The Insider: Maurie Sherman
The Insider takes you right in to the busy newsrooms and behind the bright studio lights with access to Canada’s top journalists and brightest media personalities.
Planet Maurie has been a fixture on Toronto radio since he was 18 years old and 5’4. Now clocking in at an astonishing 5’6, he continues to dominate the entertainment scene in the GTA as the senior producer of the Roz and Mocha Show and running down the KISS (gossip) Dish on the Cash Conners Show.
With the support of his family, friends, and countless prescription medications – not to mention his inimitable Nana Sherman - Dammit Maurie has forged a path for people of a certain height in the world of morning radio. Along the way he has interviewed some of the biggest celebrities on the planet. From Spice Girls to soap stars to political figures, Dammit Maurie has chatted with them all. He’s not above lying, cheating or stalking to get the interview, either! Just ask Eugene Levy.
His charisma and style has helped Dammit Maurie form lifelong friendships with such greats as Michael Lohan, Ben Mulroney and the lead singer from Flock Of Seagulls …whatever his name is.
Keep listening … because you never know what The Little Guy is going to do next. But whatever it is, it’s sure to be sensational!
What types of pitches capture your attention?
When so many press releases or packages are sent, and you’re tired from being up at 3:30am, pitches need to stand out.
Maybe it’s just me, but people don’t have time or the desire to read more than a page of small text.
I’ve always been a big fan of pitches that offer suggestions on how we can use your product or guest on our show. I also have a hate on for releases, emails or mailings that start with; “Dear Producer” or “dear morning team” – really? You can’t take a couple extra minutes and personalize the letter? It just shows or suggests that you don’t really care and in that case, neither do I, but thanks for the scrap paper.
What makes a great story for you to use for the Roz and Mocha Show?
We’re tending to gear more towards compelling topics; stories or topics that can get the phones going with some great stories from listeners. DIY Network brought Vanilla Ice to town for his new show, and I wanted to have him on the show. So the suggestion I made was to bring him on to help spice up a topic around the premise of his show. We ran a segment called “what’s your DIY disaster?”.
You and the team at KISS are very active on Twitter and Facebook. How do you use social media to help with your day-to-day job?
Twitter is one of the best things to come along for folks in our industry – I love that you can instantly see what’s going on around the world, or with people, companies and places that you follow. It’s so outstanding for what we do, as its perfect for last minute news, stories we may have missed, or stuff in Toronto that we need to know. We can’t all have our ears to the ground 100% of the time, so Twitter fixes the gap when our ears aren’t on the ground.
What is a day in your life like?
The alarm goes off at 2:25am. I reset it for 3:25am – I call that the snooze factor. You can’t set the alarm for when you need to get up, or you’ll sleep past it- wacky theory, but it works for me. I stumble out of bed and put my Blackberry by the computer, shower, and then make a green tea, take my vitamins and grab a yogurt and add Omega 3 powder to it. I then plop down in front of the computer to finish the prep for my hosts.
I broke down and bought a car as I just couldn’t handle the TTC at that crazy hour anymore. Only crazy people ride the bus at 4am, seriously.
During the show I turn in to a traffic cop; making sure the hosts are teasing the right contests or calls, and getting the guests I’ve lined up the day before on the phone or in studio, or just laughing adding some depth on-air.
After the show, we toss around ideas for the next day- this continues all day. After the show I also produce a daily promo that runs all day. I rush home, reply to some emails and nap for bit since I have o be up at 2pm to call in to the studio in the afternoon for an entertainment segment, called the Kiss Dish that I host.
My fiancé who works at CTV rolls in around 6 or 7pm, we grab dinner and watch TV till 11:30/12 before we hit the cocoon.
What makes a good PR pro?
I always found that the best PR people are the ones that work WITH you – the ones that know what works for your show, and someone who loves what they do. I love going to events or working with PR reps that enjoy what they’re pitching. Plus, if a PR rep is following you on Twitter or Facebook, and reads a tease or promo for your show, and has something that can work with that and gets in touch with you…WOW gold stars for that! PR to me, is not just press releases or free swag, it’s knowing what is best for your client, and for the media, and knowing how to merge the two.
What is the best part of your job?
I love that each day is different. Every show has its different stories, moods and music – plus, I don’t have to dress up for work, at 3am I could never put on a suite. So to be able to wear crummy polo shirts is a perk to me. I know, I’m a very simple man.
What do you have playing on your iPod?
I actually don’t own an iPod, however, I’m always listening to Madonna, Mariah Carey and The Guess Who.. yup, a gay man in an old man’s body.