Impact Insights Blog

Media Moment – Tina Vaitkus of Pawling Public Radio

May 30, 2017

Members of the media and PR pros can be friends. Yes, really.

That sentiment is the basis behind the “Media Moment,” a Q&A that gives our blog readers a better insight into some of our favorite journalists, reporters and media personalities. We ask some questions and our media pals weigh in.

Now, enough about us! Let’s welcome Tina Vaitkus, host of “The Tina Show” on Pawling Public Radio. A vibrant on-air personality, Tina is known for her ability to get anyone to open up and talk.

Tina, can you tell us more about your namesake show?

The Tina Show was born out of my participation in the local edition of the National American Heart Association’s 12-week BetterU program.  I was a participant in the 2016 class which was made up of 12 women (who became my fast friends and ultimate support group) who were selected from the applicant pool. The program was sponsored by Central Hudson, HealthQuest, Gold’s Gym Dutchess County and many others.

This group of women embarked on a guided lifestyle change journey. The program included everything from a membership and meal program from Gold’s Gym, access to frequent education seminars with people like Justin Feldman of Feldman Physical Therapy, Roufia Payman, a Dietary Nutritionist at Northern Dutchess Hospital and Chef Brandon Walker of Essie’s Restaurant, to name a few. We also had to blog about our experience through a blog hosted by The Poughkeepsie Journal. It was as if everything one needed to begin and stay on a healthy lifestyle was handed to me in a great big, gorgeously wrapped gift box.

I was posting my blog on my Facebook page when the then Vice Chair Person of the WPWL Board, Mr. Bill Bonecutter, approached me saying, “Tina, the topics you are blogging about would make a great lifestyle show on Pawling Public Radio. Would you be interested in doing a weekly show for us?”

A little background info…I have known Bill for years, as we are Realtors together, so it wasn’t completely out of the blue that we had this conversation. But, I was thrilled and honored and totally into the idea of a radio show, even though I had never done one–in fact, I’d never even stepped foot in a radio station before the concept of my show was born! It was also Bill who named the show; he is fantastic at getting a show’s vibe and picking the perfect name to communicate that.

How long have you been on-air?

The first Tina Show aired on October 6, 2016.

What types of guests do you typically invite in and what are some of your favorite topics to discuss?

I love the format of my show because everything we do relates back to our lives and how to lead a healthy lifestyle, whether the topic is health, nutrition, financial fitness, mental health, family, kids, etc. Therefore, I feel like I have a wide range of topics and guests that fit my show’s format.

However, I do tend to lean toward topics I am passionate about, specifically those that spread good within a community. I like promoting non-profits that support mental health issues, and I like to talk with for profit companies when they are promoting social causes and wellness programs within the community.

Describe a few fun things that the average listener would not know about you.

One fun fact about me that others may not know is that I have never done radio before starting The Tina Show. I had one rehearsal and went live the next time I was in front of the mic. I absolutely love it. My show guests feel like they are chatting with me in my living room.

Another fun fact is that all the on-air personalities are volunteer contributors for the non-profit Pawling Public Radio Station, so my “paying” job is as an Associate Real Estate Broker.

A third fun fact is that I am an avid supporter of community theater and will be performing in County Players’ production of CP in Concert Celebrating 60, a show celebrating County Players’ 60th anniversary season, on July 14th, 15th and 16th– it will only be my second time on a community theater stage.

What is the most memorable interview you’ve done so far?

This is tough because I have enjoyed every single show, and each guest brings such interesting perspectives to topics. One of my favorites, though, was when my dear childhood friend Christine Pilson was on the show. Chris has recently become a health coach and was on the show discussing techniques to alleviate stress on-the-go, helping us define that meditation isn’t always about sitting with your legs crossed and your fingers pinched together.  She had some terrific techniques but overwhelming I kept thinking–do people know we are only 12 years old? We were just riding our bikes to each others’ houses, playing in our “air band” in the basement and thinking about how to get one of our moms to drive us to the mall!  Who are these two people–who are on the radio no less–sounding like accomplished adults? (Ha!)

Tell us – we promise not to hold it against you – what’s your PR pet peeve?

My biggest PR peeve is being asked to have a guest on my show that doesn’t fit my show’s format. For example, I was once asked to have an on-air personality from a another station on my show so that they could promote their show–“uhmmm–no.”

How many hashtags are too many? (All of us at Impact are looking to impose a legal limit.)

I am passionate about this. Hashtags are completely overused and abused.  People, please don’t use hashtags in your public posts unless it is on Instagram! Second, limit your hashtags to two or three–if you are using more than that you have too many topics, or your piece isn’t clear and you will lose your audience anyway because you are rambling!

What do you love about living and working in the Hudson Valley?

My greatest love of living in the Hudson Valley is that I grew up here, and now I am in a position to give back to the place I have called my home. Beyond that, I love the small towns, the food scene everywhere and the Hudson River–find me there on any day!

Name one “hidden Hudson Valley gem” that all locals and visitors ought to check out.

I absolutely adore Edward R. Murrow Park in Pawling. I went to summer camp there as a girl and later was a camp counselor. I have had many family parties in the park’s pavilion and spent numerous Fourth of July’s there. It’s also where I had my first kiss 😉 I enjoy the trails that include part of the Appalachian trail that run through the park. In fact, the Pawling Record recently published an article highlighting redevelopment plans for Murrow Park.