10 Questions with ... Jeff Cage
March 29, 2016
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My first job in radio was working at the college station at The University of Kansas. KJHK is a student-run radio station that was, at the time, only 100 watts. I started as a KJHK jock my freshman year and worked my way up to program director my senior year. After that, my first stint at commercial radio was working KLZR, an Alternative station in Lawrence, KS from 1993-1999.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it?"
As a kid, I often pretended to be a radio DJ and made my own mix tapes announcing songs. It was not until college that I even considered radio as a career choice. I had been asked to join the staff at KJHK because they needed passionate music fans and I definitely filled that role. My first on air show got me hooked for life. I was spinning a song from The Clash's "Give 'Em Enough Rope" album on vinyl when a call came in from the Kansas City area. The caller informed me that he was listening with an extra strong rooftop antennae about 40 miles away, which was amazing reach for our 100-watt station. The listener explained that he loved my musical picks since I came on the air and especially loved The Clash song I was playing. The feeling I got after that call drove me to consider radio as a career. Being able to make a musical connection with people and knowing that I was entertaining a community of music lovers are the reasons I got hooked to radio.
3) How long have you been at KDJE (100.3 The Edge) and what makes this station so unique?
I've been with KDJE since April 2005. The station is the only Active Rock station in the market. We have a strong morning show with a heritage talent at the helm. Corey and Patrick lead the market in mornings with men and it's great to have such a strong live and local morning show.
4) You have the dual role as PD and afternoon host. How do you balance your time so both roles are effective?
I actually do middays and afternoons and program two radio stations. My day is filled to the brim as you could imagine. I get into work early in the morning and do all the programming duties and slam into talent mode after the morning show is over. It's a full day of multi-tasking. Fortunately, I have been doing this a number of years and know exactly what needs to get done each day to be successful. It's all about prioritizing and knocking things off your list one by one.
5) Tell us about the Rock radio landscape in Little Rock. Who are your competitors and what formats are they?
KDJE is the only rock station in the market and we own the Active Rock format. There isn't an Alternative station in the market, but we do position ourselves between the two formats with our musical approach. We are not afraid to play the guitar heavy ALT acts along with the banging metal from Active Rock. It works for us. We compete with the other stations in the market in the mornings primarily has most of our audience is loyal and we share very little with the competitors. KKPT is the heritage Classic Rock station and we often beat them 25-54 people and usually in males 25-54. My new station, Big 94.9, is a Classic Hits station, and we are strong against KKPT and KURB (Hot AC) as well. We compete against other market stations like KLAL (Top 40), KSSN (Country), KABZ (Sports Talk) for morning shares.
6) Put on your music hat now. What's your take on current Active Rock music and the Active Rock format as a whole?
It's a tough environment for rock bands these days. There are a ton of amazing bands out there working hard and making fans. We need to find them and make them stars. We need to be playing the bands our audience already knows and loves along with breaking new talent. A good example would be A Day To Remember. This is a band with a massive following with very little airplay at radio. They deserve to be played. Chances are, a good portion of our audience already knows them and loves them. Lately, there has been more great new music to choose from than in the last couple of years, so I am very optimistic about the bands we already embrace and the up and coming talent.
7) Name three "new" Rock bands you think will become breakout bands at the format in the next year?
From Ashes to New, Bring Me The Horizon, A Day to Remember, Foals, Nothing More's next record will be huge.
8) How much does 100.3 The Edge use Social Media (Facebook/Twitter) and its web site to interact with its listeners?
Non-stop interaction. Social media is our chief way to market the radio station and the most important way we can communicate with our listeners. It's essential to our success.
9) Give us a cool radio promotion the station has done in the last year that really worked.
Our annual 12 Guitars of Christmas contest always gets listeners excited. It's the most talked-about promotion on social media and on the street by far. We offer up 12 autographed guitars signed by top bands and have people register online for two weeks and then we start giving away one guitar per day for 12 days. Listeners listen for their name to be drawn at a certain time and call back within the allotted time to claim the guitar or trade it for one of the other 10 autographed guitars in our bonus stash. Listeners are always amazed when one of their favorite band's signed guitar is given up for another from the bonus stash. If that happens, the guitar of the day goes into the bonus stash and is in play the next day. And so on.
10) Finally, you are the host of the Arkansas Edge, Little Rock's local music show. Are there any bands coming out of that area we need to know about and watch for?
We have a lot of amazing talent in Arkansas. Some of the local bands that should be looked at include: The Latest Dying Republic, The Revolutioners, People's Republic of Casio Tones, At Wars End, Red Devil Lies, The Consumers, The Vail, and lots more!
When you're not in "radio" mode, what do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
I'm still very passionate about music and spend a great deal of time listening to all types of music. I love going to concerts. I also love camping, hiking, skiing, and anything outdoors. I'm a reader of both fiction and non-fiction and am currently reading Stephen King's "11-22-63" ... it's great, by the way. I am also a political junkie who loves to read about and watch how the media shapes politics. But, most of all, I'm a family man that would give up all of the above just to spend a few more minutes with my amazing five-year-old boy and my beautiful wife.