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Live And Local For 32 Years

10-7-13

Pierre Robert

WMMR Philadelphia
Format - Rock
Listen live at www.wmmr.com
His Shift - Weekdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Years at station: 32
Follow - @pierrerobert933


Pierre Robert began working at WMMR over 30 years ago when he packed his San Francisco bags, gathered up his $600 in savings, and moved to Philadelphia after the rock station he was working for flipped to Country. He had a few friends in Philly and figured he could roll into town and find a nice radio gig. Robert knocked on every radio door in town and was finding no brotherly love for his talents. He came up empty and took a job at a health food store on South Street. The upcoming issue of Radio Ink magazine includes a back page interview with Robert. Here's a preview of that interview which touches on his commitment to community, his love for rock music, and his thoughts on kids breaking into the business like he did. 

(Listen to our audio interview HERE which includes material not found in this story)

After about six months of lugging around 50 pound sacks of rice, Robert decided to take a detour on his way home from work and go see a palm reader. She asked him what questions he had for her. I asked "What is going to come of my career?" She said, "You are going to get a letter within the next two weeks. Follow what it says very carefully." I swear the next day I got a letter from the WMMR music director which lead to me being his assistant in the music library. Within a few days, they needed someone overnight on the weekends.

Robert would pay his dues early on at WMMR. My beginnings there, 32 years ago, was working in the music library all week long, going home on Friday night and coming back late Friday night and doing the overnight Friday into Saturday, riding my bicycle home, coming back on Saturday night, doing overnight into Sunday. Sunday morning, I would ride my bicycle back to my apartment, getting my cereal, and then riding back to work and working all day in the music library. That's how I started. I did that almost until poverty and exhaustion took over, almost a year later, and the overnight show became available. I did the overnights for 2.5 years. Then I got offered the midday."

Pierre is the heart and soul of WMMR. His love and respect for our listeners is recognized and reciprocated by his legions of fans. Most of whom he has personally met, shaken their hand and offered a sincere, Good Day, Citizen! Hes the penultimate example of grassroots, street marketing and the reward of loyalty that results. Pierres warm baritone is a comforting balm for his harried, workday listeners  and his quacking laugh helps them recognize the joys of our shared experience.
                                           
.......WMMR Program Director Bill Weston


RI: Is it still as fun for you today as it was back when?

Robert: Oh yeah. Time after time, I go "Oh my god, this is great." There is no BS in that whatsoever. I am 58 and I go insane at Green Day concerts. I am in a mosh pit at The Offspring and at Rancid, which is a punk band that I love. Crosby, Still, Nash and Young are one of my favorite bands. I saw Graham Nash a few nights ago and he put on a magical show. I have gotten to know some members of the Pearl Jam camp and they are awesome. Each of these bands does something different.

RI: You are known for your community involvement. Why do you do all that?
Robert: Why wouldn't you, is the better question. You can't fix everything, but you can help. You can turn people onto things. Whether its talking about the breast cancer walk or the AIDS walk or broadcasting from the AIDS walk, which I did for many years, or just going out to a beef and beer for somebody or even mentioning it if you can't get there. It keeps you connected with the community. We have developed this bond with the listeners, which is why we are multigenerational. MMR defies traditional radio. We have listeners from 15-65 and everywhere in between.

RI: Do you believe kids can make it in the radio industry the way you did?
Robert: I don't know. It's tough. The people that come to us, come to us because they see what MMR is all about. Our intern crew and promotions crew is huge, and they are all young kids who grew up listening to MMR. They get it. I tell them, "Yes, it is tough. Get your degree. Get as many internships as you can. There are fewer and fewer stations like MMR, but there are some that are still out there. There are some great radio stations that are out there. The internship way, over the course of a college career can get you a lot of connections. I think they have to have the ability, the drive and not give up, plus a touch of luck.

Reach out to Pierre and congratulate him on a killer career in the radio business pierre@wmmr.com





 
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