The Co-Creation of Bumper to Bumper Radio
In 2011, Michael Henry, an independent radio representative approached Dave Riccio of Tri-City Transmission to create a new radio show where Michael could sell niche radio commercials and internet advertising. Michael Henry knew radio and the weekend shows at KTAR, while Dave Riccio knew auto repair and how to communicate it with a genuine demeanor. Dave also had a bird’s eye view of the auto repair industry having served as a past chair and current member of the Automotive Review Advisory Committee (ARAC) to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and created other automotive networks/brands such as the Auto Repair Good Guys. Additionally, Dave brought his gifts for leadership to the table as an industry speaker for national organizations like the Automotive Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) and Automotive Service Association (ASA).
Dave didn’t want to go it alone, when it came to not only building a brand, but hosting the radio show. He hand selected Matt Allen of Virginia Auto Service to co-host and help with the shows marketing efforts. “Matt was forward thinking, personable, straightforward, loyal and had a successful auto repair shop”, says Dave. Dave also knew Matt shared his passion for not only knowing how to fix cars, but work with people in a fair, honest and straightforward way.
While KTAR always had a “Car Show” on Saturday mornings, the former show became unviable as a “do it yourselfer” show, which wasn’t broad enough to the everyday automotive consumer. Matt Allen and Dave Riccio’s new concept of Bumper to Bumper Radio, their “brain child”, was to educate consumers in a fun and personable way. It was also created to relieve the anxiety when it came time to deal with auto repair and maintenance. They did this by encouraging listeners to be engaged with the repair process, create a relationship with a trusted shop and be comfortable enough to ask questions in order to understand the repair they are purchasing. So together Dave Riccio, Matt Allen and Michael Henry went to work to develop what ended up to be Bumper to Bumper Radio, every Saturday at 11:00 on KTAR NEWS, 92.3 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Dave utilized his marketing, networking, sales and team building skills in selecting a web developer, a logo designer, collaboration software and a list of clients (friends) from the former Auto Repair Good Guys network that would help support the Bumper to Bumper Radio show. Michael sold the new car show idea to the KTAR programming director. As subcontractors to the station, Dave, Matt and Michael were off! Long nights, weekends and tutoring with a broadcasting coach, Bumper to Bumper Radio aired for the first time in September of 2011.
In the early shows, it was evident that neither Dave nor Matt were professional broadcasters. However, what came across was their genuine desire to help people when it came to what they knew best, car repair. Dave & Matt continued to put quarters in the machine with a professional broadcasting coach. Over the years, as a very close friendship developed, the on-air chemistry was obvious. “I loved coming in on Saturdays, the comradery was exciting and we looked forward to every live call in”, says Dave. “Performing, helping people solve problems, the topic of cars and friendship was a combination you just couldn’t beat”.
Off air, Dave utilized his sales skills opening doors nationally with clients such as Interstate Battery and Carvana. Locally, Dave would end up bringing on more independent repair shops and body shops alike. Building the Bumper to Bumper Radio machine with his interest in creating repeatable workable systems, Dave built the infrastructure for the network easing the collaboration of the three. He is proud to say Bumper to Bumper Radio maintained the position as the number one car show in Arizona since 2011.
Through the process of collaboration of a radio show and automotive referral network, Dave says he has learned so much about himself. “Every day, I was secretly living scared to venture out and be myself, yet for some reason, I always pushed outside of my comfort zone”. At some point though, the collaboration became limiting to Dave and he wanted to continue to grow the radio show, the network, and his inner world through challenging his comfort zones. “I became like a restless horse in a stable as my creativity was continually stifled. This trio was only going to go so far”, says Dave.
As the story always go, good things can't last forever and life circumstances simply change.
Time to pass the baton – Dave’s Facebook post from 8/10/2019:
“I’ve enjoyed Co-Hosting the Bumper to Bumper Radio Show for the last 8 years and 400+ episodes. It's been a ton of fun! I’ve met so many cool people in the KTAR family and developed a lot of great friendships, most importantly of which is my co-host Matt Allen. The shows downside, since it's a phone call/live show, it has required me to be there every Saturday. With my son entering his Freshman year of high school, I don’t want to miss any of these last 4 years of opportunity to enjoy being a dad. With much sadness I notified Matt and Michael it was time for me to move on. I am thankful for the collaboration as it allowed me to explore my personality and do some radio. Who knew?
I find there are two types of people in this world. Those who run from the microphone and those who run to it. Since I can’t help myself, to fill my needs, I have created a YouTube Channel where I can continue to share automotive advice. This I can do Monday through Friday and from the comfort of my own home. Please check it out, watch, subscribe and like to help me get it off the ground. Also, pass it on if you know someone who could benefit.
Those of you who listen to Bumper to Bumper Radio,I hope you continue to support the show and KTAR. Bumper to Bumper Radio is a vision of mine & Matt’s to educate consumers about Auto Repair and for them to create and establish relationships with their auto shops. The goal, relieving anxiety around auto repair and a touch of entertainment on your Saturday morning. Matt will continue with our vision and hopefully when life’s circumstances change, we will get to do it again together some day. The Bumper to Bumper Radio network is stacked with great shops. Any of those of you who have inquired to me over text or FB for a good shop, know, Carte Blanche I say the closest Bumper to Bumper Radio Shop is where to go. bumpertobumperradio.com