10 Questions with ... Jackie Powell
July 27, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started my career as an Intern for Albany's Clear Channel Radio promotions department packing bins and scheduling events. From there, I worked in the promotions department at Albany Broadcasting which allowed me to eventually snag the job as an assistant to the Regional VP of Programming for Pamal Broadcasting, Kevin Callahan.
Kevin trained me to program music, read charts, and ultimately fine tune my on-air abilities. I first cracked the mic at Adirondack Broadcasting on WKBE (107.1 The Point) in Glens Falls and quickly became APD and host of a midday shift.
Four years later I was offered the position of APD, Music Director, Web Director and midday host for the AC station WYJB, B95.5 in Albany and I've been here ever since!
1) What led you to a career in radio?
I consider myself lucky to have had some amazing mentors when I started in radio. It was the passion and respect for their craft that made me decide I wanted to pursue radio as a career.
2) How would you describe your first radio gig?
Fascinating! I had an unconventional entry into radio in the form of my high school radio station, WPOB (88.5 FM) Plainview, NY. I had a Wednesday afternoon show with my best friend from 1:40 to 2:20 called the "JacCas" show (Say it fast and you'll get it). We played some horrible angsty teen music, which she still won't let me forget. In turn, I learned more than most teens in high school, I learned my passion.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
B95.5 is much more active than any other station I've worked at. If there is an event, concert, parade, flash mob that Albany has going on then you will absolutely see B95.5 there. In the end, it forces our listeners to always have us at the top of mind and makes our staff approachable since our listeners see us everywhere.
4) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
I have always had quite the "hat" collection at my stations, mostly due to my being incredibly impatient. I started learning any program I didn't understand because I never wanted to wait for someone else to do it and now it seems my hat rack is always full. It also makes my job title(s) on my signature a bit excessive.
5) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
B95.5 stays local by treating our listeners not as consumers of a product, but more like family. If a local organization or individual reaches out to us we're quick to help out, whether it's announcements at a community event, fundraisers, or if we're just there to play music. The size of the event isn't essential; what's important is being a part of something that our listeners care about. It is, in my opinion, the best thing about what makes us local, local, local.
6) For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see"?
Anything outdoors, not enough people see the Adirondacks when they come to Albany. It may be a little bit of a drive but anyone going to Lake George should definitely check out Spier Falls. It's on the east side of Lake George and involves some dirt roads and a short hike but it's definitely worth it for the waterfall as well as the view of Lake George.
7) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
The creative freedom and opportunities to do things I would never be able to do or experience without it. The ability to create contests out of virtually nothing and the fact that no two days are ever the same helps keep things fresh and definitely keeps the job from ever getting boring.
8) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
That's a fun question! I listen to the opposite of what I play. I'm an AC jock who loves listening to heavy metal music! Some may say that's strange, but I think it gives me a different outside perspective on what I'm playing than most others.
9) What advice you would give people new to the business?
Don't be afraid to take an entry level position to get your foot in the door. Introduce yourself, get people to remember you, and don't be afraid to ask for feedback, it's the only way to grow.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Hard work and persistence pays off. It may take a while to get your goal but in the end it's always worth the effort.
Do you have a favorite hobby outside of radio?
Anything that involves travelling or the outdoors, living in the Adirondacks definitely helps when the mountains, rivers and streams to choose from seem limitless. There is plenty of kayaking, hiking, and laying (outdoors) that happens on any given weekend.