Friday, February 21, 2014

Our Story? ... Ok,...

Hola Tankers! Sharky here,..

The Shark Tank radio show is what happens when 2 passions collide at just the right time.

 When most kids around the corn field of Illinois wanted to be cowboys and astronauts, I was fascinated by the world of radio. Besides, I had my own pony as a kid, so I already was a cowboy and the only way to be an astronaut in the '60's was to be a test pilot and I had no interest in flying.

 Larry Lujack "Your loveable old Uncle Larr" at WLS in Chicago and local guys like 'Spike at the Mic' O'Dell just made the job seem so fun and it's all I wanted to do.

 The fascination with radio first came to life at Blackhawk Jr. Collage in Moline, Ill. where after switching my major from commercial art to broadcasting, I became program director and station manager of WBAQ collage radio.

 In 1980 I joined the U.S. Navy and not only worked part time for the American Forces Radio Service on Midway Islands, but that is where I also became a certified SCUBA diver...the other half of the equation.

 I'm not sure who started it, Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau or Mike Nelson, but the interest in the ocean and diving came very young to this Midwestern kid.

 I've always wanted to be a beach bum and to that end, discovered Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band in the '70's and became a Parrothead before that name was even coined.

 So when I landed on Midway Island in the spring of 1981 and was told there was a SCUBA diving club on the island and you could get certified there, I was at Koral Kings dive club before my duffel bag was unpacked. Not only becoming certified, but also becoming elected as one of the officers to the dive club and running the club's dive shop in off hours from my regular job as a radioman, working part time for AFRS, hanging at the beach...and of course diving...lots of diving.

 During all this time, from the time I was 17, until I started my architectural career, I was paying bills and making extra money working as a nightclub & occasionally mobile unit disc jockey doing High School dances and wedding receptions.

 I always joke my first car was paid for by disco.

 Jump forward to 1996, and after acquiring the nickname Sharky along he way, the lovely Mrs. Sharky and I decided to make our first trip the beautiful island of Cozumel...not knowing how much it would influence our lives..

 We were hooked from the beginning and we've been making Cozumel our vacation home ever since.

 Then somewhere around 2011 I became aware of an online radio station based on the island called, oddly enough,

  An English speaking radio station for folks on the island and most importantly the Cozumelhaulics off the island to get an island fix any time they wanted by staying in touch through island ads, events calendars and local music along with an eclectic mix of beach music, reggae, classic rock, new country & classic pop hits.

 In the spring of 2012, I met Annie Cheatham, the owner and operator of Cozumel Radio and later that summer approached her about doing a weekly show for the station.

 To my delight she said yes and on September 12th, 2012 The Shark Tank radio show was officially launched to many positive reviews by the listeners.

 Primarily a music based show, with holiday and special occasion themed shows and working off the motto, "not just beach music, but music FOR the beach", we took the format to a whole new level and folks really took to it.

The show became very successful with listener numbers jumping up every time it came on the air, and by popular demand we started not just running the show in it's regular 2pm (central) Wednesday afternoon spot, but doing a re-play of the show on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings to give folks who weren't able to tune in during work hours a chance to listen.

 Even with those options I was constantly asked for a Podcasts or archived shows to be added to the website so fans could listen anytime...we were quite flattered.

 By the spring of 2013, the success of the station and show had taken off to the point that we could no longer afford the music royalty fees that were based on listener hours.

 Quite simply, we became a victim of a catch 22 situation where the more listener hours we had, the more our operating costs were and generating enough sponsor money from the island to keep us running became an issue along with Annie leaving the island for a business opportunity in Texas, so we had to shut the 24 hour stream down.

 I am now co-owner of the radio station with Annie, and the long term plan is to restart the full time streaming radio station again, with The Shark Tank radio show returning in it's full glory as a weekly program, not just bringing back the great eclectic mix of music everyone loved, but also bringing you the best of Cozumel from the Plaza to Palancar.

 There's an alternate plan in the works, but it's top secret...

 Until then, we are bringing you the show pretty much as it would sound, just without the music.

 Just think of our YouTube episodes and segments as what you would get after B.B.King's The Trill is Gone or Zac Brown Band's Knee Deep, or before we launched into Eric Clapton's Mainland Florida or Bob Marley's Trenchtown Rock.

 If you haven't done so, become an official "Tanker" by 'following' this blog, as well as 'subscribing' to the YouTube channel and of course 'like' us on Facebook

 ...gracias amigos!

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