Local Wire

Tino Cochino of POWER 98.3 Wants to Expand Phoenix's Entertainment Footprint

Growth is good, and POWER 98.3's Tino Cochino is looking to expand his footprint. The leader of the 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. show on one of the Valley's leading hip-hop stations now has a program on KSAW CW6 called After The Show, and he's looking to syndicate outside the Copper State.

The show came about after a friend of Cochino's, Jeff Thurston, mentioned that he might know someone at CW6 who might be interested in televising the radio show. Cochino was a little skeptical because "everyone says that," but a week later, KSAW vice president and general manager Denise McManus reached out. The rest is history. CW6 agreed to do a 13-episode season of After The Show — a televised version of Cochino's afternoon radio show. The radio show just expanded to new markets — including San Antonio, Texas, and Palm Springs, California, and Cochino says that CW6 is looking to expand After The Show to those markets as well. Four more markets should be signing on shortly, Cochino says. 

Cochino's co-hosts are Plaz Brown and Milli Rodriguez, and they welcome a veritable who's who of the hip-hop world as guests, including Flo Rida, Timbaland, Lil Dicky, and more. Cochino is quick to point out his appreciation of the freedom he's been given by Mikey Fuentes and the rest of the staff at Riviera Broadcasting.

"They give us the creative freedom and believe in our product," Cochino says. "We’re really trying to let people know we’re proud to put Phoenix on the map. We feel we’re doing something positive for the Valley and shining a light. There’s talent here. It’s a good time for the city."

Cochino, who sports full sleeves of tattoos on each arm, comes to the booth armed with natural comedic timing and excellent interview skills. He's proud to mention that the television show, so far, has had only "A-List celebrities" (including a recent chat with Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs) involved, and as the ninth of 13 episodes for the first season aired last weekend, he's looking firmly ahead to not only a second season, but to a future of balancing radio and television.

Cochino has been involved in radio since he was 13, and his grandmother, Lanora Thompson of Lubbock, Texas, helped push him toward his dream career. 

"My grandmother noticed I had an interest in [radio], so we started listening to [a local hip-hop] station, and every time they had a live broadcast, she would take me to it. Probably after a month of doing that, everyone noticed I was that weird kid who was hanging around and they started showing me the basics," Cochino remembers.

By the time Cochino was 16, he was doing the 7 p.m. to midnight shift at KISS 104.3 in Lubbock, and has been an on-air personality ever since, making stops in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, California, and now Phoenix. 

"I like that grind. I don’t want to lose any of it. If I can keep the radio going and balance it with TV, that’s the goal," Cochino concludes. And true to his word, he doesn't seem even a bit tired of talking.
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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon