An hour monologue on live radio by yourself may sound nerve-racking to some, but Mark Birman has been doing it three times a week for nearly a decade on WIOX where he shares his thoughts, experience and knowledge on everything from sports to politics to law.
Mark Birman Sports airs every Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. while Mark Birman Today is on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. His Tuesday morning show generally deals with national stories of interest, whether they be political or legal, as Birman has a background as a trial lawyer. On Wednesday, the format is similar, but the focus is more on the local community. The bottom of the hour features a spot with News Publisher Joan Lawrence- Bauer and in winter, someone from Plattekill Mountain gives a weekly snow report.
Birman, owner of Tennis Everyone and the newly appointed Coach for the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Team at SUNY Delhi, is a lifelong sports fanatic. While he has hosted his shows by himself for nearly a decade, he is thrilled to be joined by 17-year-old Nick Vajtay as of late.
“The fact of the matter is he’s not on it because I’m mentoring him or because he’s in high school. He’s on it because he’s good. He knows his stuff. He’s got a wide range of sports interest and knowledge. He’s just good, period,” Birman said. “It has reinvigorated me, and it has definitely been a boon to the show.”
In the past, Birman has been a board member of the MARK Project and the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce where he has helped with business development. “The reason I served those organizations is because I think it’s important for our community that we have business and industry here,” said Birman, continuing “that we have economic drivers and economic engines so that people can live here and that it’s viable.”
Going forward, Birman is focused on opening an art gallery with his wife on Main Street in Fleischmanns where they aim to be open by summer. Birman will also be teaching and coaching tennis throughout the summer and in the winter he will resume his role as a local Ski Race Coach for area youth.
Birman talked about how he has tried to share the knowledge he has in the areas he is most passionate about with the next generation.
“That’s really the impetus. From the time I started teaching tennis here, my goal has been to make tennis an accepted part of the athletic culture. I’d like to have whole generations of tennis players because it’s a lifelong sport. And the same goes for skiing,” he said, “Most of my endeavors and activities have been geared toward youngsters, to pass that knowledge on to them.”