10 Questions with ... Jason LaChance
May 21, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Have you heard the saying, "Drinking never did anyone any good"? Well it did this guy, as I was telling jokes at a bar; killing time for a band with some tech issues a gentleman determined that I needed to work in radio. While attending college at CSUMB I did my time as an unpaid intern. After two years I was hired by Mapleton in Monterey, CA. Graduation approached and I was offered a job to do mornings and APD KBRE in Merced, CA for Mapleton. I have worked part-time doing weekend shifts for other companies, but I have been fortunate to stay with Mapleton for over a decade now.
1. What led to the station switching from Active Rock to Alternative last September?
Ratings fell off and the music climate in our local area seems to be shifting. We found the moving to Alternative would present us with the chance to stand out as there has never been an Alt station here in our area. We have a UC that continues to grow and alternative presented us with more hit records and the ability to draw a more broad audience.
2. What has been the biggest impact on the station since the format change?
Social media! We are communicating with not only more people, but a more diverse group of people on social media than ever. The listeners want to give feedback, share their thoughts on music, lifestyle, and local happenings.
3. How would you describe the music and imaging on the station?
We are still a rock station. We aim for a wider audience yet still focus on being a rock station and delivering a bit of an edge. 92.5 The Bear still has signs and influences of Active rock. We aren't afraid to play the right active rock track and mix it in with Mumford And Sons or Macklemore And Ryan Lewis. The imaging of the station still focuses on basics and pop culture to hook listeners. We also add an element of our on personalities, specialty shows and benchmark segments in our imaging as well. My goal is to always peek interest with each imaging element.
4. Why did the station decide to keep The Bear brand?
We couldn't afford to change it! So myself and our consultant, Harve Alan decided since we were 92.5 The Bear Rocks. New Rock 92.5 the Bear will make sense to the audience and help us with our gradual shift in music.
5. Tell us about the station's on-air lineup?
Monday through Friday, 5-10a, we kick off with Rob, Arnie And Dawn. I have been a big fan of the show for a real long time and they have had a great impact in the market. They are based just two hours away so we still get a nice local feel. 10-3p is Chris Moreno; he is a lexicon of music knowledge and converse with anyone about music. 3-7p is myself with co-host Kevin. We deliver a mini podcast type of show, with benchmark segments, contests and lots of social media interaction. Nights on New Rock 92.5 The BEAR feature Kiwi from 7-10p. She is witty, informative, and really quite irresistible. Sunday -Thursday we carry Loveline with Dr.Drew and Mike. The show continues to have great successes. We have a great locally produced specialty show, "The Garage" which is hosted by APD Chris Moreno. They offer deep cuts, music that really influenced the Alt format and awesome weekly themes to each and every show. We are in the process of adding Skratch And Sniff and Out Of Order with Jed The Fish to our weekend/specialty lineup.
6. What makes the station unique?
In addition to being a bit on the heavier side for most Alternative stations, in such a small market we offer a lot of live and local content. In our market there is very little if any live radio. I am proud to say that Monday-Friday 5a-7p you can reach a personality associated with the station. As well, you can tune into Loveline and interact with them on a nightly basis. I remember how amazing I thought it was as a kid to call in and request a song, as about a promotion or event and get an answer. I think that still holds a lot of power that internet radio doesn't offer to a local listener.
7. What is most important to you when championing new music for The Bear?
We aim to give the listeners as much as we can to connect them with the artist. Hopefully that is a live experience. If not we try and give them interviews, video, social media interaction. Anything we can to help build a new artist or support an artist that has great value or potentially great value to our listeners.
8. What part of your job do you love the most?
Doing a great show. Nothing leaves me personally more satisfied at the end of my radio day than knowing and feeling like I did great radio. I still have the same passion to be on air as I did as kid, hearing Wolfman Jack, Kelly And Kline, Mikey when he was on KSJO, and a gentleman named John Michael whom I later worked with.
9. What would surprise people most about you?
I am a high school teacher as well and I wear many hats at the station while only working part-time at both jobs. I have always had at least two jobs since I was 18. I don't do well with not working. I work even when I am not at work.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________?
Seeing my kids, or hearing their voices. I travel from time to time due to both my job at the station and as a high school teacher. It is always the hardest being away from my children. They are only 4 and 3, and everything is still magical to them.
What are your hobbies?
Huge motorsports fan. NASCAR, Formula 1, Indy, you name it I enjoy it. Taking my son to Mazda Raceway in Monterey really soon for the American Le Mans series. Some families watch baseball or football, mine watch the Daytona 500.
Last non-industry job?
Currently a high school teacher, before that it was working for an internet company in Monterey, CA. Ironically they laid me off two hours before I got hired by Mapleton Communications in Monterey.
First record ever purchased?
Prince's 1999. He is still the man!
It is a toss-up as I was only 6. It was at the California Mid State Fair. That weekend we saw Huey Lewis And The News as well as Alabama who was on the 18 Wheeler tour. Can't recall which band we saw first.
Favorite band of all-time?
Sevendust. Always the perfect blend of heavy and melodic all in one. Amazing live band!