Some radio listeners might have noticed that Steve Fisher, the new morning host on Fresh 105.9 FM, sounds an awful lot like their real-estate agent, Steve McEwen of @Properties. In fact, the two Steves are alter egos of the same guy.
Until November 23rd, when he took over the morning drive time on Fresh 105.9, Steve McEwen (his real name) had kept his Steve Fisher radio persona on the shelf for a few years while building a career selling residential real estate. But in the 1990s through 2007, Steve Fisher served stints on WKQX 101.1, WTMX 101.9, and the three Chicago-area stations that together were known as Nine FM.
“It was time for me to grow up,” McEwen says of his 2007 departure from Nine FM. “I had been selling [real estate] part time for about five years, and at that point, I decided to go full throttle.” A Chicago native, he worked initially for Re/Max Exclusive before switching to @Properties. (Over the last two years, I have written about homes McEwen represented in Lincoln Park and Lake View.)
During his time off the air, McEwen stayed in contact with Bill Gamble, his old boss at WKQX and other stations. When Gamble was looking to fill the morning slot at Fresh 105.9, a station that targets women in their 20s to 40s, he wanted McEwen to morph back into Fisher. “Steve has equity in the market,” Gamble says. “He has tremendous appeal to our target.”
Initially, McEwen/Fisher wanted to keep the two personas separate. “My wife said I didn’t want to ruin my credibility as a real-estate [agent] by looking like I’m really this radio guy,” he says, “and the radio people said they didn’t want me to come across like a real-estate agent on the air.” But soon all parties decided he could comfortably juggle the two roles. “Morning radio is my play time,” he says, while his real-estate gig provides the steady income he needs as a father of three, including twins born in October. (McEwen says that he has managed to make money even during the housing slump, though he wouldn’t divulge any numbers.)
McEwen has no plans to drop real estate and go all-Fisher, all the time. “Look at Glenn Beck,” he says. “Whether you like him or not, he has time to do a radio show, a TV show, and write books.” And because very few people are out looking at houses before 10 a.m., Steve McEwen can keep selling real estate in the hours after Steve Fisher goes off the air. “I’m like Clark Kent and Superman,” he says. “But I’m not sure which job will let me wear a cape.”