10 Questions with ... Jay Morris
February 25, 2014
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. Congrats on your recent ratings at Z96.5 in Kalamazoo. What were the highlights from the Fall '13 Book?
Thanks much. This was our first full book as an alternative, so to tie for second with women 18-34, well we were ecstatic. We also tied for 3rd women 18-44, and persons 18-44. Being a college town we knew Kalamazoo would embrace a true alternative, but didn't think we see those numbers quite this quick.
2. How has programming The Edge in Lansing helped you program Z96.5 in Kalamazoo?
Well knowledge is power. Having had the experience programming 94-1 the last 3 years gave us a great road map to start with in Kalamazoo. We had a bunch of 94-1 listeners in Kalamazoo that are / were music pickers. We used their music picking to find the right music to play in Kalamazoo.
3. Kalamazoo is only 75 miles from Lansing. How are the two stations different?
The competition is a bit different in each market, so Lansing adds new music a little quicker than Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo has more rock product in the music mix than Lansing. The biggest difference between the two stations is what is between the songs. Different voice talents, different imaging concepts, tailored to each market.
4. What would an outsider find most surprising about Kalamazoo?
Two words KALAMAZOO PROMISE! This is a program that if your kids goes to and graduates from Kalamazoo public schools, anonymous donors pay the kids college tuition to any in state public college. So if you add up my 5 kids... let's just say I love Kalamazoo!
5. What do you love most about working at Midwest Communications?
Our owner Duke Wright. The best part of working for him is that he is a proud radio broadcaster that has done everything in the business, sales, programming, on air, engineering, and ownership. That has a bit of a downside; you can't BS the man on anything!
6. How much are you balancing gut with research when making decisions on new music?
I would say about 60/40 in favor of research. If a band has had a great testing song previously, it makes the call pretty easy. With so many new bands in the past several months, I have had to go with my gut more than I usually do.
7. What song surprised you the most last year?
I think the song that surprised me most was "Dreaming" by Smallpools. To me it had all the earmarks of being a huge hit, it was massive for us, but didn't seem to work for many others.
8. Tell us about Z96.5's Music Geeks program?
We look to our listeners for their input as much as possible. Our Z96-5 Music Geeks are the dedicated listeners we rely on for that input. They give us input on-line on all of our music, we give them concert tickets, station swag, and anything else I can find to thank them for their time.
9. What are you most passionate about?
I love doing this job, discovering a new band and going to see live music. Really though I am really the most passionate about my wife and 5 daughters. They mean everything to me.
10. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
When in doubt, just make a decision. It may turn out to be the wrong thing, but at least you accomplished something.
What is the secret to programming multiple radio stations and raising five daughters?
You are kidding right? It took me 3 weeks to do 10 Questions. In fact right now my 3 year old keeps singing "Wrecking Ball." I've got teach her a different song!