10 Questions with ... Jason LaChance
July 22, 2014
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 for 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 stands out the most from your first gig at KMBY in Monterey-Salinas?
Fun! We had an amazing group of creative individuals who worked to make the station the best that we could. Kenny Allen our PD was and still is a ball of creative energy. I had coworkers like Gabby D'Agostino who has continued to have a great career, along with our Midday guy Chris Ashton who later moved to Merced with me to do a monstrous morning show in which we pulled double digit numbers. It was really an exciting place; I wish that career goals and finances could have kept that core group together.
2. What is a typical day been like for you being a radio programmer and high school teacher?
Chaos to say the least. A ton of bouncing back and forth between the radio station and campus. It required focus and organization. I am sad to leave teaching as the students are amazing young adults and they left me feeling very positive about the future of our world. It was a real honor and I am proud of the impact that I was able to have on the students and grateful for the lessons that they taught me.
3. How has your job changed since being promoted to OM of the cluster?
Delegation... I am in a position in which my ability to see the big picture has come into play and I am able to place staff in a position in which they can use their talents and creativity to grow the Radio Merced brand, all its stations, and provide a viable product for our clientele. It is a real honor. I am now the PD of an AM (1480 KYOS) as well as an AC (K97.5) and I have to direct the PD of our Spanish stations. It is a challenge, but somebody had to wear the polo and khakis, might as well be me.
4. You've been at Mapleton Communications for 14 years. What do you love most about working for the company?
Straight talk. The first thing I was told when I was hired in Monterey by a gent named Dale Hendry was, "if I think that getting rid of you will make the company more money, I will." Needless to say, I must be making them money as I am still here. Dale and I still keep in contact to this day. It was made clear that all though this is such a fun business full of eccentricities, that it is a business. Mapleton now is full of knowledge, talent, and results oriented people from the top down.
5. What would surprise people most about the Merced radio market?
That all though we are a smaller market we don't approach our stations as though it is. We work really hard to make sure that we deliver a product that a listener can become a part of, be it contests or on-air content.
6. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
Detail the details. I have to know what is going on at all times. I want the jocks on my station to have the flexibility to let their personalities shine, but it has to work within in the system. I enjoy collaborating with the staff as well; I find that they are more invested that way in the final product.
7. Why have you taken a more conservative approach with new music on The Bear?
It's a challenge to generate our own data on new music due to time and resources. We will get outside the box and pull a record that we know will work for us, but at the end of the day I want hit records on my station that will retain listenership.
8. How has The Bear changed over the past year since shifting from Active Rock?
Hit records. I miss the music on the Active Rock format and I still follow those artists very closely. But at the end of the day, Active Rock wasn't producing the crossover hits that we needed to thrive. No knock on the format at all, as there are a ton of brilliant artists on the Active Rock format as well as some awesome PDs and MDs out there that keep format going. Our market just couldn't sustain it.
9. What do you like best about living in Merced?
Location. We are close to major cities, the Bay area; Monterey Bay area, Fresno, and even LA are within a short distance. Plus, the housing market is reasonable, which has afforded me the ability to have a home with a backyard, in a good neighborhood for my kids to grow up in.
10. What are you most passionate about?
Family and friends. I have two amazing children, and I have really great bonds with family members and friends. I am really blessed in that way. It is something that money can't buy.
How did you become such a huge motorsports fan?
My family! Some families get together and watch the Super Bowl. Ours got together for the Daytona 500 and Indy 500. Some of my fondest memories are the trips we took as a family driving or flying around the country to NASCAR, NHRA, and Indy car races. My dad raced, my brother raced, I did a bit of go karting as a kid. I just love the whole team effort that goes into motorsports. The technical aspect is so fascinating to me and as Hemingway said, "Bullfighting, mountain climbing and auto racing are spots, the rest are just games." I would also through MMA and Boxing in there. It is the risk of death, granted motorsports are safer than ever thank goodness.