10 Questions with ... Buzz Jackson
June 19, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 88-90 Weekends at WOVV/West Palm Beach (Top 40)
- 90-91 Nites at Z-103 Tallahassee (Top 40)
- 91-92 Nites at I-100 Daytona Beach (Top 40)
- 92-94 overnites and then nites at B-94.5 Orlando (Country)
- 94-95 nites at WRMF/West Palm Beach (AC)
- 95-01 afternoons (and later PD) at WROO/Jacksonville (Country)
- 01-present PD/afternoons at KIIM/Tucson (Country)
1) What's going on at KIIM that you are excited about? Anything exciting in the works?
We're always very promotionally active, so there seems to be something happening all the time. Our next station concert is our 12th annual Freedom Festival, which stars Tracy Lawrence, Steve Holy, Sunny Sweeney and others. It's a great chance to bond with listeners, expose them to some great music and celebrate America!
2) Congrats on your upcoming ten year anniversary at KIIM! Here's your chance to tell the staff what kind of celebration you would like. How does it feel?
So much has happened in ten years. I'm not sure that ten years ago I could picture myself still here in 2011, but nowadays I can sure picture myself still here in 2021! What kind of celebration? Maybe just a day off! :)
3) You took home the 2010 Middle Market Personality of the Year Award from the ACM. What do you think makes your show so award winning?
A large part of it is being local. Not just on the air, but active in the community, doing things in town that people can relate to and say, "hey, that's just like me." I do a lot of charity stuff and unpaid events and things to get out there around our listeners.
4) Since you got your start in Top 40, how did you end up in Country and how do some of those Top-40 basics apply to your Country approach?
I was the victim of a format change and the first station that would hire me was a new "young country" station in Orlando. B-94.5 was basically a Top-40 station that played Country music. All the mechanics were familiar; I just had to learn all the music very quickly. As I've matured as a person and an air talent, I've toned down some of my Top-40 instincts and refined others. And a LOT of the people who listen to Country music nowadays grew up on Top-40 in the 80s, so it still fits really well.
5) You list your religion as "Church Of George Strait" on Facebook. Were you always a fan of Country music or did it draw you in?
I grew up in NY where there basically was and still is no Country music. So I really had no exposure to it prior to falling into it in Orlando. But I've fallen in love with the artists, the music and the audience. And George Strait - there's still no more important artist for my radio station than him.
6) You have interviewed so many artists over the years. Tell us some of your favorite moments, in Country radio or before.
One of my favorite times was when RCA was bringing Martina around in a bus in the mid 90s to reintroduce her. She came and did the afternoon show in Jacksonville with me one day, brought her kids in and everything.
7) How do you feel is the best way to stay in tune with what your listeners really want to hear?
That's a tough one. I think it's safe to say that most radio stations don't have callout anymore, so we rely on internet polling like Rate The Music or RadioTraks. The good news about a short playlist is that you can only really play the cream of the crop, so while there's a lot of pressure from labels to get on the playlist, when it happens it's because I'm confident that it has a fighting chance to be a hit.
8) You have proclaimed that if Chris Young's "Tomorrow" does not go to number one that you will eat a shoe. We are big supporters of Chris Young as well but do you have a shoe picked out, just in case?
I've had a lot of listeners offer suggestions - including eating a baby's shoe because it's smaller. And one listener baked me an apple pie in the shape of a shoe, complete with shoelaces. It's in my freezer, just in case.
9) What's more fun for you, being on the air or programming?
Being on the air, for sure. If they told me they were taking me off the air, I would go cry a long time. And I think it's another important way to feel what the audience wants and expects to hear on their favorite station.
10) What do you like best about living and working in Tucson?
I like the old-west feel that's still prevalent all over town. It's a great place to raise a kid, the weather's nice, it's unlike anyplace else in the world, and it's not over-built like Phoenix.
1) What do you and the family like to do when you are not working?
I'm trying to get them into Geocaching, nerdy hide-and-seek is that I call it.
2) What's your favorite show on TV right now?
I watch Mythbusters, The Daily Show, Colbert Report and Cops.
3) What new music are you listening to right now that you love, either Country or non-Country?
I like the new Sunny Sweeney a lot. The new Brad Paisley CD is great, from beginning to end. And I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for new Alan Jackson music!