Interview with Bill Handel, KFI-AM
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Interview with Bill Handel, KFI-AM
The following interview is with August’s “Making Change” Award winner Bill Handel, radio personality at KFI-AM. Bill currently is the host of KFI’s morning show and is the host of his own legal advice show, “Handel on the Law”. Bill and KFI have successfully completed one cash mob and are already in the process of planning more.
Q. What motivated you to organize a cash mob?
The idea initially came from our Program Director, Robin Bertolucci. Once word of a cash mob spread, there wasn’t a doubt that we wanted to implement a cash mob as soon as possible. With an audience of over 1 million people, I knew the success of this event would be dependent on the KFI listener.
Q. Why did you choose the location of your mob?
For our first cash mob, we sent out an invite over the radio and asked listeners to send in a request, via phone or email, for a well-deserving business to get mobbed. Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat received a mass amount of votes. Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat had nearly three times as many votes than any other business. Clearly, it was a no brainer that this store was the winner. This local toy store, located in Corona del Mar, California, has been struggling during the economic downturn. Recently, owners Lori and Mike Curtain had to close three other locations, and they were behind in rent. Because of their financial situation, they were facing the possibility of closing this location as well.
Q. Summarize the planning process of the cash mob.
We honestly didn’t have a tremendous amount of planning for this mob. Once we were aware of the idea and knew we had to get one started, we just went for it. Fortunately, we have such a mass audience that just by broadcasting the location of the mob and giving live updates from the store, we were able to draw nearly 400 people to Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat. There was already a line of people outside of the store before the doors even opened.
Q. What feedback have you received from the community as well as KFI?
We have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from our listeners and from members of the community. I truly was not expecting to make this big of an impact, and I am surprised with the recognition we have received nationally. KFI has since followed up with owners Lori and Mike Curtain and people are still coming in to shop at their store because of the awareness the cash mob built. Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat is now able to keep its doors open at least through the holiday season and hopefully indefinitely. As for the feedback from my colleagues at KFI, they are all miserable and heartless and could care less (~sarcasm).
Q. Do you plan on organizing other mobs? If so how will each one be unique?
Oh, absolutely! We have 8 radio stations within the Los Angeles area and they all will be holding individual cash mobs in the near future. We want to have a variety of mob locations including restaurants, pet shops and other small local businesses. Management is already in the process of planning our next mobs and we are once again asking our audience for advice and suggestions. People are able to email their suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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