10 Questions with ... Mike Jones
September 9, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started at my college station WHFC and got an internship with CBS Baltimore. Worked there and was given a part-time on-air shift on WHFS (not a bad place to start). I left to work at DC101 where I've been for almost 8 years now, going from a part-time jock to Elliot In The Morning Content protector, then nights and now to middays. Also in there was a run at 92.3 K-Rock in NYC and with SiriusXM. (I've worked at some pretty awesome places!) Now, besides DC101 I also do afternoons for Radio 105.7 in Atlanta and nights on Radio 104.5 in Philadelphia.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Radio has been a part of my life forever. It seemed growing up that I spent a lot of time in the car so I was always listening to something. When I was a kid it was B104 or 98 Rock in Baltimore. When I got older it turned to DC101, HFS, WYSP and WMMR (had to be a good night to get the signal from Philly) for music and whatever channel Howard Stern and Don & Mike were on for talk. After working at a bunch of god awful jobs, I decided to go to college and give radio a try. I'm glad I did.
2. What led to your promotion from nights to middays?
We had a change in the midday show and I was asked to take over for the time being. I told James Howard from day one that I would love the opportunity to do the show and take over such an important role at DC101. Why wouldn't you want to follow Elliot In The Morning and then have Roche after you?! I laid out my plan; put it in motion and here we are, with me as the new midday host!
3. What makes your show unique?
I'm not just opening up the microphone because it's time to introduce a song. I'm doing it to tell our listeners something interesting about the band, to have a funny caller get on the air, to make every person be glad they're spending time with DC101. We have the greatest job in the world. You have to take advantage of it and make every break count.
4. What is your show prep routine?
It has changed with the new show. Now, besides of course looking for the news and making my bad jokes, it's also about the concerts, events, experiences that Washington DC and the surrounding areas offer at night. I haven't been able to take advantage of that for three years now so I'm going to make the most of it. But the bad jokes will keep coming too. Don't worry.
5. How are you using Social Media?
Connection, connection, connection. When you're able to talk to people who might not be able to call and have those off air topics continue, it makes what you do that much better.
6. What part of your job do you like best?
Seeing the sunlight after three years! That and always pushing myself to do creative radio. If I'm talking about something everyone has on their minds, I want to put my own spin on it and not just read the punchlines from the prep services. Especially when I can get people talking about it on the phone. It's great when everyone joins in the conversation and it's not just one point of view.
7. Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I have two of them. Nik Carter because he is really taking advantage of his show with VH1, On Tap. The stuff he has access to is incredible and Nik presents it in a new way, plus his interviews are top notch and seem effortless. Second is Kade at ALT 98.7 in LA. He's laid back and smooth as silk with what he's putting out but still sounds excited to be doing it. Kade's like I am, from the end of the old school days of radio.
8. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
My lady's cooking. If she didn't make all of our food I would be eating frozen pizzas on a daily basis. Not that I don't love a good frozen pizza, but I'd be dead by 43 of a heart attack.
9. What are you most passionate about?
Making people laugh. It's really the reason I got into radio and love to open up the microphone. DC can be a grinding town sometimes so if I can make someone smile, that's a great day at the office.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
How many things I actually can fix. One good thing about crappy jobs before radio is that you do learn some things; one of them with me is being handy. It may take some time and some swearing, but I can get the job done. If on air hadn't worked out for me I was considering going towards the engineering side of radio.
What are your hobbies?
Watching Orioles baseball, WWE and playing video games. Lifelong loves that I'll never give up.
Last non-industry job?
I can't remember if it was driving a massive delivery truck or working at a restaurant. Both were terrible, I know that.
First record ever purchased?
Two that I bought at the same time: Metallica's Black Album and Exit...Stage Left from Rush.
I'm not sure exactly of the first. It may have been Foo Fighters playing at UMBC in Baltimore, Easter Sunday, 1996. I know the show was Easter Sunday because I caught hell for going and missing dinner with the family. Whoops!
Favorite band of all-time?
Foo Fighters, Rush, and Oasis. They rotate in and out of the top depending on my mood.