Pete Barrett: You started as a print journalist, where do you see the profession of journalism headed? In five years will everything be on the web?
Michael Kay: I think there will always be newspapers but not nearly as many as there used to be. I think some people like the feel of the paper in their hands and that will keep a small number of big papers viable but the future of journalism is on the web, which is essentially a newspaper except that it is housed differently. All the tenets of print journalism will remain but they will be read off tablets rather than paper. As for a timetable, i believe the official death of the newspaper will be longer than five years in the future because there are still two generations that are used to getting their news that way and those generations will still have to be served in some sense.
Pete Barrett: I am sure you have had offers to go national with your radio show; however, you have stayed in New York. You were born in NY, you went to Fordham, what is it about NY that you love?
Michael Kay: Well, if you are going to be a big fish in a small pond this is certainly the small pond you want to work in. When you do a radio show in New York with the advent of all this new technology, you are almost doing a national show. Our show in broadcast on our web site and ESPN has apps that play it so it can be heard all over the world. But again, if you are not national, being “local” in the biggest city in the world is not a bad gig.
Pete Barrett: On your current broadcasts you work with guys like David Cone, Al Leiter, and Ken Singleton. The role of the color commentator, at least on television, is dominated by ex athletes. Do you feel the same will be said about play by play guys in the future?
Michael Kay: Not necessarily. I actually believe the ex athletes make the best analysts because they played the game and are best suited to explain what happened. As for the PBP guy, I think the guy that is best suited to do that job will be the guy who gets it. If it’s an athlete, like Kenny Singleton, who can do it, then he can do it. But i dont believe those jobs will simply be given to ex athletes because that doesnt serve a purpose or gain an advantage.
Michael Kay: Work harder than anyone else. My parents taught me that. I think it’s the best advice you can be given because most people are not separated by that much talent so the one who works the hardest will be the one that is noticed and promoted.
Pete Barrett: You do tremendous interviews on Center Stage and The Michael Kay Show, what do you believe are the principles to an excellent interview?
Michael Kay: Curiosity and listening. I never go into an interview with a dedicated list of questions in which I will not deviate. You must be curious about the subject and listen to his answer and ask the next question off that rather than the next question on your list.
Pete Barrett: How does one come up with a great home run call like “See Ya” without copying someone, or it sounding hokey?
Michael Kay: Some might say that See Ya is hokey but i came by it by accident. At the time I got my radio job with John Sterling I was dating a girl who said See Ya, Wouldnt want to be Ya, when she got out of the car at the end of the date. I shortened it and went with that for the home run call. I think it’s become accepted because I have been doing it 20 years and it’s almost part of the lexicon. I’m just lucky. All home run calls are contrived but keep fiddling around with it at college and see what people think. But don’t try too hard because it will sound forced and too contrived.