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Daily Hive’s Connecting Canada series features Canadians who motivate and inspire us, and keep our cities connected. From entrepreneurs to social media influencers to community leaders, we dig deep to find out how these change-makers got started, their daily success strategies, and how technology keeps them at the top of their game.
If being a morning radio host wasn’t demanding enough, Buzz Bishop keeps himself busy by running a number of successful blogs, all while being the Canadian Diabetes Association Regional Chair for Southern Alberta and a devoted father and husband.
Yes, you could say Bishop’s daily routine is anything but standard — he’s a man that does it all (and then some).
So, how exactly does he manage to fit so much into his work day? Self-motivation, that’s how.
It isn’t only a skill that pushed Bishop to launch his first blog, DadCAMP, in the fall of 2009 when he was between jobs as a way to get out and network with other dads. It’s something that’s allowed him to build his personal brand and be a powerhouse regardless of where he is that day — on your car radio, blogging on DadCAMP (or one of his other successful blogs), or speaking on behalf of the Canadian Diabetes Association.
As the worlds of broadcasting and media continue to evolve, you better believe that Bishop plans on growing with them.
What inspired you to pursue a career in radio broadcasting and blogging?
I was failing out of university and didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do. My brother was in grade 12 and knew he wanted to study computer science. So when it came time for his second option for career day at school, he went to the radio presentation and brought me home a pamphlet. I went for an audition, was accepted to BCIT in Vancouver, and nearly 30 years later, I’m still doing what I love.
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What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in that time, and how did you overcome them?
Being unemployed was the hardest. I was let go from Virgin Radio in Vancouver in the summer of 2009. It took me five months to find another job, and there were times when I thought I’d never get back on the air again.
This is when I started DadCAMP as a way to tell the story of life with my sons and to network with other dads to find new opportunities. In December 2009 I was offered a job in Calgary and have been here ever since.
What would your advice be for people trying to get into the same industry?
Traditional media is a hard gig in 2018. I look at kids just getting into the biz and I really wonder what things will look like down the road. Heck, I wonder if things will stay the same enough for me to get to retirement.
In the end, we will always need content creators. Back in the day, people worked at newspapers, now they’re at outlets like Daily Hive. Today’s radio talent will be tomorrow’s podcasters and YouTube stars. We will always need people to curate and entertain, just find a way to express yourself and do what you love.
What does your average workday look like, and what do you wake up looking forward to doing?
As a morning radio host, I don’t have much time to look forward to anything when the alarm goes off at 4 am. I head immediately to work when I wake up (not even time for a shower – I don’t want to wake up my family). I’m at the studio by 4:45, and that’s when I work through the day’s news and put final touches on our show. I’m on air 5:30 to 9 am and then we spend an hour to 90 minutes planning for the next day.
I go to the gym, have a nap, have meetings, and fill my day with random things until my sons are done school. I pick them up, chauffeur them around, make dinner, and then hit the hay by 8:30 pm before I do it all over again.
What skills are essential to your job and do you think having an industry niche is an advantage?
Creativity and self-motivation are important. A career on the radio means a lot of doing things on your own. You’re responsible for the creativity of your show, so the more you put in, the better you’ll be.
How does technology factor into what you do and what’s one piece of tech can’t you leave home without?
I can’t believe I used to cut pages out of magazines and get faxes for ideas back in the day. Now, everything is online, from feedback with consultants, to show planning with my cohosts, to posting things for our audience to engage with throughout the day.
I can’t leave home without my iPhone 8. I just installed Moments on it, an app that tracks your phone pickups and time spent on it each day. I average about 65 picks and six hours with my phone in my hand each day.
How do you stay connected to the rest of the world when you’re travelling?
I have my phone in my hand six hours a day on vacation too! I like that I can flick on Easy Roam and share my adventures, keep up on news back home, and stay in touch.
What are 5 apps you can’t live without?
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How is your relationship with your audience and how do you usually engage with them?
I’ve been online since 1996. I was an early adopter of MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Insta, heck I even got excited about Meerkat back in 2016. Being on the leading edge of social media in a traditional media world has allowed me to be where my audience is, and then invite them back to the radio.
What’s next for your career?
I just started doing mornings with Heather and Coach on XL 103 this year, so I’m locked into making this work for the long haul. Ideally, we’ll make a magical connection with the audience and I’d be able to ride this gig into the sunset.