10 Questions with ... Jace Edwards
January 6, 2015
1) What was your first job in radio? Who were your early influences and mentors?
My first gig was in 1992 on an AM in McMinnville-Newberg, OR -- KLYC, Radio For Yamhill County. I did everything, Sales in the mornings, production in the afternoons, on-air, weekend board op and janitor. I was homeless so I'd sneak into the station after hours to sleep under the production board. The local gym became part of my daily routine as they had showers (plus they were my client so I'd get a work out in and talk marketing with the owner). During this time, I was also serving in the Marine Corps Reserves, working as a waiter at an Izzy's Pizza, doing comedy in the Portland Underground Comedy Network and DJ shifts at strip clubs in Eugene-Springfield.
Early influence: Ken Martin. He gave me my first Rock gig at KZEL and took a chance on a guy who had shown up every Monday at 2p with an updated tape and resume. I was supposed to be making sales calls 80 miles north for KLYC, but Mondays I'd jet to Eugene trying to break into Rock radio. It paid off on the sixth week of being there as Ken got off the air. Cyd and Mark also helped me a lot in those early years.
2) Can you give us your basic radio background with call letters and positions before you took on this new morning gig with KOZZ?
- KEDG-KISF/Las Vegas
- KCAL/Riverside-San Bernardino
- KKND/New Orleans
- KCXX/Riverside-San Bernardino (1 shift)
- KCLB/Palm Springs
- KRDJ/Lafayette-Baton Rouge
- KKGB/Lake Charles
- KOZZ-KUUB/Reno-Lake Tahoe
3) Now let's talk about KOZZ. You've been doing mornings for years now and are coming in replacing Jim McClain who had been doing mornings for KOZZ for years. How has that transition been for you?
The transition has been great. I sat in as a sidekick to his program for three weeks and then he sat in for the first week of my program as a guest. He is a legend and I have learned so much about Reno Radio from him. Plus he has been essential in my radio acclimation by introducing me to every player on every level. To say I have big boots to fill is an understatement, as he has been essential in the community that is Reno, but I am up to the challenge and the audience has accepted me with open arms because of the way we transitioned.
4) You're also doing mornings in the same Lotus Radio cluster group with Active Rock KDOT who have morning monsters Rob, Arnie & Dawn syndicating their show from Sacramento. How would you describe the type of morning show you'll be doing compared to RAD and the other morning shows in the Reno market?
My show is interactive and real. I call it fully interactive Rock/Talk radio. I don't play a role; I just deliver content, music and lead the audience through a series of conversations and games. I never look at my competition; I let them look at me and learn to try and follow. I love going against syndicated shows because I deliver local radio and win. Mark & Brian, Adam Corolla, Free Beer and Hot Wings have all fallen to half the ratings I have achieved in the past for core demos. I'm not calling anyone out ... just stating what the numbers will tell you when you look at them. As for R.A.D., we are on the same team, they talk, I rock with talk sprinkled in and together we will dominate morning radio in Reno from two different angles.
5) Being a former PD, what's your take on the health of KOZZ right now? You're working with a strong OM in Paul Kriegler, but what are its strengths and challenges from where you're sitting?
KOZZ is VERY healthy. This station has a pulse. It is ripe with the right mixture of music and personality. Paul allows personalities to be just that without sacrificing the music and the other way around. I wanted this job primarily to work for him. When I visited I was programming a Classic Rocker in Lake Charles. When I returned to that market I instituted a few elements I stole from Paul's playbook. The great thing about KOZZ is that it is LEGENDARY and the audience knows it and will tell you about it. The challenge is all mine. I need to perform at a level that will shine among stars. Everyone here has longevity and a standing in the community so I need to step up my game.
6) You've had a successful run programming Active Rock stations in the past. Now that you're working on a Classic Rock station, what's your take on the Classic Rock format as a whole?
This isn't your father's Classic Rock. The '80s are now classics! Motley Crue and Guns-n-Roses are active in the playlist. KOZZ also recognizes that classic artists are still active making music and will highlight that on the air by exposing the audience to their recent material. This is the evolution of Classic Rock. It is alive and breathing. As long as Seger, The Stones, Pink Floyd, Motley Crue and the like keep making music I see it represented on KOZZ.
7) Reno is an interesting market because of the entertainment that is always performing at the casinos. It's like Las Vegas on a smaller scale. How do you plan to tap into all that music and comedy talent coming to your market on a weekly basis?
By putting them on my show and being active with the venues and artists. I worked Las Vegas -- and Reno may be physically smaller but it is far from that in reach and influence. This is a destination city that lives up to its "Biggest Little City In The World" Moniker. Reno has everything!
8) How interactive is KOZZ and your morning show with its audience via your website or social media like Facebook and Twitter?
We are very interactive, but like anything else constantly trying to build up the numbers. KOZZ recently went from a Friend page to a fan page, so converting the friends to fans is taking time, but they are following. I feel that social media and the Classic Rock listener are starting to get a rejuvenation. That is your typical 49-year-old is active on social media and is allowing it to become a larger part of their life. This has been a change from what we saw with social media six to eight years ago when it seemed it was the 20-somethings and 30-somethings being the most accepting and active, but those people have all graduated into their 30s and 40s.
9) What can Classic Rock radio be doing with their station web sites and Social Media sites to better their stations as a whole?
Combine, cross-promote. Creating web-only promotions are not the key; each needs to promote the other and have an influence and stamp on the on air product.
10) Finally, Reno is an awesome area for the outdoors with Lake Tahoe just down the road. How do you plan to take advantage of the winter and summer sporting activities in the area?
I am an outdoors sports guy. Snowboarding, hiking, falling from a plane ... that's how I get my rocks off. Reno is my utopia as I can do all that and gamble, too! I was in town just 72 hours before I hit my first trail.
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have five CDs with you. What are they?
- Henry's Child, "Mumbles and Screams"
- Pink Floyd, "The Wall"
- David Bowie, "Earthlings"
- Metallica, "Master of Puppets"
- Life Of Agony, "River Runs Red"