GENEVA — Mike Pinco has no delusions about his radio station becoming a ratings giant. Nor does he envision his venture making a fortune in advertising.
“What I see in this station is twofold,” Pinco said. “No. 1is entertainment. I want to give people what they remember. Two is to help somebody.
“I’m not concerned about making money. I’m having a great time, and it’s keeping me busy.”
It’s that kind of attitude that has Pinco, known as “Brooklyn Mike,” smiling as he talks about what he calls “Geneva, New York’s No. 1 & Only Internet Radio Station Transmitting Across the Globe.” Those who go online or download the app on their phone will hear plenty of classic rock hits from the 1960s, ’70s and ”80s — with a heavy dose of disco as well.
How Pinco, who did indeed grow up in Brooklyn, ended up in Geneva is a story within a story.
About 18 months ago, he was living in the Binghamton area and driving part time for a limousine company when he took a call from Geneva resident Lisa Salotti, who was having no luck finding a limo to take her daughter and her friends to a Rochester-area restaurant for her daughter’s 15th birthday.
“I said, ‘Where the hell is Geneva?’ “ Pinco says with a laugh. “She had reservations at 2 o’clock, and it was like 11 in the morning. I said, ‘All right, I will take care of it.’ So I get in the car and I’m hauling to Geneva.”
Pinco said while Salotti’s daughter — her name, coincidentally, is Brooklynn — was having dinner with her friends, he and Salotti had dinner on their own.
“We’ve been together ever since,” he said.
Pinco moved to Geneva about a year ago and started his station several weeks ago. His music reflects what he heard during his upbringing.
“I love music,” he said. “I started playing guitar when I was about 11, and music was always important to me.
“I was the youngest of four siblings, and my sisters always played ’50s and ’60s rock-and-roll: Elvis Presley, The Beatles. It’s great stuff.”
Pinco’s station has several specialty segments, also.
From 5 to 9 p.m. Friday is “Old School Top 40 Hits,” while from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday is “Saturday Night Summer Jam.” On Sunday, Pinco plays Italian/American classics all day, and he has a live show, “Sunday Dinner with Brooklyn Mike,” from 9 a.m. to noon. The show replays from 5 to 8 p.m.
“My parents were the inspiration for the Sunday show. They were both immigrants,” he said. “On Sundays at my house it was all Italian music while my Mom was making the sauce and Sunday dinner.”
Pinco’s music comes from his days as a disc jockey in the Washington, D.C. area, Virginia, Maryland and beyond. At the time he was an aeronautics engineer in Virginia, a career that lasted more than 25 years.
On the weekends he was “DJ Brooklyn Mike.” He founded All Occasion Music, a company that grew to employ six other DJs and worked 150 events a year, including weddings, corporate events and more.
He gave up the DJ business when he transferred — he worked for aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin — from Virginia to the Binghamton area. He later retired from work due to health issues.
Pinco’s radio station airs out of his home. It has about 300 followers so far, and he has heard from listeners in Australia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Italy, England, and Ireland.
He also wants to do public service announcement shows, and has 100 Proof Living (about alcoholism) lined up.
“If we can help one person with that show, we did our job,” he said.
In the meantime, Pinco is happy playing blasts from the past. And, he is hoping to get back into the DJ business through M&L Entertainment, which he formed with Salotti.
“Hopefully, the radio station gives people some entertainment,” he said. “I love Geneva and I would like to see this station grow.”