Brett Winterble, long known for his outspokenness on political issues on Sirius/XM Talk 168, is now bringing his pungent commentary to the best of the current world of pop culture and entertainment. And does he have a few things to get off his chest.
He scooped a number of other major media outlets by landing an interview with Casey Anthony attorney Jose Baez. And, he just spoke to Judge Jim Gray, the Libertarian party VP nominee.
Based in L.A., Winterble has demonstrated a compelling knack getting the most out of the people he interviews like TV-icons Joe Franklin and Dick Van Patten, Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice, Monkee Micky Dolenz and Karen Lynn Gorney, from the film “Saturday Night Fever.”
He’s also had on comic Pat Cooper, adult-film legend Houston, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, rock journalist Anne Raso, singer/performer Debbie Gibson and Gene Cornish from “The Rascals.”
Winterble is not only a good listener; he exhibits a genuine knowledge of his subject. Several guests have already weighed with lofty kudos. His savvy and astute spin on subjects is making waves in pop culture. We talk with the peripatetic, Emerson-graduate via phone from his L.A. studio:
THE IMPROPER: What’s your background in radio?
Winterble: I have been a lifelong radio fan, starting when I was a little kid. I started working in college radio in the late ’80s. I have worked as an overnight country DJ in El Paso, Texas, as a talk radio producer out on Cape Cod and with Rush Limbaugh, Michael Reagan and Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa at WABC in NYC.
IM: I bet you had some interesting jobs before this Sirius slot. Give us an example or two?
Winterble: OK, here is one for you. Weinerschnitzel is a huge hot dog chain out West sort of like Nathan’s in New York City. I worked there for a year, and I worked as a supermarket clerk too. To this day, when I pull into a Weinerschnitzel it still freaks me out. In radio, my favorite jobs have been in network radio; local radio is vital, but in network radio the sky is the limit. If you make a mistake though, everyone hears about it.
IM: How’d the Sirius/XM show come about?
Winterble: Back before the Brett Winterble Show became a broad- based full-service show, it was a show with a heavy focus on terrorism, security, crime and international politics. As the world changed a decade after 9/11, the desire to go full-service became stronger. At that time, the show was on the radar at Sirius XM and they decided to replace the Dr. Dean Edell Medical Show with me; a High honor.
IM: Who’d be your perfect pop-culture guests?
Winterble: Bono, Anthony Bourdain, Denis Leary and some of the guys from NASCAR. Lady Gaga would also be fun too.
IM: Coming up the radio ranks, who were your mentors?
Winterble: Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern and Curtis Sliwa, that guy is the energizer bunny of talk radio. He works 24 hours a day!
IM: It’s great that you give a voice to up-and-coming artists; I know they must really appreciate it.
Winterble: I know they really appreciate it. Look, I am an up and coming star too; it’s vital to keep stirring the pot! Frank Sinatra was new once, too!
IM: How was it working with Rush Limbaugh? Interesting I bet.
Winterble: Rush is the consummate radio professional. He is prepping 24 hours a day, plus his Top 40 radio training really helped him in his pacing and style. He single handedly reinvigorated an entire broadcast band– AM. He has also had very public struggles that I know he has worked hard to overcome as well.
IM: How do you feel about the whole development of satellite radio?
Winterble: I FRIGGING LOVE satellite radio. Not because I am on it, but because of what it represents, a whole new spectrum of creative opportunity. I have been a subscriber to both XM and Sirius since 2004 I love it.
IM: What’s on your iPod?
Winterble: Maroon 5, Gym Class Heroes, Jay Z; I love the playlist on Sirius XM/ Octane.
IM: What would your listeners be surprised at about you?
Winterble: I do politics, but I don’t live politics. I love my wife and kids and try to do all the dad stuff without working 24/7. NASCAR and Food Networks Star, and ‘Longmire,’ is a great TV show my wife got me into recently. I love southern BBQ!