10 Questions with ... James Howard
July 12, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WJRR/Orlando; WRAK/Albany, GA; WBZY/Atlanta; WXTB/Tampa; KYRK/New Orleans; WWDC & WQSR/Washington DC/Baltimore.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I've always sounded like a bad car commercial VO guy so people would always say to me, you should be on the radio. After selling insurance for awhile, I decided Radio would be more rewarding for my life goals.
2. What stands out the most from your first job in radio?
How hard it was going to be to do this thing I love full-time...and then if that would happen, I would be poor for the rest of my life. The fact that I was cool with the idea of living this life, helped cement my decision to live for my passion, not just money.
3. What excited you most about programming DC101?
That's like asking Phil Jackson what drew you to the Lakers or Joe Girardi to the Yankees -- they are at the pinnacle for what they do. DC101 has an elite brand expectation because it should. We are America's Rock Station, have a beloved place in Washington's culture, and can make a real impact every day. It was a difficult decision to leave WXTB and the great team we have there, but this is DC101.
4. What is your biggest challenge?
Time Management is the hardest part of the gig, and that's certainly not exclusive to me...everyone feels it in our business that has streamlined over the last decade.
5. What would surprise people most about Elliot In The Morning?
It won't surprise you to know that Elliot and the class are insanely talented story tellers or that the show has an incredible following. Most don't realize how much EITM cares about their listeners. We all say that in our business, but I've never seen anything like this show. Every on-air element, every promotion, every event has one common theme: it's all about listeners.
6. How would you describe the music and imaging on the station?
We have the luxury of being a tenured brand and can play music from Hendrix & Zeppelin to Foster the People & AWOL Nation. If we feel the music is great, no matter what lane it lives in, we can and do play it. DC101's imaging is not subtle, I can tell you that. Washington DC is the world's most powerful city, and we take great responsibility in rocking it. We reflect the culture of DC, which means most of the time we sound pretty epic.
7. What makes DC101 unique?
Everything. We break the formula of what a rock station should be much of the time. We play rap/funk/even Aretha Franklin coming out of commercials in Elliot's show. Why? ...why not? We target a larger audience then most stations because we feel everyone can listen to us, not just M 18-30.
8. What part of your job you like the most? Least?
Watching a team of people be successful, because they believed they could.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______?
10. What would surprise people most about you?
Nothing. I just can't stop talking; it kills the whole mystery/surprise thing.
How did you get the nickname Doubledown?
The PD who gave me my first full time on-air gig named me that after Vince Vaughn's character in Swingers. He thought I fit the character of a guy who would drag his sad buddy 4+ hours across a desert, with the hopes of getting lucky. I guess my early career was filled with a lot of good intensions, but little to show for the effort.
Now that I'm no longer on the air, James Howard has been reborn.
What are your hobbies?
Running and playing chess.
Last non-industry job?
Selling title insurance for Fidelity.
First record ever purchased?
Thriller...not a bad start eh?
Boys II Men...don't judge, I lived a musically sheltered life and didn't get a chance to go to shows early on. I did fall in love with harmony and depth in music at that show, they were great.
Favorite band of all-time?