10 Questions with ... Jason Allen
September 5, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WSUX/Seaford, DE - Seaford Media - GM/PD - (Jan 2016-Present)
- WAMS/Salisbury-Ocean City, MD - Epcot Broadcasting - PD - (Jan 2009-Dec 2015)
- WZEB/WKDB/Ocean City, MD - Great Scott Broadcasting - MD/On-Air - (2007-2008)
- Traffax Of Delmarva - Traffic Reporter - (April 2004-April 2007)
- WAFL/ Salisbury-Ocean City, MD - On Air - (Jan 2001-March 2004)
1. What Got You Interested In Radio?
When I was years-old, my older brother worked for The Pros, a wedding/party DJ service. He brought home all kinds of records that we would listen to when he was not working. He would hook up his equipment in our parent's basement and show me how to "spin" records.
On New Year's Eve of 1984, the two of us listened and recorded on cassette tape (still a few left that actually work) the top 84 of 1984 on then WCAU-FM out of Philly. Those DJ's sounded like they were having so much fun, that I wanted to be there with them. That was the day I said to myself that I wanted to be a radio DJ.
2. Who do you consider your radio mentors?
I would have to say that my radio mentor is Johnny B (now PD at KLAK). Back when I was a young man I would hang out with him at the studio as he would show me the ropes. That time was the evolution of the cell phone. I was, as he called me, "his main mobilizer" who went out and did crazy pranks for him. It was also Johnny that helped me land my first job with Delmarva Broadcasting as a board-op at WSTW/Wilmington, DE.
3. What makes the Salisbury-Ocean City market unique? How does this compare to other markets you have worked at?
I have been lucky to have worked in this market for, so far ... my entire radio career. I would say this market is unique because of the number of radio stations (47) that can be heard in this market. You have bleed-over from Wilmington, Baltimore, and DC. There is also the influx of vacationers that come in to the beach areas during the summer along with your year-round residents.
4. How are you using social media to market your radio station?
We try to use social media to get the listeners involved with the station. Try to make them feel like they are a part of the station by asking for feedback about music they like or dislike? What songs they want to hear more or less?
We keep them informed as to what is going on in our community, and invite them to post community events themselves to our pages.
5. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
I think radio stations forget that their FCC license is to "Serve the community of license".
This means being a part of the community by doing remotes for community events. One thing we do at WSUX is we are out almost every weekend doing remotes at community events.
I know people say, "Where is my talent fee?" And I say your talent fee is giving back to the community you live in, that part of your job as an on air personality. We need to get back to live and local radio!
6. How are you using new technologies in your personal life to listen to music, and what observations have you made about how today's listeners use technology?
I love iTunes music. It's like having a huge music library. You can ask Siri for pretty much any song and you can hear it instantly. The technology I use today would include the iTunes charts as well as Pandora's list of the top 100 'Thumbed' songs for 2015, to see what current and recurrent listeners like. I also listen in my car to satellite radio. It has turned me onto songs like Disturbed "The Sound Of Silence", something I would of never added into rotation if I never heard it played.
7. What is the most rewarding promotion you've ever been a part of?
While I was a PD at WAMS in Dover, DE; we ran a Christmas Cash Tree contest. We took a Christmas tree and placed money on it. We had listeners come out to our live broadcasts to make guesses as to how much money was on the tree. The person who was the closet without going over was the winner. The winner was a single mom who had four young kids who had just lost her job due to the economy. She was not sure how she was going to afford Christmas for her children. When she won the $400 plus, she just broke down on air telling her story. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house as she spoke.
8. What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air?
The biggest gaff I ever made was at a live remote when I was talking about an Ocean City T-shirt, I said Ocean Shi&&y T-shirt. Luckily, I think the only one who heard it was Mike Bradley who was running the board.
9. What advice would you give people new to the business?
This is a hard business to break into these days. With more and more radio stations using voice tracking technology, you have to make yourself stand out above the rest.
I had a PD named Mike Sommers who had me listen to "Big market radio" jocks, to learn what made them so successful. With today's technology of online streaming, it is a lot easier to listen. I hear so many on-air people today that sound like they are "mailing it in". Give me more than title and artist. Do your show-prep, come up with ways to interact with your listeners. Learn how to tease the listeners to stay through the commercials or next song. Be Entertaining!
10. What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Giving it 100%. Just like an athlete I give 100% to whatever I am doing. Whether on air, at a remote or doing production I put all of myself into it. I think it comes through to the listener or advertiser.