By LEANNA DOOLITTLE
USFSP Student Reporter
ST. PETERSBURG – Miguel and Holly have been together since 2008.
They aren’t dating. They are the radio hosts of Hot 101.5’s “Miguel and Holly Show” in the all-important 6 to 9 a.m. slot.
Joined by Scott Tavlin (or “Scotty with the Body,” as he’s known on-air), Miguel Fuller and Holly O’Connor get up every morning to fill the radios of daily commuters with music and entertainment.
WPOI “Hot 101.5” is a so-called CHR station (contemporary hits radio) that targets people in the important 18-to-34 demographic. It is owned by the Cox Media Group chain.
Fuller, 34, grew up in Atlanta and got a bachelor’s in broadcast from Georgia Southern University in 2007
O’Connor, 37, is from Ohio. She got a bachelor’s in communications from Ohio Northern University in 2004.
The two started together in 2008 in Panama City Beach, then went to Play 98.7 in Tampa Bay. When the station abruptly switched formats, they returned to Panama City Beach before settling in St. Petersburg in March 2015.
Their show is upbeat, transitioning between Top 40 chart hits like Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” or Camila Cabello’s “Senorita.” With the addition of weather forecasts, local traffic updates, giveaways and zany segments, it seems like the show, and its hosts, are going a mile a minute.
That’s the magic of radio.
Headphones on and headphones off is a constant repetition occurring behind the scenes of the “Miguel and Holly Show.”
After O’Connor announces a giveaway for Cabello tickets, Fuller chooses a song and the headphones come off. Fuller begins to edit a segment for later in the show, while Tavlin starts taking the multitude of calls coming in for the tickets.
“You’re caller No. 1; please call back again … You’re caller No. 2; please call back again …” is Tavlin’s answer to each phone call until he finally reaches No. 20.
The call is transferred to the speaker so Fuller and O’Connor can let her know she’s won.
The call, the winner’s excitement, and Fuller and O’Connor’s congratulations are recorded. The headphones go back on and the pre-recorded conversation is played over the air as if it were live.
This happens again during the show’s “Blown Off” segment. Someone calls in after going on a few dates and thinking it’s going well until their date suddenly stops responding.
The broken-hearted calls Fuller and O’Connor, who then call the heartbreaker, questioning what went wrong, while the heartbroken keeps quiet on the line.
Sometimes it ends well, sometimes it ends poorly. But it is entertaining either way.
It sounds like the calls are happening live at 7:30 a.m. In reality, they were recorded the day before.
It’s not all pre-recorded, however. Fuller announced the recipe to his famous mac and cheese on air, and O’Connor talked about her daughter’s lucky Brussels sprout.
Those live sessions are intermingled with on-the-spot edited or pre-recorded segments.
Knowing what’s happening and when it’s happening, at the show’s fast pace could get confusing, but Fuller and O’Connor are in sync.
“We’ve stayed with each other since 2008, which doesn’t happen all the time,” said O’Connor. “It’s really good when you can (stay together) because we just know each other and that helps with our radio purposes. But it is also nice because you have someone who’s got your back in the business.”
They say the thing that has kept them motivated is being able to connect with people and make their mornings a little better.
“Anything that entertains people and makes them feel like they are not alone, has sort of been a hallmark of why we’ve continued to do this,” said Fuller. “You realize that there is so much good that comes just from helping people start their day off.”