How Do Radio’s Leaders Balance Work & Life?


So much work, so little time! What’s a manager to do to get it all done and still walk through the front door at night without having a flying object come at you because, yet again, you’ve been gone for 14 hours? We turned to some of the best leaders in the industry for the answer to that very question.

Mike Tarter, Nick Martin, John Caracciolo, and Chris Oliviero were all on Radio Ink’s inaugural 20 Best Leaders in Radio list (4/17/17). Here’s how they attempt to find balance.

Chris Oliviero

“A leader must set healthy boundaries and recognize what happens when we go beyond them, especially in trying to juggle the work and personal life balance. No job — regardless of position — is worth sacrificing a healthy and enjoyable personal life. Little things go far in accomplishing this, such as limiting weekend and evening e-mails to only time-sensitive requests and gently prodding colleagues to make sure they maximize all their vacation days.

“A well timed — and delivered with a smile — phrase, ‘Go home early,’ on slower-than-normal days, especially around long weekends, can make a world of difference. As financial pressures might at times limit a company’s ability to reward staff with traditional bonuses as often as they’d like, sometimes additional vacation days to spend with family are also a nice gesture to say to an employee, ‘Job well done!’”
Chris Oliviero, EVP/Programming, CBS Radio


“It is a tough balance. I try not to take home the issues, stress, and problems that occur at work. You do need to disconnect from work, and that is very difficult at times. I encourage employees to take their vacation time and look for ways to spend time away. The difficulty is not to ask too much of employees who are more than willing to take on more work or projects. We want them to be involved in their church, civic clubs, hobbies, and family life.”
Mike Tarter, President/CEO, Forcht Broadcasting


“I’m a firm believer that successful people have balance in their lives. I have to be connected 24/7. We’re just like Waffle House — we never close! But that doesn’t mean that I can’t find time to relax and clear my mind. I encourage all of our employees to do

Nick Martin

that. With all of the technology today, you can still be connected 1,000 miles away from the office. This allows everyone the flexibility to combine work and play while still taking care of business if you need to. Programming, sales, traffic, engineering, digital — all departments can make changes and adjust remotely if needed.

“If I am traveling on business or pleasure, I can listen to the stations via one of our apps, or check anything remotely, from payables to a playlist, or plate current at a tower site. This flexibility wasn’t available years ago, but it is now. If you are effective in planning ahead, you should be able to leave work at work unless emergencies arise, and they do!

“Everyone needs time away to wind down and recharge; individual productivity depends on it. Just make sure everything is covered — then you truly can relax, enjoy, and balance it all. Find something you are passionate about and enjoy it. Read a book, take a walk, go to the gym, spend time with family — whatever it is that helps you clear your mind. Just try not to text me on the golf course unless it’s a real emergency — I really enjoy those few hours without distractions!”
Nick Martin, General Manager, Big River Broadcasting.


“It’s tough! We are live, we are local, and we are 24/7. I have a family around me that

John Caracciolo

lives the business like I do, so that helps a lot. Sometimes a date night with my wife and daughter is going to a client remote or a new client’s restaurant, but my wife, who has been with me at the transmitter sites at 2 a.m, holding the flashlight, spent New Year’s Eve 2016 with me holding the top of an audio console open and on the side of the Long Island Expressway, trying to get the station van started in Hamptons rush hour traffic on July 4, and has endured countless phone calls at all hours of the night — well, she gets it. This is the business we have chosen.

“I keep saying I am lucky, and I am lucky to have people around me in our business like my wife and daughter, brother Patrick Caraciollo, and my best friend and partner, Vic Canales, who shares all of this responsibility with me. Shane Reeve, our EVP for Florida, and I have known each other since we were kids stealing Coors Lights from his dad’s house (him, not me) — we have been through it all. Bruce Shepard and Joe Gerani, who run Long Island — we have been looking for worms under rocks since we were out of college. Sammy Gerace in Ocala, Chris Ganoudis in Orlando, Matt Goldapper in West Palm, and Pat Jarmek and Natalie Matyka, and my ‘work wife,’ Janet Leporin, our CFO — we finish each other’s sentences. We have the best private equity partners an entrepreneur could ask for with Northwood Ventures.

“I can’t imagine a day without this team together as one and continuing to grow. We lead by example of each other. People have a huge impact on your life and we just have great people at JVC and honored and proud to work side-by-side with them every day. One of my favorite quotes is from David Ogilvy: ‘First, make yourself a reputation for being a creative genius. Second, surround yourself with partners who are better than you are. Third, leave them to go get on with it.’”
John Caracciolo, President/CEO, JVC Media


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