Our challenger for this year’s Iron Imager contest is ready! WPLJ‘s imaging director Dan Kelly will face Paul Duffy May 4th at this year’s AllAccess Worldwide Radio Summit. We had the chance to speak to him while he prepares for the flight to LA and the upcoming contest. Check out Dan’s strategy for the contest, his plans for LA and some audio. Next stop: Los Angeles!

1. How does it feel to compete against radio imaging producers from all over the world and now going to LA as finalist?

It’s pretty crazy. I bet somebody made a mistake and I didn’t really win 😉 I know there were some awesome pieces submitted from some really talented producers. Maybe my subliminal “this top of the hour ID is the best one you’re listening to” buried in the mix helped! Seriously though, this is a really cool contest and I’m honored to have been picked…and I’ll try to represent everybody who sent in an entry. Hearing those was pretty inspiring stuff.

2. Is this your first visit to LA?

This won’t be my first visit to LA. I’ve been there twice before. It’s so different from New York where I grew up that it’s a ton of fun to be there. There’s so much to do and cool places to visit!

3. Do you have a certain routine or training to defeat Paul Duffy?

Well, I’m doing 5 reps of 10 beatmixes a day, drinking 64 oz of Mountain Dew daily and practicing Gaelic. (OK, I bet he doesn’t speak any Gaelic and I’m not a super crazy beatmixer!)… I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Paul yet, but I’ve heard his entries from last year. Really nice work and not crazy overdone, which I think is important. I’m not so focused on “beating” Paul as much as I’d just like to do the best I can, given the parts and time I have. As long as I did the best I could within those constraints I’ll be happy with whatever the outcome is. And sure we all work under pressure all the time, but this is a bit different. I hope I’ll feel comfortable on my system there and can set up some plug-ins and get my session straight. I’ll just try to prepare as much as possible.

4. A big imaging contest with a lot of people attending. How do you deal with the time limit and the stress? I bet working on WPLJ and NASH is quite more stressful :)?

Yes, doing both WPLJ and NASH-FM 94-7 is a lot on most days. It can get pretty hairy. The good thing about Iron Imager is that I can absolutely 100% focus on doing just that piece without there being a salesperson asking a favor, a technical problem, etc, etc. I can put my full brainpower (that’s not very much) into working on this and hopefully finish it with time to spare! I’d hate to see a clock ticking down the seconds as I’m rushing to finish. Seeing that on cooking or baking shows is pretty stressful….but I don’t think I foresee any stress….I just want to see the copy, look at the parts and plan it in my brain as quickly as possible that day….and of course I won’t know anything about what we’re doing until the contest! It should be a fun challenge, slightly stressful but in a good way!

5. Do you have any plans for LA? Is there something you want to do?

Around the convention and the contest I’m going to try to visit a couple of people…and hopefully I can get to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles! We need those in NY! I went to one in 2000 when I attended the R&R Convention. Pretty awesome.

Here’s a Promo, we ran over the weekend which references that viral video commercial for Kmart which you may have seen!

Thanks to Dan for answering our questions and good luck to both finalists!

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