Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Eckhartz Bookshelf: Behind the Glass

 With over 80 books in our library, this year we're taking some time every week to highlight one of the books on the Eckhartz bookshelf. This week's book is Behind the Glass: Stories of a Sports Radio Producer.

Do you want to know how a radio show is produced? Are you interested in sports radio and booking big-name guests? This book will take you through one producer’s daily grind to land important guests and put them on the air with hosts. It’s not always as easy as it may seem. Just because you get their number, doesn’t mean they are willing to talk!

Randy Merkin, Radio Producer for almost 30 years, takes you Behind the Glass for a glimpse into this industry. He reveals how he finds the guests and what it takes to schedule their radio appearances. Randy shares many great stories about athletes, coaches, journalists, and celebrities and also gives you a glimpse into their personalities and temperament.

As you will see, rejection is a big part of this business. However, Randy’s anecdotes highlight how rewarding it is to put guests on the air and give them a platform to talk about what is newsworthy.

  • “As a new talk show, finding the right executive producer is vital to a show’s long-term success. I can say that the Waddle & Silvy Show has been successful over parts of three decades due, in part, to Randy Merkin. After his sweaty first interview with Waddle, our PD, and me in 2007, Randy quickly established relationships with A-list guests, a trust with Chicago teams, and a quick wit on the air.

    Merk is much more than an executive producer & is one of the best storytellers I know. I’ve enjoyed watching him creatively navigate booking the best guests in the business. And, if he’s booked them once, they continue to join us thanks to Merk establishing a trust that few other producers earn. Merk is a pro’s pro, a lifelong friend & radio brother.”

    Marc Silverman, Co-Host of the Waddle & Silvy Show, ESPN Radio AM 1000
  • “Randy is an incredible radio talent. His vast knowledge of the business and bottomless pool of contacts are unmatched. I’ve learned a lot about the business from Randy. His talent is only exceeded by his loyalty and integrity. Randy is the best!!!”

    Tom Waddle, Co-Host of the Waddle & Silvy Show, ESPN Radio AM 1000
  • ”In our years together I saw Randy go from green to whatever the opposite is when it comes to experience. I also saw him go from black to grey (now I’m talking hair), maybe from having to deal with us! But when it came to guest booking, I’ve never been with anyone better. My partner, Bob Berger, and I would marvel at his naivete when it came to his guest pursuits, and what he said he could deliver, until he actually DELIVERED! What a great joy it was for us to have those conversations, thanks to Randy’s passion and ‘never take no for an answer approach.’ He was the best!”

    Bruce Murray, former host, One-On-One Sports/Sporting News Radio & current host, SiriusXM’s NFL Radio
  • “After more than 40 years in radio, I can tell you that Randy’s the best. There’s nobody better at booking guests! If there was a Hall of Fame for producers, Randy would get in on the first ballot. The list of those he somehow convinced to come on radio shows is a who’s who’s of the sports world and beyond. I was lucky enough to be in front of the microphone for many of those interviews.”

    Bob Berger, former host, One-On-One Sports/Sporting News Radio
  • “While we cherish champions in the world of sports, we cheer louder for champions in the game of life. Character, integrity and honesty matter. That sums up Randy Merkin.”

    James "JB" Brown, Host of NFL Today on CBS and Inside the NFL on Showtime