10 Questions with ... Tim Jones
October 2, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started in 1991 in my hometown of Batesville, Arkansas since then my career has taken me to Missouri, Illinois, New Mexico, Tennessee and now Florida. I am a Program Director but most importantly a Brand Specialist.
1) Congrats on the job in Sarasota! What kind of exciting things do you have going on with WCTQ that you can tell us about?
WCTQ over the years has been through lots of changes, we now have a stellar team assembled. Since we are so close to Tampa they are used to holding themselves to a higher standard than our market. You could take this team to any big market and win. They all get it and make me look good. Thanks team.
2) There have been so many changes in the 20 or so years that you have been in radio-what basic principals have remained constant through the years?
Passion, Persistence and Patience. The 3 P's as I call them. I am still working on the Patience part! Things don't move as fast as our brains sometimes.
3) Sarasota has always had a reputation as a 'retirement community,' but that has changed quite a bit over the years hasn't it? What is the market like now?
The average age of Sarasota is 51 but when you tie the other pieces of the metro together you find that there is a passionate younger country audience here.
4) Are you targeting to a younger audience? How would you explain the 'sound' of WCTQ?
WCTQ is the oldest country station on the Suncoast - over 35 years of being Country. Since the audience is somewhat older we still play some of the big 90s records that "made Country great". As far as sound goes, I like a very active, upbeat almost CHR delivery type of sound. I hate stations that just "lay" there. When you think about it, there is so much competition for people's time, you must stand out. I think we do that.
5) You did quite well when you programmed in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Was that your first PD job? And how did you make the jump to PD?
Jonesboro was in fact my first PD gig. Trey Stafford and Bill Pressly saw something in me and knew I had a passion for what I was doing. We put on 104.9 The Fox and I had signed up to do nights at first. I came in 2 weeks after the launch one afternoon and they had fired the PD they hired, so they gave me the job to see how I would do, and the rest is history. We stole Jim Frigo and Christie Matthews from cross town rivals whom I had worked with before and we beat KFIN pretty quickly. Those guys are still there kicking ass and taking names. Consistency is key and they have kept it going year in, year out and still on top.
6) What drew you to radio in the first place and at what age?
The music. My grandma loved music. I remember, we used to lay in bed when I was tiny and listen to the Grand Ole Opry on WSM-AM. She loved Country music. I always wanted to take her to see the Opry but her time ran out. My dad took me to the local station at age 10, I was in la la land. One very cool thing was one of the guys who was there at the time, "Memphis" Mark Billingsley I was able to re-hire when I got the WGKX job. He was nice to me as a kid and I remembered that so I brought him back. So, it's all my dad's fault. I blame him. I mean, I thank him daily for being in this business.
7) You have worked in many markets-on a personal level, what do you love about Sarasota aside from the beaches, the weather, the sun, and not having to worry about shoveling any snow this year!
I used to vacation in Miami every year but now that I live here, I have only been to Miami once for meetings. This is the spot, it has a small town feel to it and I think that's why you have lot of celebrities who live here or have a house here. I grew up hunting, fishing and loving the water on lakes nearby. I have always wanted to live near the ocean. I wake up and cross the bridge to the mainland everyday thinking wow, I pulled it off. I am thankful for every second.
8) You must have had plenty of mentors along the way in your career-who do you still hear talking to you in the back of your head and what are they saying?
There are so many thoughts that have stuck with me over the years. From a sales perspective I hear Kevin Neathery from Saga in Jonesboro, I learned a lot about marketing from him. Programming wise, it would be Bill Pressly & Trey Stafford from there who gave me my first PD gig and probably my biggest secret weapons since then would be Phil Hunt & Bill May. Those guys have been the best teachers I have had. I also read a ton, it inspires me to challenge myself and my team.
9) How do you prioritize your day as far as your 'to-do' lists-are you doing an air-shift?
I do afternoons. I love it, it's my release. I pretty much have a system. I come in pop on the morning show while I do music. It's usually the first thing I do. I like to work ahead when I can. It's very important that I feel like I got everything done I wanted to. Yes, I'm a little OCD. It comes with the territory.
10) Tell us about your experience with "I Heart Radio".
I love this product and I love being in a company where the future of this business is top of mind. I can't wait to see how far we take it.
1. Aside from radio, what do you love doing on a day off?
Being on the water.
2) What current music are you listening to that you're loving?
I have a very wide variety of stuff I love. From Lady Antebellum, to Foster The People. I like the discovery process of music. As I am writing this, I am listening to this Andy Grammer guy. This is pretty good stuff.
3) What is a 'guilty pleasure' TV show-do you watch 'reality TV' at all?
I am not a reality show type. I love Comedy and Drama. I watch a lot of Two And A Half Men, Entourage, and Seinfeld re-runs. They never get old. I also watch a ton of football. GO HOGS!