10 Questions with ... Jay Styles
May 23, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KAMX/Austin, TX - Present
- WMYX/Milwaukee, WI - Present
- ZFZZ/Grand Cayman Islands
- WSJT/Tampa, FL
- WHFS/Tampa, FL
- WABB/Mobile, AL
- WJJS/Roanoke, VA
- WHZT/Greenville, SC
- WAPE/Jacksonville, FL
- WBHV/State College, PA
- WPXY/Rochester, NY
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
My mom read me the book "Benny, Benny Baseball Nut" about a boy who announced and acted out everyday life like it was a baseball game. It also helped that I grew up in a great radio city: Rochester, NY.
2) So ... are you related to Harry Styles of One Direction? What can we expect from his upcoming solo album?
No, but in 2012 the girl I took to his show in Tampa met him backstage and well....
3) Please tell us about your experience doing radio in the Cayman Islands?
It was AWESOME! It was a once in a life time experience. It's a great radio market with great talent running the stations. You really don't feel like you're on a 20 something mile long country!
4) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Cat Thomas. He has a brilliant mind and his impact in this business is like six degrees of Kevin Bacon. AllAccess' Downtown Eddie Brown is a prime example. I am very fortunate to have him in my corner.
5) What influence does South By Southwest and the Austin City Limits venue have on the Austin music scene?
We're very lucky to have two of the biggest yearly music events. Both events help break artists especially SXSW. Every year MIX puts on our "West Of The Fest" concert that brings a packed house and is the best showcase lineup of the music week. We've had everyone from Ed Sheeran, Hanson, Stephan Jenkins, Blue October, DNCE, and Lifehouse play it!
6) What is it about Mix that you feel really makes it cut through?
We have a GREAT team headed by our leader Nikki Nite. Booker, Alex, and Sara are quickly becoming THE morning show in Austin and are really locked into the community. Heather has been a staple in the Austin daytime and her ratings show that! I handle afternoons and Ashley Z is tracked in at nights. She has a great future ahead! Our events from concerts to social are unique and one of a kind executed with strong passion. We do a great job with getting the artists close to the listener via face to face or over Facebook Live.
7) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Growing talent. The talent isn't lacking, what is lacking is growing leaders and coaches in the Program Director role. When hiring for that position it appears to be more about scheduling music and creating a promotion rather than someone who has the ability to manage and grow individuals. If you cannot manage talent you will not win.
The talent pool is deep... See Phil Becker. I am sure you have more than a couple social media stars living in your city right now with more followers on Twitter than your entire cluster of stations. So it's not a question of a lack of talent, but, rather the lack of the right people in the position to mold and cultivate the talent.
8) How do you prep yourself for your radio shift?
Everyday is a little different. I'll have my Go-To's, along with my own personal life experiences (my wife currently is pregnant) local news, etc. But the goal is sell the MIX brand, to be memorable, relatable, and funny!
9) What is the most rewarding promotion or activity your station has been involved with to benefit the community?
I just finished walking my 3rd annual "100 Mile Courage Walk" to benefit Military Veterans battling PTSD and to raise money for a local charity that trains service dogs for Vets with PTSD. We've raised thousands of dollars and walked over 300 miles plus since it started. We added a 5k to it this year and the turnout was amazing! To see firsthand the emotional impact I have made on our real heroes is so humbling and it's really cool to have a cop car and hook and ladder truck escort you down the streets!
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Be humble! I have a post-It note on my computer that says....
Where I Was Where I Am Where I Want To Be
Appreciate the process, never settle, always raise your own bar of success, and appreciate everyone you come into contact with and work with because this business is too small to hold grudges or angst. Most of all be HAPPY! If you're not ... make it happy or make a move.