10 Questions with ... Jacent Jackson
May 12, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Working backward from Live 105, I spent the previous eight years as PD at WLUM/Milwaukee. I was also APD/MD at Q101/Chicago and PD of KQXR/Boise and before that did mornings and MD in Lansing, MI and my hometown of Champaign, IL.
1. After eight years working for an independent station and building FM 102/1 Milwaukee to its best ratings ever, what motivated you to want to become the next programmer of Live 105?
I really enjoyed my time in Milwaukee. It's an underrated city and a great radio town. I believe it was great timing. I was ready for a new challenge and getting the opportunity to live here in the Bay Area and program this radio station is really special. I am really grateful that Kevin Weatherly and Lisa Worden at KROQ and our Market Manager Doug Harvill were willing to give me the opportunity to do this.
2. You've been working at Alternative stations for over 20 years. What has been your biggest challenge evaluating a heritage brand?
Great radio brands know how to be who they are. The challenge with Live 105 is that it, like many heritage brands, has gone through several different identities. I have spent a good deal of time doing my homework on the history of the market and Live 105's place in that history. If we can develop a brand that is in line with the best elements of what Live 105 means to the Bay Area then we will be successful.
3. What has surprised you most about Live 105?
I think it has a killer sales staff. There is a lot of passion in sales for the brand, with many of the AE's starting from the product and moving from living the lifestyle to selling it. It's a pretty special situation when you do an event and several AE's who have no clients for the event just choose to go to hang out. Amazing.
4. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
My goal for any music radio station is the same. Define a genre. Be famous for it. Be consistently entertaining in between. I believe in programming on purpose and that great air talent matter. I don't believe you ever stop learning and that you should always challenge your assumptions. I think you should be able to hear the station you want in your head and then work every day to get closer to that ideal.
5. Tell us about the changes you made to the on-air lineup and why?
The first priority for Live 105 coming in the door was to develop a morning show, which led us to Kevin Klein. Kevin had been doing the Playboy morning show (yes, that Playboy) and was looking to do a more rich and varied show on broadcast radio. We brought on Ally Johnson, a regular guest on Kevin's old show and a Bay Area native and sketch comic, to co-host. Then added Corey Irwin as a producer.
In the process of searching for a morning show, we found a new afternoon host in Greg Beharrell. Greg arrives here from CFOX/Vancouver. He also logged mornings at CFNY/Toronto and CFEX/Calgary.
Finally, we promoted Danica Lopez from part-time and traffic to the midday role. She is a Bay Area native and the only person I know that nannies and plays in a punk band. What's not to like?
We stood pat with Dallas in nights. He is incredibly passionate about the music and is very active in the social media space.
This gives us great entertainment value in the drives and passion and companionship in middays and nights.
6. How aggressive do you consider yourself in championing new music and what is most important to you?
It's important that we play songs that our audience potentially likes. I think like anyone in radio in 2015 we can read the data that's available to us. After that it really comes down to fit and branding. If we can get the fit and it is on brand for Live 105, we are all in.
7. What's it like having Aaron Axelsen as your APD/MD?
I have been fortunate to have some great Music Directors, and Aaron is no exception. Aaron likes bands who haven't formed yet. He has his ear to the ground, is culturally aware and involved and is a blast to do music with. He is basically the mayor of the Bay Area scene. It's great having him here.
8. What's it like working for CBS Radio?
I have really enjoyed it. The people give you the room needed to do your work but are always there as a resource when you need them. I couldn't ask for a better balance.
9. What do you like best about living in The Bay Area?
The climate. The relaxed atmosphere. The dining options. The water. You know, all the stuff.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
If I told you it wouldn't be a surprise, would it?
What is a typical weekend like with you, Steph, and the kids?
We haven't had too many typical weekends. It seems there is always something to do, and it varies. I can tell you that we spend them together, though. I like to spend as much time as I possibly can with my family. They are the world to me.