Dino is also the founder and CEO of RedRock Podcast network, of which The Shiznit! is the flagship show.
1. What made you decide to start a podcast network?
Well, like most everyone in Los Angeles, I had always been drawn to the entertainment industry in some form or another. My background is in TV/film production where I got my BA, and I wanted to be a director or writer. I even dabbled in acting in some local plays and what-not, and I loved all of it. After school I tried to find a job in the industry--I could not, and I was tired of being broke, so I just got a regular job and eventually started a family. Over the years, people would tell me things like "You have a great radio voice" or "You should have your own show--you are really funny." But this was before the days of the internet and YouTube, and you could not just go and do your own thing. Finally, the internet did come, and people were doing their own thing, and through a series of circumstances I became friends with Crysta Garner from The Frosty, Heidi, & Frank Show and later her own show. She recognized talent in me and encouraged me, so here I am.
2. How would you describe The Shiznit to listeners who have yet to hear it?
I would describe it as a more hip and urban FH&F with a little bit of Carolla and Stern thrown in for good measure. I am a huge podcast and talk radio fan, and we are influenced by all of those guys. But make no mistake, we have a voice that is all of our own---we are unique for sure.
3. What are the unique benefits--and challenges--of working in the podcast format?
Well, the benefits are that it is pretty much the Wild West right now so we have a lot of freedom. Hopefully it stays that way. And the startup is relatively inexpensive compared to starting your own radio station. Another plus is that it is like TiVo for radio in the sense that people can download it and listen at their leisure, than can pause, rewind, fast forward, or stop it all together and come back whenever it is convenient for them.
One of the biggest drawbacks is people want to be able to call into the show and talk about the topics with us, and that is not impossible, but it is very difficult and The Adam Carolla Show is the only one I know that does it. I am sure it is not cheap either. The other thing is that a lot of people are not familiar with the format and the technology, so there is a lot of having to teach people how to listen to a podcast.
4. How do you choose topics to cover on your show?
Through the week the crew members Amber Meshack (co-host,) Damon Standifer (co-host/writer), Unkle Powers (sound EFX/associate producer), and myself devour all types of media stories that we find interesting and that we believe our audience will like as well, and then we decide what we will cover in our pre-production meeting before we record the show.
5. Since we're just a couple months into 2014, what can we expect to see/hear from you in the year to come?
A LOT! We are currently seeking a field correspondent to add to the team to do man-on-the-street type of interviews. We have new games and bits that we are working on, and we are in talks with some pretty big names to be guests on the show. You can expect the production to improve and for each of us to improve as well as we hit our groove and really start to define our style and ourselves. In addition, we are working on a way to do remote interviews via Skype or some other technology.