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Today’s Pacific Spotlight shines on Eric Mandel Franklin, AFN Korea Network Radio NCOIC and DJ of the Year:

What’s your show’s format?

A lot of upbeat music, a lot of talking and a lot of laughing. Most of all, we try to make sure we have a lot of fun, keep the audience interested and get out the command information.

How did you train for this?

In 1992, I graduated from the Defense Information School (the military’s journalism and broadcasting school). But when I auditioned for the school’s broadcasting portion I was turned down. I spent the next 13 years taking every gig I could. … I would go to work in a Navy public affairs office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., then come home, take a nap, go DJ at a club from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., then go back to work at 8 a.m. … On top of that I worked part time at a civilian radio station. As if that wasn’t enough, I started a mobile disc jockey company to get even more experience.

Does being a military DJ differ from being a private-station DJ?

Private-stations DJs definitely have more leeway to touch on certain subjects. … But I think these restrictions … force you to create an interesting and entertaining show that appeals to a larger audience without stooping to the level of cheap antics like most civilian DJs. Going on the radio, offending 2 million people every day and getting good ratings doesn’t require a lot of brainpower.

If you could play anything, what would you play?

If I could play everything I wanted to play, it would be such a train wreck of different styles NO ONE would listen.

What gets requested most?

Pussycat Dolls, “Stickwitu”; any Linkin Park; Black Eyed Peas, “My Humps”; Young Jeezy & Akon, “Soul Survivor”; Fall Out Boy, “Sugar We’re Going Down.”

You were named “DJ of the year.” What did that take?

A very tolerant chain of command. Lord knows every day they wonder what kind of off-the-wall stuff is going to come out of my mouth. … Other than that … I just go on the air and be myself. … It was an honor, especially since the listeners made the decision.

If they had a national DJ hall of fame, who’d be in it?

Tom Joiner, DJ Frank Ski (from Baltimore), Howard Stern (yes, him too). Of course, you’d have to pay homage to the old-schoolers like Rick Dees, DJ Run (from Run DMC), Dr. Demento.

Here or in the States, who’s YOUR favorite DJ?

Funkmaster Flex, Richard “Humpty” Vission, Bad Boy Bill, Fatboy Slim.

DJs are chick magnets: Myth or reality?

Definitely reality. You’d be amazed at the amount of attention you get. … But, you know these same women would never look twice at you if you were just in the crowd. … I’d never waste my time on people like that.

Will podcasting ever replace live radio?

No. … I’d love to start doing a podcast. But … it’ll be a few more generations before everyone decides to get out of the Stone Age and step into the wonderful world of new technology.

What music won’t you leave home without?

Since I never leave home without my Palm Pilot, I can tell you some artists I have on it right now: Sean Paul, “Trinity”; Ying Yang Twins, “United States of Atlanta”; Toto, “Greatest Hits”; Nelly Furtado, “Folklore”; Michael Buble, “It’s About Time”; Madonna, “Confessions from a Dancefloor”; Kanye West, “Late Registration”; Kelly Clarkson, “Breakaway”; Black Eyed Peas, “Monkey Business”; Gwen Stefani, “Love Angel Music Baby”; Craig David, “Story Goes.”

Eric Marcel Franklin

Age: 34

Rank: E-6

Job: DJ/AFN Korea Network Radio NCOIC

Pacific readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Call Sharen Johnson at Stars and Stripes with the person’s name and contact information at DSN 229-3305 or e-mail her at johnsons@pstripes.osd.mil.

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