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Behind the Scene: SiriusXM’s Ari Fink

Bradley Tucker | April 10, 2018
Cali Dre

“When I first got here, I came at it from a music and production perspective, rather than a traditional radio perspective,” Ari Fink says of the decade since he first joined SiriusXM’s New York team. “I learned more about radio as I grew here.”

Fink started his satellite radio career in in 2007 working on the Grateful Dead Channel and, over the following years, he has played a key role on similarly Relix-friendly channels like Jam_ON and Pearl Jam Radio.

The satellite radio service has also nearly quadrupled its subscribers to an estimated 32 million during that time and can be accessed on smartphones and computers as well as in cars and airplanes around the globe.

“We have hosts who can do their shows all around the world at any time of day,” Fink says. “Technology has been updated and we’ve stayed [up-to-date] with it and utilized new tools to be able to create content from anywhere at any time. That’s a really incredible thing.”

When did you get into radio?

I started working at Sirius in 2007. My first job was helping produce digital content for the Grateful Dead Channel. They were in the process of launching that channel and needed someone to process the audio from the Grateful Dead vaults for digital broadcast.

My experiences playing music and editing audio landed me the gig. I’d recorded with my band [ISO], recorded other bands and tinkered in Pro Tools. So working with digital audio was something I was comfortable with. Sirius has a relatively unique presentation when it comes to radio as it is, but they were looking for someone who understood the Grateful Dead catalog and could learn the radio stuff, but knew how to use the technology from the start. I learned more about [how to program for] radio once I got here.

Were you an on-air host at that point?

No, I was just behind the scenes. I didn’t go on the air until 2014. By that point, I had already been Jam_ON’s program director for two years and decided to start jumping on-air. That part of my career is relatively new.