10 Questions with ... Jay Shannon
August 16, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Overnights at Top 40 KFQX/Abilene in 1986
- Overnights at Top 40 KRLB/Lubbock in 1987
- Mornings at Top 40 KFQX/Abilene in 1989; PD at KFQX in 1990
- PD/Mornings at Top 40 KZII/Lubbock in 1992
- Syndicated Morning Show to Abilene, Midland/Odessa/Amarillo from KZII
- PD/Mornings at Top 40 KHFI/Austin in 2000
- PD Top 40 KXXM/Hot 92.5 Urban/San Antonio in 2003
- PD Top 40 KHFI & Top 40/Rhythmic KPEZ/Austin in 2005
- VP/Programming Austin - PD KHFI & KPEZ in 2009
- PD KDGE & KDMX in 2014
1. How did you first become interested in radio?
Listening to Dallas radio growing up. KEGL (Top 40 at the time - Kidd Kraddick at night), Y95, and K104. Completely infatuated along with a strong musical passion. Lived in Abilene (180 miles West) - would drive 1/2 way to Dallas with a recorder and taped hours and hours of KEGL and Y95 to learn how to program. No disrespect to the Abilene market, but no one was teaching me there, had to learn on my own.
2. You have spent most of your career working in Texas for the same company. What led you from Austin to Dallas 2 1/2 years ago?
Just the opportunity to work in the market I grew up listening to - working with legendary brands along with being in the market that taught me how to do radio.
3. What is it about working at iHeartMedia that you love the most?
The events along with our resources and brain trust we have within the company - no doubt the sharpest minds.
4. Give us the 411 on 102.1 The Edge.
Like many Alternative stations - there are a lack of hits which is a struggle. We're working to improve what we can control which is the non-musical elements. Talent, content, contesting, and promotions.
5. You recently launched a new morning on The Edge. Tell us about the Atom Smasher Show and adding Shawnda McNeal as co-host?
Love them. And I'm not just saying that because they're new and that's what all PDs are to say. Atom is a tremendous talent and person, feel the same way about Shawnda. I'm excited about what they will do for The Edge.
6. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
Disciplined, strategic and patient.
7. What are music meetings like at The Edge?
I talk to myself a lot and go through the categories. I'm the PD and MD. We obviously use the company resources along with local callout, shazam, and sales to make decisions on titles the audience is passionate about.
8. After so many years in Top 40, what has been your biggest challenge programming an Alternative station?
Fewer hits within the format. Programming Top 40 against Alternative stations for years - you're obviously very familiar with the format and titles, the major difference is the lack of titles that display passion. But like every format, it's cyclical and will come back.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Surveys like this.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
Love hip hop music... love it.
What are weekends like for you?
Some work - usually have Monday's music to do for both stations. Besides that, spending time with my wife and two boys.
What are your hobbies?
Ride Harley's, Boating/on the lake - just being outdoors. I'm inside all week; weekends are spent outside, even if it's 112 degrees.
Last non-industry job?
Opening new accounts at a bank in College in between radio jobs - uh, 1987? I was fired for flirting with too many tellers.
First record ever purchased?
Ha.. Billy Squier
Favorite band of all-time?
Can't name just one... Genesis, Eminem, Jay Z, Candlebox