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Globe South People

Cousins take to the airwaves

Dean Marsico (left) and Derek Stearns have a new home-improvement radio show. Dean Marsico (left) and Derek Stearns have a new home-improvement radio show.
By Paul E. Kandarian
January 23, 2011

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South Shore cousins Dean Marsico of Norwell and Derek Stearns of Weymouth have mastered masonry and television: The pair host the DIY Network’s popular shows “Rock Solid’’ and “Indoors Out,’’ showcasing their masonry talents honed while growing up in their native Braintree and working with Stearns’s father, the late Arthur F. Stearns.

Now the duo, noted for not only their prowess cutting stone but also cutting each other up with good-natured banter, are taking their self-help shtick to radio: On Jan. 9, “The Dean & Derek Show’’ debuted on BlogTalkRadio, where the show will air weekly on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. (Visit www.blogtalkradio.com/dean-and-derek-radio.)

“We’ve been talking about doing radio for a couple years,’’ Stearns said, adding that viewers have told them they remind them of other on-air personalities such as the Andelman brothers of Phantom Gourmet fame, that trio regularly ribbing one another on their Saturday radio show on WTKK in Boston.

The TV show features hands-on tips for viewers. The radio show is chattier, they said.

“It gives us the opportunity to talk to viewers who can now hear us on radio; we get thousands of e-mails with specific questions,’’ Marsico said. “We knew if we had a forum for people and could introduce them to specific products to solve their problems, this would be a perfect vehicle.’’

And busting each other’s chops is what they do, in real life and on air, and is an important part of their branding, they said.

“Humor is important — if you can’t laugh with and at each other, it’s not fun,’’ Marsico said. “Do-it-yourself stuff should be fun, it should be a great experience, and humor is part of it.’’

The cousins, both 47, have shared their expertise outside their shows; they’ve appeared on “The Today Show’’ and on a PBS Victory Garden special. They also hold workshops, product presentations, and corporate sales events, and speak at trade shows. This year, they’re scheduled to do classes at Plymouth Quarries in Hingham.

If they look glib and polished on TV, it’s because both are trained actors; Marsico trained in New York City and Stearns at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence. They lived together for a while on Bleecker Street in the Big Apple, “doing the starving actor thing,’’ Stearns said. Realizing they couldn’t support their families, they came home and — armed with a wheelbarrow, hoes, and shovels — started their masonry company.

They got more work — and an idea to take a home-improvement show to networks. They got rejected by all, until the DIY Network bit. Now they do shows, on TV and radio, imparting advice on using stone and cement to design home improvement products, imbuing it with wit along the way. And it seems to work. “When someone is as unpredictable as Dean,’’ his cousin joked, “you always need a Derek to offset it.’’

HOSPITAL OFFERS BULLYING SEMINAR: The Youth Connection, a program of South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, is offering a free seminar tomorrow on the effects of bullying on the victims’ brains and bodies, presented by Al Moscaritolo and Melissa DeGrann. It is being held in the auditorium of Braintree High School, 128 Town St., from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The free seminar is for parents, caregivers, teachers, and students, and will show how, when people are bullied, they experience specific physical and emotional reactions. It will also explain how physiological changes can result in long-term psychological and physical disorders.

To register for the free event, call Karin Farrell at 781-794-7849 or e-mail karen_farrell@sshosp.org.

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Jacquelyn L. Maynard of Weymouth was named a licensing and contract specialist for Needham-based First American Insurance Underwriters Inc.

Charles Tiner of Norfolk was named a staff accountant at the Braintree-based Kirkland Albrecht & Fredrickson LLC, a certified public accounting firm.

Erika Stern of Duxbury was named senior designer at Axiom Architects in Hanover. In addition to design work for clients, she will assist the firm’s business development.

Peter Ruffini of Carver was hired as regional manager of Jack Conway and Co.’s Marshfield office. Ruffini, a former president of the Plymouth and South Shore Association of Realtors, where he was also the 2009 Realtor of the Year, is the 2011 secretary/treasurer for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, and is past director of the National Association of Realtors.

Darren Griffin of Quincy, a former auditor for State Street Bank, is now working in the Conway Quincy office, where he had worked from 2000 to 2004 before moving to Somerville. He has recently returned to the South Shore.

Frank Vallier, who works for South Shore Staffing in Canton, was named Employee of the Year by the Massachusetts Staffing Association, a not-for-profit group representing firms that provide staffing services in the state. Vallier was placed by South Shore Staffing both at Clean Harbors and then later at National Amusement in Norwood.

Alan Telian of Weymouth was named business manager at Reading with TLC in Weymouth, a company that offers a multisensory program on phonics as a core reading curriculum for students in prekindergarten through Grade 2, and as an intervention program for students of all ages. Telian’s responsibilities include coordinating seminars and speaking engagements for the company.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at Kandarian@globe.com.