10 Questions with ... Jesse Skelley
August 12, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KWNO-A (On-air afternoons) 2007-2013
- WIZM (On-air nights) 2013-present
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
I was an idiot, wet-behind-the-ears 22-year-old, straight out of Brown College in the Twin Cities. I had really no other choice but to dive right in and take in everything I possibly could. I worked nights, weekends, major holidays ... hell, I had to trudge through snow drifts to sweep off satellite dishes at 6a on Sundays. It was tough, but it made me tough in the process.
2) "Local, local, local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
Not only does our morning host Brittany Styles chair the Z Care Foundation that helps families in need, we're always out doing something ... whether it's emceeing a Polar Plunge, family expos, etc. But we also throw a pretty decent party. There's DivaFest in the Fall, and the World's Largest Office Party in the Spring. Our listeners stay pretty connected and we're very proud of that.
3) What is your favorite part of the job?
Of course the listeners, but the fact that we have a staff that's very committed and talented is probably my favorite. Brit has been doing mornings for a few years now and she kills it. Jen O'Brien not only pulls a daily show but is PD of Z and the sister Country station in the cluster. I have no idea how she does it. Noah takes care of the MD duties and afternoons and I just try to keep up at night.
4) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
As much of a loudmouth as I can come across as on the air, I'm actually a pretty quiet dude.
5) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
JJ Kincaid on Z100 in NY does some great work. I'm constantly bugging him on Twitter. Buster on Wired 96.5 in Philly is dope. I think Minnesota Vikings PBP man Paul Allen is easily the best in the business. "Common Man" Dan Cole on KFAN in Minneapolis is just a genius.
6) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Stone. Cold. Steve. Austin. Next question.
7) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
I lived on KDWB. Grew into 93X(KXXR), but gravitated towards KSTP-A around 14 because of Tom Mischke. (Miss ya on the air, Mr. Mischke.)
8) What advice you would give people new to the business?
LISTEN TO THE RADIO! Pick up on what other jocks are doing. Hell, reach out to other jocks and pick their brain. But other than that, work hard, say yes to EVERYTHING, and don't leave the station during an overnight show, leave a talk break in and leave your keys in the station. Not a great way to make friends.
9) What is the current state of the radio "talent pool?"
I'd say it's hit or miss. Some people can come out of the gate being great, but others need more opportunities to just suck on the air, and learn what the hell they're doing. Those opportunities are drying up and that's sad.
10) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
A little bit of everything. EDM, Hip-Hop, Country from the 90's is still great. Some big ones are Alkaline Trio, Atmosphere, Brand New. I just like music.
For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see?"
Off the top of my head, the view of the city from Granddad's Bluff is incredible. But I'd say if you're looking to vacation here, come on the last weekend of September for Oktoberfest. The population triples with people looking to have a good time and Lord help me, do they ever.