A Voice for Radio: SIMON MARCEL BADINTER
Simon Marcel Badinter is the first syndicated French radio talk show host in America. He currently hosts The Rendezvous with Simon and Kim, a two hour live show about love, sex and relationships. In just two years, the show has been broadcast on 30 stations, expanding Simon's radio presence and fanbase.
We caught up with the successful host to discuss breaking into the industry, his tips for aspiring hosts and, of course, his best relationship advice.
RP: What are three words to describe how you feel at this stage in your life?
SMB: Life is beautiful!
RP: Those are three good ones. Did you always want to be on the radio?
SMB: No, I never thought about being on the radio until 2007, when I decided to take a chance at something totally new that sounded like fun.
RP: I think the story behind you initially getting on the air is amazingly unorthodox. Was it really as simple as you calling into your local station?
SMB: Yes, It was! But I got very very lucky to have the wonderful Program director, Kevin Metheny. He was crazy enough to give me a Saturday afternoon radio show (1 to 3pm) on this big Cleveland news radio station WTAM 1100 without any past experience on air. I owe him the miraculous start of my radio career as a talk show host in America. I think of him often.
RP: Being from another country, did you find any additional difficulties with breaking into American radio?
SMB: Yes, but only at first because of my thick French accent. A few callers said “F*** the French," but I didn’t pay attention to that. To relax them a little, I played the French anthem on-air to thank them for their love, and tell them that I understand their surprise or disagreement, but no need for the disrespect.
Pretty rapidly we had an amazing chemistry during my show on WTAM. I was on in 2007 and 2008, and they were wonderful years.
RP: Now you're the first syndicated French talk show host! I imagine that must feel pretty amazing.
SMB: Amazing! It is a true miracle for me! There is a saying "only in America." Well, this is my American dream, and I am very thankful to all of our loyal listeners, and the people at IHeartMedia and its syndicator premiere. They believed in me, my co-host Kim Iverson and our show from day one. The Rendez Vous with Simon and Kim is now on more than 20 of their stations.
RP: How did you feel after finishing your first show?
SMB: I remember Kim and I both thought we sucked after our first show together back in June 2013! LOL!
RP: Ha! Was there something surprising that came to you about being on the radio?
SMB: Yes, the fact that I had to improve my English pronunciation as soon as possible. Also, that each listener and caller has a great story to tell, or an interesting opinion on all of our topics, especially love and relationships. I have learned so much as a talk show host. Radio is the most personal and intimate media to have a great conversation with someone.
RP: What has been your most outrageous on-air moment?
SMB: I have made a fool of my self on air so many times that I would say, most importantly, the time when Kim and I were talking about infidelity and if you should give a cheater a second chance. This woman called us and said she forgave her husband multiple times because true love is being able to forgive your partner, and give them a second chance. I will never forget this call - it was inspiring!
RP: What is your best advice for aspiring radio talk show hosts?
SMB: Dare being yourself on air, don't try to copy or imitate anyone else, enjoy your own style. Being yourself is your only chance to succeed. The chance is already super small, but it’s there waiting for you... Bonne chance!!
RP: That's wonderful. And what's next for you?
SMB: Hopefully more stations for our show The Rendez Vous with Simon and Kim, and hopefully a TV show in 2016.
RP: Since your show focuses on love and relationships I feel like I must ask - what is your number one tip for people in love?
SMB: Don't idolize your new partner and new relationship so much at first and you won't be disappointed over time.