If you tune into 96.5 AMP Radio weekday afternoons, you can get a little taste of the nightclub life served up fresh by a local DJ whose aggressive love of music is truly contagious.
But just a year ago, DJ Mike Adam was out in the wilderness after being ditched by local top 40 station Q102, left to fend for himself in the backwoods of FM radio, even taking a job in New York despite the commute from Philly.
"My brain is still kind of boggled by all that," Adam said of his unexpected termination in August 2014. "I was never given an explanation. And ratings were good."
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Officials from IHeartRadio, which owns Q102, did not respond to requests for comment about Adam's firing.
But sources familiar with the situation backed up his story of a sudden decision by managers to ditch the DJ who was interviewing stars like Kanye West, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and the boys from One Direction on-air while they were in town for shows.
But the Connecticut native who made Philly his home is amped, no pun intended, to be back in Philly working AMP, a young affiliate recently launched by CBS, where he started last month.
"I heard whispers AMP in Philly was going to be launched, and immediately raised my hand and said, 'I'd love to go back to Philly.'"
Related link: Q102 DJ Mike Adam dropped by Clear Channel
"It turned out to be a blessing in disguise," he said of losing his old job. "This team that's been put together for AMP here in Philly is so young and we mesh so well together. ... It's not the kiddie top 40 that you've come to know from Q102, it's not leaning on that Radio Disney bubblegum-type stuff."
Adam mentioned artists like Armin van Buuren and Kygo as part of the sound AMP is exploring.
"We’re taking chances on songs that actually have hip potential. They’re songs that are more bubbling on the streets or in the club and nobody's really jumped on when it comes to the radio," he said. "It's almost like a more mature top 40 that people in their twenties can listen to and enjoy."
For now Adam is loving the new job, especially giving away free money, he said. AMP has an ongoing promotion where if listeners catch them fail to play 40 songs back-to-back during their commercial-free blocks four times a day, they win $4,000.
"It's not some hoax," Adam said. "You win straight cash, immediately."
"We’re the new kids on the block, so it's about saying, 'Hey, we’re here,' and making sure the on-air content is flawless."
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