10 Questions with ... Jack Mehoff
October 28, 2014
1. What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
After a short internship at the tender age of 18 I started doing weekend overnights, remember when that was a shift here at KILO. I have had the great privilege of working with some folks here that have shaped not only my career but the man I've grown to be. Ross Ford and Rich Hawk top that list.
2. What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment, which made you realize "this is it"?
I have always been drawn to music, namely Rock and Metal. With no musical ability and a station like KILO in my own backyard during my formidable years it was an obvious goal as a teenager. On my first week at the station, I had the opportunity to meet Tony Iommi, and thought I should stick around to meet more of my heroes.
3. How long have you been working for KILO and how long have you been MD?
It has been 14 years in October and nearly ten as music director.
4. You had the opportunity to work with KILO's original PD Rich Hawk way back in the day. It was a sad day when Rich passed away last year. What were some of the things you learned from working with him?
Rich Hawk's passing was a tremendous devastation to those of us who had worked with him. Rich, to some, was more than just a boss or mentor and the fact that he is no longer with us is still difficult. Rich taught me to program with a purpose and to recognize when a song is working and when it's not. To be open to new sounds but remember what your brand is. He also taught that at the end of the day "it's only fucking radio, not rocket science."
5. I know that KILO is pretty aggressive with new rock musically. When you listen to new music, approximately how important by percentage is gut, research, sales, video play, and chart position when determining the status of a record?
Charts mean less to me every day. My town is different from yours and yours is different from the next. Videos don't mean much, either. Gut, research and sales are great to take in, but ultimately our listeners dictate who we are and how we sound. Having the ability to ask them on a nightly basis what their Rock station plays has more weight than most things. KILO is a heavier station, but as strong in the market as we have ever been. That is decided by the direct feedback of the "KILO-nation."
6. What's your take on current Active Rock music? Is it as good as six months or a year ago, better, or about the same? Give us your take on the Active Rock format as a whole.
Old men who wear make-up call Rock music dead. The format is not the strongest it has been in the past. To me, that means a great opportunity to discover what is simmering on the underground and a great time to take chances on bands that are unknown to radio.
7. KILO has long had a reputation as a "tastemaker" station ... especially when it comes to new rock and metal. How do you balance that so it doesn't adversely affect the station's cume and TSL -- especially during the day?
It all comes back to our listeners. They directly dictate what we play. After 36 years of being "The Rock Station" our listeners, most of who have grown up listening, are accustomed and open to new music. A great song is still great even if it's from a band you've never heard of.
8. What are your three favorite artists or songs of this past year and why?
- Hellyeah -- Blood For Blood is my favorite album from the band thus far.
- Of Mice And Men -- "Will You Still Be There" has been a great song for us this year but it's still not one of my top three favorites on the phenomenal Restoring Force album
- Slipknot -- this was a band that was considered "scary" when I was a senior in high school. It warms the cockles of my heart to hear the band return to the aggressive and brutal sound that made me a fan in the first place.
9. How much does KILO use social media like Facebook and Twitter to help enhance the overall listener experience?
Social media is used for just that, to be sociable. We interact with our fans via these websites but all content is posted to our website and linked back from Facebook and Twitter.
10. Finally, I'm assuming that Jack Mehoff is not your real name! Where and how did Mr. Mehoff come about?
That came about my first day as the morning show intern. While debating my "radio name," morning show host Ross Ford asked if I had any nicknames in school. "They called me Jack Mehoff if they wanted a punch in the stomach." That stuck until a pastor and his family took offense to my "suggestive name." It's been Mr. Mehoff ever since. I think it makes me sound classy!
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have five CDs with you. What are they?
- Sublime - 40oz to Freedom
- Jimi Hendrix - Axis Bold As Love
- Otis Redding - Greatest Hits
- Willie Nelson - Shotgun Willie
- Social Distortion - White Light, White Heat, White Trash
Then after a week I would demand my island captors give me another set of five.