Mitch Levy has spent nearly 30 years in the radio business. Growing up in South Florida, he always desired to be around sports. “It didn’t take long for me to come to the realization that I wouldn’t be capable of making a living playing, so the next best thing was sports broadcasting,” he says. While watching Howard Cosell describe the 1976 Summer Olympic boxing events, a 9-year-old Mitch Levy was hooked. It was off to Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1985 and he never looked back.
While working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism at Syracuse, Mitch Levy received highly sought-after Summer internship opportunities in New York City at the NBC Radio Network. After graduating in 1989, Mitch worked as a producer and reporter at Westwood One – the parent company of NBC Radio and Mutual Broadcasting. “Those 3 years really opened my eyes. One of my very first interviews was on the phone with Dodgers’ skipper Tommy Lasorda. After noticing an echo when he spoke, Lasorda informed me that he was on the toilet!”
In 1992 Mitch Levy was hired as the midday producer of the first all-sports radio station in Washington, D.C., WTEM. The opportunity to help launch the station was an unforgettable experience. Mitch produced The Tony Kornheiser Show followed by The James Brown Show. Kornheiser and Brown were stalwarts on the Washington sports scene. “Two weeks before the station went on the air, I met with Tony and he sternly warned me to NEVER book an athlete on his show. ‘They have nothing to say that interests me,’ Kornheiser said. “Then JB waltzed into the office and prompted me to ONLY book athletes. Needless to say, I didn’t mix up which guests were for which show!” Mitch also worked as an on-air sidekick on the shows, which gave him an opportunity to work on impressions, comedy, and timing.
In 1995 Mitch took his first regular hosting job – crossing the country to Seattle, Washington. KJR Radio debuted Mitch in the Midday on January 15, 1995, and one year later, Mitch grudgingly accepted the morning-drive show because “my agent threatened to walk out on me if I didn’t grab the most important time slot in the business.” For 23 years Mitch was a preeminent sports voice in Seattle. Mitch in the Morning was annually recognized as one of the top sports radio shows in the country.
Mitch Levy’s name in Seattle radio is synonymous with interviewing and storytelling. Over the years, Mitch has honed both skills through practice and determination. The most stressful aspect of morning radio? “No question – the challenge of coming up with 4 hours of material 5 days a week,” he says. “There is no worse feeling than being empty at 10 pm on a weeknight with the alarm set to sound in 6 hours.”
At first glance, the importance of a local sports radio morning show might seem trivial. Mitch Levy learned early in his career to not fall into that trap. “All you need is for a listener to approach you and express gratitude for entertaining him every morning while he drove his child for cancer treatments. The show carries different meaning to all sorts of people who are experiencing life’s tough stretches. So, when the light went on, I never took that fact for granted.”
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