10 Questions with ... Jon Manley
July 2, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started in 2001 at Internet broadcasting company, and then began work in promotions at KSLX in Phoenix in 2002. Moved to KEDJ on-air weekends in 2003, quickly upped to overnights. Did overnights and fill-ins for literally every daypart between 2003-2010 and was also named Programming Assistant. Hired for nights in Vegas in 2010, transitioned to Production Manager., midday jock, and MD over the last 14 months, and have since transitioned to afternoons and interim APD.
1. What do you remember most about your early days in Phoenix radio?
I could say the thing I remember most is the chaos, going from an independent station to a corporate one, losing PDs left and right, and then bringing them back (what's up Marc Young!), and the typical sales vs. programming nonsense. But what I honestly remember most is making damn good radio. It seemed like the more things fell apart around us, the closer our staff became and the better the radio got. We fought so hard, and really did things our way, so I'm truly grateful to have experienced that before we started living in "a PPM world." I miss my Phoenix radio fam and can't believe there isn't an alternative station there anymore. Someone fix that immediately!
2. What do you love most about your job at X107.5?
I love bringing our listeners face-to-face with their favorite bands. We do a Studio X (acoustic sessions) with just about every band that comes through Sin City and to see kids wrapped around the building waiting to see Vampire Weekend or Soundgarden is the coolest thing ever. Plus, we found a way to monetize it, which means I get way less dirty looks from the coworkers whose day I ruin by having bands play at maximum volume 20 ft. from their cubicles (sorry yo!).
3. How has your job changed in the past year?
I think I've started looking at things in more of a big picture kind of way, as opposed to just worrying about the music and my show. Much like me at one of Las Vegas' fine buffets, I seem to want to try a little bit of everything.
4. How has your on-air show changed switching from middays to PM drive?
Besides the fact that I'm not half asleep for the first hour of it, hopefully not much. I try to be "me" as much as possible. I guess the energy goes up a little bit as my audience has gone from people settling in to their work day to counting down the minutes before they can leave.
5. What is one thing that may surprise people about X107.5?
None of the people on our staff have a gambling problem?
6. How would you describe the station's music meeting?
I sit down with Charese, we put the names of the bands on a dart board, and whatever ones we hit are the ones we add. SCIENTIFIC! In truth we go over charts, scores, sales numbers, etc. then pick the ones we think will work for X.
7. X107.5 was one of the first Alternative stations to play Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Thrift Shift. Take us back to last Fall and why X107.5 was a leader on this song?
Oh man, so after one of those really frustrating music meetings that we've all had before, my PD said she wanted to hear something out of left field. So I grab the most left field thing I could find and made her promise me that she'll listen to the whole thing before judging it. Obviously I'm referring to "Thrift Shop." So she's looking at me like "This better not be a waste of my time," and I'm looking at her like "you want an oddball song, I got your oddball song right here." The funny thing is I don't think we even made it to the chorus before we were freaking out and running down the hall to have our afternoon jock at the time debut it ASAP. Sometimes you just know, you guys.
8. Who are some other new music discoveries that you are proud of?
I'm a huge fan of Foals and it's doing really well, so I've got that going for me, which is nice. Hoping the 1975 blows up, and I recently heard a track from a band called Said The Whale that I think is great.
9. How are you using Social Media to interact with your listeners?
I'm on Facebook and Twitter all the time, so I'm always looking for an opportunity to interact with the audience, whether it's through a music video or one of those horrible cat pictures that everyone seems to love. As long as it causes a response, I'll probably post it.
10. What are you most passionate about?
Career wise -- the format in general. It wasn't too long ago that alternative was almost a dead format, and I take a lot of pride in being able to say that I have a little something to do with it still being around and thriving, for that matter.
Personally -- food and sports. Yes, I am that guy that posts Instagrams of his dinners all over Facebook. Sorry, you guys.
What new band has blown you away the most with their live show?
It has been a while since I've had a new band make me say "wow," so I'll go with 21 Pilots. The amount of noise these guys make with just two people is pretty epic.