Ryan Flannery always seems to be running.
For 2012-2015, the Forked River, N.J., native was doing it on the Seton Hall men’s cross country team. During his senior year, Flannery was named a team captain by head coach John Moon.
But even off the track, Flannery was always on the go.
On Sunday nights, he hosted and produced “WhatChu Been Missin,” 89.5 WSOU FM’s hit hip-hop show. His name, appropriately, was (and is) DJ Quick. Throughout the week, after classes, Flannery would head into New York to help produce Hot 97’s nationally syndicated show with Funkmaster Flex, one of the biggest names in music.
After graduating in June, the 23-year-old has also taken on work as a promotional DJ for Hot 97—or, as he calls it, “Hot”—ranked by Cision as the No. 2 hip-hop station not just in the Big Apple, but the United States. It trails only Power 106 in Los Angeles, California.
“It’s surreal every time I’m there,” Flannery said of Hot 97. “I grew up listening to Flex drop the bombs (one of the DJ’s hallmark sounds). Now I’m giving him updates on news during the show. It’s just surreal.”
Surprisingly, Flannery is pursuing work outside of music, too. Why would someone on such a steady upward rise in one business, which he loves, be eyeing opportunities in another?
“For me, it’s always been music, but also sports,” Flannery said. “Music is at the top but sports isn’t far behind. I can’t separate them, so I’m trying to combine them. That’s where the podcast comes in.”
The podcast Flannery referenced is called “The Highlight Tape.” It’s a weekly program he posts on his SoundCloud page that includes his takes on sports topic sandwiched by music mixes. Flannery has experience covering sports, too, as he was one of WSOU’s higher-profile play-by-play announcers covering the SHU men’s basketball team last year. Episodes of “The Highlight Tape” typically flirt with two hours.
“I play mixes of new music and also music I just want people to hear,” he said. “The reaction has been positive. The audience is growing little by little. I’m not getting paid for this, it’s just something that I’m using to build my brand.”
The most prominent example of the brand Flannery is shooting for: Peter Rosenberg. A 37-year-old from Maryland, Rosenberg hots Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning radio show and then, later in the day, works as a co-host of ESPN 98.7 FM’s Michael Kay Show.
That’s what Flannery wants.
“There’s really no one doing what Rosenberg is,” he said. “That’s a crazy day. The hours are unreal, because of the morning radio shows you have to start so early for preparation and everything. You don’t just walk in at 7 a.m. or whatever time and get started. Then, to go from that to ESPN? It’s impressive. He’s running and running the entire day around New York and doing a solid job on radio in two different fields. He’s definitely a role model.”
Luckily for Flannery, running has always been his strong suit.