Peter Naughton wears many hats at Regent Broadcasting of Utica-Rome.
While the Rome native was attending SUNY Oswego, he started his radio career as a part-time weekender for Lite 98.7 in 1999, when it was owned by Forever Broadcasting. Since then, he added duties on Big Frog 104 as "Elvis
Frogsley," and even worked in television news at Utica's WUTR-TV for a
short time after graduating college in 2001. When the time came to pick a
full-time job, Peter was fortunate enough to have a choice between staying
in television as he originally planned, or turning his "side" job into a
He chose radio, and it seems to have worked out for him so far. You'll
only hear him on the air for Lite 98.7 now, as the afternoon drive
personality... but his work doesn't end there. Naughton, who turns 25 in
April, is also the program director for Lite 98.7, and just finished a
six-month stint as the station's interim music director. As if that's not
enough, Naughton designed and maintains the websites for all four of
Regent's Utica-Rome radio stations... and still manages to find spare time
for skiing or bicycling (depending on the season), watching TV and the
occasional video or computer game, though he says there isn't as much time
for those anymore.
Naughton lives on his own in Rome, but isn't too far from his parents, who
also live in Rome, and a younger sister who is graduating from SUNY Oswego this spring. He also has a girlfriend who manages to put up with his crazy work schedule.
What were the best and worst movies you've seen in the past six months?
Best -- Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Worst -- Can't think of any really "awful" movies I've seen lately.
Letterman, Leno, or Koppel?
Hands down, it's usually Letterman. I've always liked his sense of humor
better for some reason. I also like that he's relatively nearby, so I've
been lucky enough on two occasions, to catch last-minute tickets to see the
show in person. Kinda hard to do that with Leno, but he's good too, so
I'll watch him anytime Letterman's on vacation or whenever CBS decides to
delay Letterman in favor of their stupid late night Wimbledon or golf
highlights right at 11:35. I think the one plus with Leno is that he still
goes out in public on a pretty regular basis, and I wish Letterman would do
that more, like he used to.
Which three famous people (dead or alive) would you invite to dinner?
Ever since I was in grade school, I've always thought it would be pretty
neat to have the chance to talk to George Washington. If he walked out of
a time capsule today, I'd like to hear what he thinks about present-day
America, and how that compares to where he thought we'd be by this point in
As silly as it might sound, Bob Barker would be second. I've been a fan of
game shows ever since I was a kid, especially The Price is Right. Dinner
at a table might be boring though... maybe a studio tour instead... see all
the games in person and all the behind-the-scenes workings you can't see on TV.
And David Letterman. He'd be fun to have at the table with the other two. Maybe I'd even
have to switch out one of my other guests so I could make room for Oprah
Winfrey, then sit back and watch as hilarity ensues.
Who in local radio has influenced you the most?
It's a tie between my two former co-workers, Randy Jay and Trudy. Without
even feeling like I was being taught, Randy managed to teach me quite a bit
about programming, about the philosophies of a successful AC station, and
what our goal should be in terms of on-air content... between the music,
the personalities and the promotions. Similarly, Trudy was a big help by
sharing her skills as a music director, and her own perspective on being a
good on-air talent. I think the skills I've learned from both of them were
more valuable than almost any broadcasting class I've taken in
college. When I started here part-time in 1999, I never would have guessed
that, within four years, I'd not only be the program director, but I'd be
doing it without my two mentors. I suppose you could say that our
successful fall 2003 book -- my first with neither Randy nor Trudy here -- is a
testament to the influences they both provided me before they left Lite 98.7.
What was the first CD you ever bought?
Billy Joel Greatest Hits: Volumes 1 and 2 (together as a package)
Which song at your station would you not shed a tear for if it never came up again in rotation?
"True" by Spandau Ballet.
Which show would you rather be on and why: Survivor, The Apprentice, or Fear Factor?
The Apprentice. I consider myself to be a quick learner, a good
problem solver, and I enjoy using strategy to work toward success. I know
a lot of that would work on Survivor too, but being on The Apprentice would
still allow me the use of modern conveniences like showering in clean
water, watching TV, etc. I also think that my gradual ascent from weekend
part-timer to program director is like a "real-life" example of a
successful player on The Apprentice.
What talent would you most like to have?
One thing I never really did was learn to play a musical instrument. My
attempts to play the piano are about equal to someone who sits in front of
a computer keyboard for the first time... all I can do is hunt and peck for
the right keys. I've never been able to read music 'fast' enough to play a
song without pausing to look at the keys or checking to see which note is
indicated on the sheet music. I'd love to be able to sit down and play a
really intensive song like "Angry Young Man" by Billy Joel.. watching him
play the intro to that song is just amazing.
Name something about yourself that would surprise most people.
Most listeners seem to be surprised when they meet me in person for the
first time, and see that I'm much younger than the 40-year-old they
envisioned me to be. I guess they haven't gotten around to checking out
the jock pictures on our web site. But even people who do know me, might be
surprised to know of my obsession with trains. When I was younger, we
lived near a train station in a suburb of New York City... so I watched
trains all the time, and even rode them quite often. To this day, anytime
I go to the city on my own, I'll park the car about 30 miles out just so I
can ride the train the rest of the way in (and to avoid driving and parking
If you weren't in radio, what would you be doing for a living?
Most likely I'd be in television news. That's what I intended to do when I
started college, that's what I did throughout all four years of college at
the campus TV station.
If I wasn't in broadcasting at all... I'd probably be doing something with
computers, either graphic design or web design. These are both things I
like to do as hobbies on the side, but I think I would hate doing them as a
full time job, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. If I ever had to, I'm sure I
could deal with it, but that's why I majored in communications, not
What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough