10 Questions with ... Kenny Jay
January 8, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Spent the first eight of my nine years as a Program Director in small Wisconsin markets. I spent three and a half years at WWQM/Madison as APD/MD. I left to launch "Bob" at WUBB/Savannah, GA, in January 2010.
1) You started your radio career in your home state of Wisconsin. What's been the biggest difference now that you're 1,100 miles away in Georgia?
The passion and pride for the music being made in our backyard. Some of the formats hottest artists have roots in Georgia and South Carolina, and you can bet songs by Jason (Aldean), Billy (Currington), Darius (Rucker), Lady A (2 of 3!), Luke (Bryan), the Zac Brown Band and Brantley (Gilbert) are going to play well here.
2) In January, you jumped on board with WUBB. What has been your favorite part about the station, besides morning guy Tim Leary?
Did he pay you with adult beverages to say that? Ha! The support Triad has given for this rebrand has been incredible. We have people on the air and the streets, big contesting, and we ran massive television schedules in the spring and fall - over 500 points the week of the CMA's alone! I also get to be creative blazing a new trail with station imaging and promotions.
3) You're heavy into social media. What have you done to get over 8,000 likes on Facebook already?
Anything that can drive cume to the station is a great tool to have! It starts with a product people are interested in and want to interact with. From there it's about having conversations and having fun with no cheesy liner-speak or sales pushes. I'm less concerned about total likes than I am with the "talking about this" metric - that's our engagement score! Anyone can buy 80,000 likes, but if only 80 people are talking about you, you've wasted your money.
4.) Times have changed since your first days as a Program Director. What is the most significant difference in the Country format since the beginning of your career?
The easy answer is technology. There's more authenticity with the music today as well, but the answer would have to be time management. With all the platforms we are responsible for it takes a big effort to make sure they are all done the right way with a clear, consistent station message. That has also allowed listeners to easily reach us in more ways and it's important to make time to reply to Facebook posts, tweets, emails, ect.
5) WUBB "Bob" is heavily involved with fundraising. You and your team managed to raise thousands for a local organization called The Pink Heals. What's the most rewarding thing about being able to help your community?
It's the right thing to do and the feeling you get back makes the hard work more than worth it! It also has allowed us as a new station to gain acceptance quicker by partnering with high passion groups and causes. Even the smallest of mentions or street team appearances are a big deal to people and have been great in getting the word out about "Bob."
6) Outside of the station, what are some of your favorite things you enjoy doing in Savannah?
With the weather we have a lot more options this time of year. Our oldest Brooks is almost two and is a pro at the beach! My wife Tara and I love concerts, sporting events, an occasional dinner out and our dvr!
7) Is there any advice someone has given you that you would share with anyone interested in breaking into the radio industry?
Network your face off. They didn't say it like that, but that's what I was told to do and it's worked well for me. Be prepared to work hard, learn everything you can and keep learning - and have fun! My neighbor repairs Chinook helicopters for the Army and is getting ready for his second deployment overseas. He has a real job compared to what we do!
8) I'm sure you have interviewed plenty of artists. Has there ever been a standout interview, or 'wow' moment you've had thus far in your career? If so what happened?
I don't know why this was so cool to me, but remember Eric Church cutting all those sport team edits for "Love Your Love The Most?" I played that song with him in studio and he said "I haven't heard these yet, crank it up man." There we are, two guys jamming - to a love song. We regained our man card by talking drinking and man cave rules on the air afterwards.
9) When selecting music for WUBB, what are the most important factors you look for?
Billy Currington's grandma thanked me at an appearance for playing his music. That always works! Seriously, songs have to fit the sound and vision of the station. Our backyard artists always get an early look and we move fast on great songs. Local research has been great for staying ahead of the curve - we played "Knee Deep" over 800 times as a current because it came back number one, with no burn every time.
10) Who are you hoping to see breakout in 2012?
Two part question for me. Within our format I'm all for my fellow cheesebro Josh Thompson. As for the national mainstream it's time for the breakout of the Zac Brown Band.
1) What's the one food you couldn't live without?
I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just about every day for lunch while I'm on the air. Someday I'll grow up.
2) If you were a contestant on a reality show, which show would you be featured on?
"Man vs Food Nation" is a reality show now, right? I'd love to see how many burgers I could eat at Copps in Milwaukee, tater tots at Paradise Park in Nashville or how many green fried tomatoes I could do at Paula Deen's place here in Savannah!
3) Where is the one place you are dying to visit?
Anywhere warm I can bring a babysitter so we can get some family time and some mommy and daddy with 'bottomless fruity drink with umbrellas' time while the kids are in good hands!