been accustomed to hearing a fair amount of music in the morning. Some listeners say they want more music, while others say they want more talk from MJ and the crew. We are actually playing less music now than we did with Mason. Ultimately, we want to make as many listeners happy, but we have to be strategic in how we present the show as a whole. There is a chance that the amount of talk we do could evolve over time.

Q: What are your goals as a member of this show?

A: I enjoy being the female voice in the room whom the guys can bounce all kinds of questions and ideas off of, and I can do the same with them. I hope I can continue to have that type of role as an ongoing member of the show. I think I will leave some of the crazy bits and stunts up to Fester and Froggy.

Q: How can MJ Morning Show listeners follow you?

A: You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @RoxanneWilder.

 

 

          
MJ Morning Show Returning to Tampa Airwaves on Q105!

(09/25/2020) – There had been some hints, some jokes, and the usual crew banter on the MJ Morning Show podcast recently about a potential relaunch of an actual live radio show with MJ, Froggy, and Fester. But now we have official confirmation that the MJ Morning Show is actually returning to the Tampa radio market for good!

On Episode 43 of the podcast, MJ announced that the MJ Morning Show will return to the air on Monday, October 5, 2020 on Q105, 104.7 WRBQ-FM in Tampa. The classic hits station, one of the heritage radio stations in the Tampa market for many years, is owned by Beasley Media Group with studios in St. Petersburg, FL.

Like it did for so many years before, the show will air from 6 to 10 a.m. Eastern each weekday morning. We also know that MJ, Froggy, and Fester will be teaming up with Roxanne Wilder, a Q105 personality who previously served on the station's Mason Dixon Morning Show and has worked for other stations in the Tampa area. MJ said that he wanted to have a female voice on the show much like he had Meredith on the first version of the morning show and that she'd be good at ganging up on the guys with his wife, Michelle. MJ also said that he truly missed the humor and entertainment of doing a morning radio show, and this was a big reason why he wanted to get back into it. Plus, the popularity of the podcast with "hundreds of thousands of downloads" convinced he and the crew that listeners were hungry for a live show.

                                                                      
 

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