10 Questions with ... Vincent David Jericho
April 26, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in radio in Vancouver, Canada at CKNW. Back then, NW was recognized as one of the top Talk stations in North America. I moved back to the States in the late '90s, working predominately in sales and sales management. Doors opened for me to get back into talk in 2002 and I have been the top rated talk host in every market I've worked in since 2003.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I started my own company and do a four-hour Internet show each day. The show is for a Christian rather than secular audience, but doing four hours live each day keeps me sharp!
2) Some people get discouraged or enlightened with the business when they actually step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.
I lost my job because I stood up to a powerful congressman. In truth, the story should have made national headlines ... it didn't. Now, I am branded as a "poop disturber." Really? A month after I was fired, a group of listeners held a rally for my wife and I and gave us $4,000. That sounds like INCREDIBLE listener loyalty, the sort that most stations would kill for. Clients I did endorsements for call me regularly and cannot believe they are STILL getting business and I have been off the air for MONTHS! Given publicly-traded companies and the "Gordon Gekko" GREED mentality, I am not sure there is anyone in radio who remembers what our medium is supposed to be -- and if they have the courage to do it. In my heart, I hope this interview being published will help me find that broadcaster ... my head tells me they don't exist ... we will see.
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Radio, Internet, television ... it is what I know and I pray something will open up.
4) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
Networking with friends in the industry and checking All Access daily. I get online EARLY in hopes of getting my package to a prospective employer first. Hopefully they will respect the drive and initiative.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
A talk host at a station with GREAT team spirit! I pray someone sees the potential I have and exploits my ability to really connect with my audience. I have been out of work almost a year and folks are still sending my wife and I money, dropping off food. Clients I did endorsements for are still making sales from the ads I did for them a year ago. They tell me people come through the door saying, "hey, I heard Jericho talking about you." Surely, someone in our industry can use me.
6) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
Actually I am all over the Net. That is becoming THE incubator of creativity. I have always done well as a Talk host with males 18-29 and the Internet is where a lot of them are finding what they want over terrestrial radio. If I plan on staying relevant for a long time, I need to go where my audience is ... not expect them to come to me.
7) Are you able to slow down and enjoy free time doing things with your family and friends that you probably did not have time to do while you were working?
I find myself reading the Bible a lot more and I spend a LOT more time praying and fasting. I work out at least three times a week and try to stay connected to my wife and friends in a more intimate way than ever before. Twelve to 16-hour days on the job left little time for wife and friends.
8) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
The ice storm of 2007. Power went out all over the area. It was a Saturday. As the PD I made the decision to go live myself. Just me and the listeners for 12-18 hours a day for the next two weeks. People were calling in, trapped in their houses because of trees that had fallen ... moms calling in because their child had run out of insulin. It was incredible ... we became the hub of information and rescue for thousands. Because there was no power we stepped back in time. I got in the habit of playing "old-time radio dramas" each night because there was no television. I would want to go home and get a few hours sleep and someone would call and ask for just one more. I never had the heart to say no because I was all they had in the cold and dark. I was credited with saving thousands of lives over that two weeks; don't know if that is true but it was an honor to be able to serve the community like that.
9) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
I literally got written up for working too many hours at my previous station. Given the economy, I plan on working even harder ... particularly in helping sales. It is an incredibly difficult time right now. I really believe my responsibilities only start when the mic goes off. I need to be out in the public and making as many calls with sales as I can!
10) Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
Working at a station where people REALLY enjoy working together. Doing great radio, getting great ratings and making a GREAT return for the owners of the station.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
The Bible ... seriously. I once was in the ministry, so you would think I would "know it all." I am amazed and humbled the more I get to know my God!