10 Questions with ... Jade Springart
April 14, 2015
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My first job in radio was technically an unpaid internship here at Greater Media/Detroit. I was eventually hired on the promotions team for the entire cluster and got to learn about the Active Rock, Classic Rock and AC formats. I've always been about rock n' roll though and I remember listening to Karen Savelly and Ken Calvert as a kid thinking they had the coolest job. When I was young, my brother and I would play radio at our house and pretend we were DJs. We didn't know what "hitting the post" was back then, but I remember Jason always telling me it was okay to talk over the intro of the songs because all the real DJs did it.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize this is what I want to do for a living?
After I graduated high school I didn't exactly have a plan but knew the communications field was something I was interested in, so I was taking classes at the community college towards that. Through a little bit of luck, I met a guy who worked promotions for GMD. He gave me his boss' e-mail address and said to send him an inquiry about an internship. My first event was a WCSX car show with hundreds of people, and I knew instantly that I really wanted to be a part of all of this. I wanted to be on the mic, I wanted to know how all the equipment worked and I wanted to be the person that made all the radio magic happen.
3) How long have you been working for WRIF and what were you duties before you became the new MD?
I've been at WRIF specifically for about five years. I was on the promo team for three before I made the transition to programming. My first programming gig was board op-ing live broadcasts and hosting the occasional overnight shift. Eventually I got my own slot and moved from overnights to weekend dayparts. Along with being on air, I helped in the production department and for the last two-and-a-half years, I've been the PD of our Alternative HD2 station, Riff2. Riff2 has been an amazing attribute to my career. I started hosting the new music show The Undercover Sound System and a talk show called the Weekly Reveal, plus creating imaging, promos and events. It's allowed me to explore and learn the industry first-hand.
4) You also do weekend air shifts as well as working with PD Mark Pennington and APD Andy Green on their weekend show Mark & Andy. Tell us about that experience?
The Mark and Andy show is a riot! It has certainly allowed us to really get to know each other as co-workers, but also as friends outside the workplace. We're like a family and they're my older brothers on the show. It's especially fun when the three of us are out at a show or event together and we can talk about it on-air and share our individual perspectives of what went down. We all bring something different to the show and complement each other well, even if we're poking fun and not giving actual compliments.
5) Congrats on your new position as WRIF MD. I know you're just learning the ropes, but 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?
I'd say it's about 40% gut and the rest combined make up the remaining 60%. I like to think I have a good grasp of what sounds good and what our listeners will like. The stats are important, but there's no better feeling than hearing a new song, putting it into rotation and then watching it react with the audience.
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?
Some people still believe rock is dead and that's simply not the case. Music is always evolving and 2015 rock n' roll isn't the same as 1987 rock or '95 rock or even 2007 rock. Evolution isn't a bad thing and I think the music we have coming out today is just as good, if not better than what we've seen in the past. It all really depends. You can have a week where you discover five new songs that are all awesome and the next week there's only one. Overall I think this format just proves that rock is not only still alive, but thriving as well.
7) What are your three favorite artists or songs of this year and why?
Royal Blood, Foo Fighters and the song "ODB" by decker. Royal Blood because they are proof that rock n' roll is still unique, creative and alive. The Foo Fighters because they continue to kill it in the rock genre and Dave Grohl is a musical genius, and the song "ODB" by decker because decker is a musician who has a blues/folk/rock sound and did a tribute to Wu-Tang member ODB. The song's theme is basically that if you're not living, you're dying and to live every day to the fullest. I also love how he incorporated hip-hop into the rock genre.
8) How much does WRIF use social media like Facebook and Twitter to help enhance the overall listener experience?
Social media is huge for us here at WRIF. Morning stars Dave and Chuck "The Freak," is really listener-driven and they do a phenomenal job interacting with their fans. It's one of the best ways for listeners to reach out to the jocks without having to actually call them. Whether it's a tweet, FB message or a text on the WRIF lines, by interacting with them you make them feel special and like they've created a friendship and that's how I feel you gain listeners and fans for life.
9) Detroit is certainly a great Rock n Roll town. How much does the Detroit Rock City vibe influence the type of Rock you play on WRIF?
Detroit is still very much a rock n' roll town and it's evident by the number of local acts we have. Each year there is a festival at the end of April called the Blowout, which features hundreds of local acts at venues all over Detroit, Hamtramck and Ferndale. It's a great way to showcase the talent we have currently and show where it came from. Detroit's musical history is on another level compared to other cities and we definitely work at keeping the scene alive through our playlists on WRIF and Riff2.
10) Finally, when you're not in "radio mode," what do you like to do to get away from the biz and relax?
I like to stay pretty active and experience new things. With the "resurgence" of Detroit, there are tons of new bars and places to spend free time. Fowling (a unique Detroit original sport that combines football and bowling) was a more recent adventure, but I love going to concerts, snowboarding and playing softball. I'm also a huge Detroit Tigers fan so during the summer I spend a lot of time at the ballpark.
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have 5 CDs with you. What are they?
- Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV (Although, I'd prefer to take a box set of theirs.)
- The Main Squeeze - The Main Squeeze
- Ludacris - Back For the Very First Time
- Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
- Magic Bronson - Wildlife