10 Questions with ... Jay Morris
February 26, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My adventures in radio started in Iron Mountain Michigan, moved to Northern Michigan, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and back to Kalamazoo. Different companies, different formats, learned something at every station I have been privileged to work for.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I have always loved music, used to tape music off the radio when I was young. In my teens I wanted to be a rock star. Reality struck when I realized couldn't sing. I tried to learn to play guitar, wasn't very good, I flat out sucked at it. So radio was a great backup plan.
2. What do you love most about your job?
Creating: Doesn't matter If it is Imaging, talk breaks, music clocks, promotions, I love creating new things.
3. How has the addition of The Free Beer & Hot Wings Show impacted the station?
It has given us an identity in the morning. With the presence that show has in Grand Rapids, a little over an hour away, it was like adding a local morning show to the station. Had great name recognition in the market when we added the show, and that gave us a great jump start when we added the show.
4. Tell us about the rest of your on-air lineup?
We have Span doing our live afternoons. He is the "face of the station." Most recently we added Ave Joe. to do nights. Joe and I worked together in Sheboygan about 10 years ago. He is an incredible talent and it was great to be able to add him to the station.
5. What makes the station unique?
In a word, everything. The station was created specifically for our competitive environment in Lansing. It isn't a cookie cutter station, which makes this job so much fun. We have online research and texting to get instant feedback for our listeners. We use that feedback to pick the songs on the station.
6. How would you describe the music and imaging on The Edge?
A friend of mine in the business keeps telling me "a radio station reflects its program director." So I have always seen myself sort of geeky, a bit quirky, a little off center, and fun. Those traits come out in our imaging. What makes it really special is our voice guy gets me (which is slightly terrifying); he takes what I write to the next level.
Musically we are really a throwback to the late '90s alternative stations. More melodic, more pop infused, less grunge and heavy guitars.
7. What is most important to you when championing new music for The Edge?
Three words: Does it fit. We have a certain sound we are looking for in every song we add.
8. How do you stay on top of all the new music programming multiple radio stations?
My life runs off a Google calendar. I schedule time a couple days a week to listen to new songs. It is usually the highlight of my day.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
At least two cups of coffee, before I start anything.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I am a co-host of a political talk show on WKZO in Kalamazoo every weekday. You have not really done show prep until you have had to prep topics for a two hour talk show.
What are your hobbies?
With these jobs and five daughters at home I don't have much free time. I have an electric guitar sitting next to my chair at home. I am still trying to learn to play it. I still suck at it, but its great stress relief some days.
Last non-industry job?
Security Police in the Air Force stationed at K.I. Sawyer AFB
First record ever purchased?
Beatles Live at the Hollywood bowl on 8-track
My parents took me to see Roy Orbison
Favorite band of all-time?
Beatles, I could listen to Abby Road every day.