For iHeartRadio‘s John McDade one of the best things about living in Phoenix is the city’s small-town feel. “We are much more diverse than the reputation we get,” McDade says when describing the city he’s lived in since the age of one. On a more personal note, McDade also enjoys being near his extended family. Before starting in radio, McDade spent most of his professional life working in the newsrooms of local television stations. “In 2005, all the local news departments started downsizing and I saw the writing on the wall and I made the switch to radio,” he says.
Having worked in both television and radio, McDade says he understands the appeal of both, but prefers the immediacy of radio. “Radio cuts to the chase a lot faster. We get right to the story. There’s not much of a set-up time in radio, whereas there is in television. We are able to get things out to our listeners a lot faster.”
When it comes to the advice that he would give new reporters, McDade says it would be to check all their biases at the door. “The listening and viewing audience is so used to sniffing out biases, and once you’re found out, half the audience will tune you out unless they agree with your point of view.” On his own methods of staying unbiased when reporting on controversial topics or people, McDade says he tries to be honest with his producers and editors. “I have them help me keep my biases in check. I’ve said to my producers, this is who I am and please help me to stay neutral.”
A typical weekend for McDade includes spending as much time with his family, and in particular his 13-year old daughter, as he can. McDade is also an avid runner. “My wife and I are both marathon runners. We spend a lot of time running on the trails here in the valley.” While his wife is gearing up to run this year’s Boston Marathon, McDade says one of his most memorable marathon experiences was running in Chicago. “It’s one of the most fun marathons. The whole community gets behind it and the entire city comes out to cheer for all the runners.”
If McDade had the opportunity to interview any U.S. president, he would choose President Reagan. “I would specifically ask him about the optimism and forward-thinking that he had and then ask him about what he would say about the current political landscape of the country.” One of McDade’s most memorable reporting experiences came while he was a student at Arizona State University. “Pope John Paul visited Phoenix in 1987 and spoke at Sun Devil Stadium and I got a brief interview with him. He was one of the biggest stars on the planet back then.” If he wasn’t in radio McDade says he would be a social studies teacher. “My daughter’s seventh grade class is doing some really fun and cool things. School is much more entertaining now!”