ST. LOUIS - For parts of the past five decades in St. Louis, when the alarm clock goes off at 3:16 am, radio personality Guy Phillips answers the bell and reports to work.
"Getting up at 3:16, it's not a religious thing, it's just when my alarm goes off," Phillips jokes. "I'm out of the house by 4 am, I get in here between 4:10 and 4:15. We do about an hour of show prep, conference for a few minutes and then, four and a half hours later, somehow, the ratings are there."
Phillips is the front man for the "Phillips and Company Morning Show" on Y98 FM, KYKY. But the veteran broadcaster insists the true credit belongs to the team surrounding him every day.
"The whole concept behind what we do is how we approach it. How we can do it better, how we can have fun doing it, and, for the audience, making sure that everything we do is for them."
Next month Phillips will enter his 35th year with Y98.
What's his secret?
"I've outlived every general manager. I have a little dirt on all of them."
"Guy is an institution in the Bi-state," said Marty Linck, Program Director for Y98. "He continuously reinvents his show, and has an uncanny way of relating to the audience. I'm happy he will continue to call Y98 home."
"Ideally I wanted to retire at 58," Phillips admits. "I'm 61 now and I keep thinking, 'I know I'm going to leave this business, but I'm having too much fun.' And I think that, the fact that I'm the same guy I was when I came here in 1979, I'm a little goofy, a little irreverent, I get a little crazy sometimes, but I love what I do. I can't imagine sitting at home doing nothing."
Phillips talked at length about the intimate connection radio affords listeners and on-air personalities. During his tenure on the local airwaves, Phillips spoke from the heart about the births of his children, the passing of loved ones, divorce, marriage---all of it.
"We have a wide berth. We can talk about home life and things our audience can relate to."
How does it feel to have the same job for 35 years?
"It hits me every once in a while. I think about it, I've been here for parts of five decades. In the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010s. It's pretty remarkable. I don't dwell on it, it's pretty cool, I think."