Philadelphia sports radio host John Kincade spoke to Rowan students during this week’s Pizza with the Pros event on Monday, Nov. 1.
John Kincade, a Pennsylvania native, spent 25 years as an Atlanta sports radio host before returning to Philadelphia with “The John Kincade Show on 97.5 The Fanatic.”
Kincade shared stories with the students about his journey and how they can learn from his unique style and positions in the industry.
Throughout his talk, Kincade often encouraged students to think outside of their comfort zone. He told students to “step towards people,” even if it may result in failure, instead of waiting for opportunities to land in their laps. Accepting failure and learning from mistakes was Kincade’s repeated idea, highlighting its importance and prevalence in his own career.
Kincade recalled a turning-point moment from his internship at PRISM, the original broadcasting station for Philadelphia sports at the time. While working on Flyers coverage, Kincade noticed the coach was editing film using an outdated method. Kincade, only an intern for the broadcasting company, bravely pointed out there was a simpler shortcut. This gutsy move was vital for Kincade’s career. The Flyers swapped his internship for a full-time position in the company.
A student asked about making a risky move when struggling with confidence issues. Kincade reminisced about his early high school days. He noted how his height, or lack thereof, pushed him to form a “funny kid” mentality. Kincade described it as having “Bravado, not confidence.” This phrase would be meaningful to Kincade in the future, as he lived by it for the rest of his career.
“If you don’t want to let people down, you won’t. One hundred percent,” Kincade said.
This mindset helped him stay true to his art. Kincade highlights how effort and going the extra mile will do wonders, even if one makes a significant mistake.
“Don’t be afraid to tell people what you don’t know,” Kincade said. He added that asking questions is a must for students to further their careers.
Kincade also explained how ratings for radio stations operate. He mentioned how he wanted his show to be perceived. He didn’t want it to be classified as an everyday show.
“[Its not] your dad’s radio show. I want to be your radio show,” Kincade said.
His target audience for “The John Kincade Show,” is 18 to 26-year-olds. Without getting personal, Kincade explained that his pay is based on how long a single listener stays tuned in, not the quantity of listeners that tune in.
Choosing a younger demographic was one of many ways Kincade strayed from the traditional foundations of Philly sports radio shows.
Understanding the shorter attention spans of his audience, he knew he would need other outlets to put shorter content out. He has a production team of employees that are younger than their counterparts on other radio shows. They contribute heavily to steering Kincade’s content to his younger target audience.
Regarding Kincade’s time in Atlanta, he emphasized how important it was for him to stay true to himself. The American Southeast, especially Georgia, is a “whole different animal” when it comes to sports, Kincade said. Instead of trying to fit in, Kincade played into his “outsider” status and asked for his Atlanta audience to simply accept him. The fans’ acceptance welcomed Kincade into their world of sports. The culture surrounding Atlanta sports has more similarities than differences to that of Philadelphia sports.
Kincade is always accepting of a challenge and any criticism he faces. He mentioned how the day his production team stops challenging him, is the day they stop working for him. He filled the room with the utmost humility and charisma, leaving the attending students inspired for the next step.
Natalie Egenolf, brand ambassador for Parx Casino, will speak at Pizza with the Pros next Monday, Nov. 8, at 6 p.m.
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