10 Questions with ... Brooke & Jubal
March 29, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Brooke: I've worked in morning radio for 13 years now. Before launching Brooke & Jubalon MOViN 92.5 in 2011, I hosted Top 40 radio's first all-female morning drive show in Spokane (KZZU), served as MD and morning co-host in Portland (KKRZ), and started another all-female morning show in Seattle (KQMV). I also spent three seasons as a host on FOX TV's "Dish Nation," and hosted a segment on KING 5's New Day for over four years.
Jubal: I started doing overnights at an AM music station in Stockton, CA. The studio was located in a field where cows would literally stick their heads through the window and moo during your show. I stuck with that for about six months before I couldn't take it anymore. I moved back to L.A., where I got a job as a producer on the morning show for the then-fledgling FOX Sports Radio Network (The Tony Bruno Morning Extravaganza). After a three-year run at FSR, I came to Seattle as the third mic/producer on KBKS/Seattle, and was there for about six years before switching over to KQMV (MOViN 92.5) to start Brooke & Jubal in the Morning.I'vebeen here ever since.
1) How many stations are you on now? Run them down for us.
Jubal: We are on four stations right now, but since partnering with Premiere Networks, we expect that number to grow fairly rapidly. We're based at Hubbard Radio's KQMV (MOViN 92.5)/Seattle. We added Alpha Media's KBFF (LIVE 95.5) about a year ago and we beat our competition within 90 days, which opened the door for interest from Premiere. Since our launch in Portland we recently went on in San Antonio on Alpha's KTFM (Energy 94.1) and the Cumulus-owned KKMG (98.9 Magic FM)/Colorado Springs.
2) When you first expanded beyond the Seattle market, how did that change your show?
Brooke: The workload went up, but the core of our show hasn't changed. It's really produced to work anywhere. Our goal has always been "funny" and we're lucky that's a pretty universal language.
Jubal: Not much really. We started this show with syndication in mind and built it that way from day one. We tend to tackle national topics, things with mass appeal and news that everyone can find interesting or funny. I've always had the theory that now, more than ever, we live in a global society. To me, being "local" doesn't mean talking about your favorite coffee shop on Main Street; it means producing content that is relatable to people's lives. The only thing that has really changed is the workload. There's a lot more to do in order to make sure all your stations are serviced properly.
3) What's your favorite bit or promotion that has been recently done on the show?
Brooke: "Talk Over Tuesday" is pretty amazing. When the song starts, Jubal just keeps talking right over the top of it. Listeners get so excited about breaking the rules. It's such a prime example of how ridiculous, self-deprecating and unexpected our show is.
Jubal: Definitely "Talk Over Tuesday." It started when I became incredibly tired of playing Adele's "Hello," so every time we played the song, I would talk over it, read a sponsorship, respond to her lyrics or just talk about random things. Our listeners think it's funny, but I do it to sooth my soul.
4) What's your favorite all-time bit?
Brooke: Can I pick two? Young Jeffrey's "Song of the Week" and "Second Date Update." I honestly look forward to what Jeffrey (our producer's assistant) is going to come up with to parody -- his lyrics are genius. I'm backstage-mom-proud of him. I also love the humor in "Second Date Update." It's not heavy like a lot of those "catch a cheater" segments are. It's just relatable and fun.
Jubal: I'd say it was from a few years ago. We were discussing a town in West Virginia that was having a problem with hogs coming down from the hills and eating all their Halloween candy. I randomly launched into a very rednecky voice and started playing dueling banjos while acting as a hillbilly yelling at his mom to stop the hogs from stealing the candy. As I try to explain it, it doesn't sound that amazing, but I still get comments to this day from listeners about how that was their favorite thing I've ever done. It was just a very fun moment that seemed to stick with people.
5) What's your morning routine like? What time do you get in, and what tasks to you tackle first?
Brooke: I get in at 5:15a, go over daily news audio, scan headlines and post celebrity sleaze online. The show starts at 6a and the majority of it is prepped the day before. The teases, all the show topics, with a few "breaking news" exceptions, are all ready to go before we leave. I'm at the station until 2p and I still leave before our producer Steve Boyd and Young Jeffrey. They are the first in and the last out, every single day.
Jubal: I get up, choose my day's outfit, shower, eat breakfast and hit the door. I've been a stand-up comedian for as long as I've done radio, and a common adage in the stand-up community is "don't wear shorts on stage" -- you're entertaining, dress for it. I'm not saying you need to be Steve Harvey and wear a suit every day, but wake up, shower and try to look your best. Just because you do morning radio doesn't mean you should come to work in pajamas. If you dress like you're asleep, then you're going to perform like you're asleep. Respect the audience and your craft enough to treat it like a job. They have to wake up and be presentable to go to work, so should we. (Sorry for the rant, just a pet peeve).
I get in between 5:15 and 5:30a. Our show preps the day before, so it's 80% put together before we even walk in the door. When I get in, I look at the prep sites and see if there are any topical stories that we might want to hit. At 5:50 I go in and meet with my producers. We go over the rundown and plan how we're going to open the show that morning - usually whatever ridiculous thing we're joking about that day.
6) Are there any favorite charities that you support? How do you do that?
Brooke: I have always felt that every broadcaster has a certain responsibility to give back to the community they are serving. It's an honor to be in a position to influence and inform, and you can do so much good with that power. I've served as a spokesperson for Susan G. Komen and the American Heart Association. I've also worked a lot with Mary's Place, a local women's shelter. We created "Team Good Karma" as a way to get listeners involved. I found that a lot of people wanted to donate their time but weren't sure where to start, so "Team Good Karma" provides that direction. We've done everything from serving meals to collecting diapers to hosting craft parties for at-risk youth.
Jubal: I've got a hot sauce that's about to hit stores that benefits YSPP - Youth Suicide Prevention Program. As someone who has struggled with depression at certain points in my life, I think charities that focus on mental illnesses are undervalued and need our help. I also do a lot for Susan G. Komen, including hosting different events for them.
I'd love to get involved with a group that offers help to inner-city schools and at-risk kids. I moved around a lot as a kid and went to a lot of underfunded schools. It's pretty tragic how little resources they have and it's something that isn't talked about enough.
7) What are your prep habits? Any particular content sources that you're a fan of?
Brooke: We prep everything. Every tease is written and every news article is read and rewritten for on-air use. I'm pretty sure I've come to the end of the Internet ... four times ... in search of show topics. I use everything from Cosmopolitan to Playboy to Reddit to Business Insider. When it comes to personal content, I try to filter it by always asking: Why would they care? Is it funny? Is it relatable? What would interest me if the person telling me the story was a complete stranger?
Jubal: We prep after the show and adjust in the morning. I've seen too many shows come in with a blank slate and then have to struggle for content during the show. It's worth the extra few hours we have to be at the station to ensure that we aren't flying blind every day. Everyone on the air stays until the afternoon to find content and suggest different segment ideas. The production staff is usually here until about 4p in the afternoon making the necessary tweaks and writing all the teases for the next day's show. We work long hours, but so far, it's been worth it. Planning the show out the day before gives you a great start to the next day -- any other content we find in the morning is just the "icing" on the cake.
As far as content sources, I'm partial to Wise Brother Media (The Complete Sheet). I've had a really long relationship with them, because I used to freelance write and produce content for them. They've always been really solid at churning out good stories and ideas.
8) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Brooke: We don't really have guests on the show. Our collective social skills aren't our strong point. (Kidding. Sort of.) However, if I was going to be greedy and pick my own personal "dream guest," it would hands down be Missy Elliott, but I would probably just prove I'm not cool enough to be in her presence.
Jubal: Honestly, we don't do many interviews. It's been proven that they don't move the needle in PPM. Unless you're a guy like Howard Stern or Ryan Seacrest, who are celebrities themselves, interviews don't do much to enhance the show. When you're on that Stern/Seacrest level, the interview sounds like two friends talking, and a celebrity is more likely to open up, be funny and maybe give you a scoop. For the average radio host, interviews can actually be more of a detriment than an advantage. We do tape some interviews in case they're good, but 99% don't ever make it on-air.
If I had to choose one dream guest, though, it would probably be Kanye on one of his "down" days. That would be amazing.
9) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
Brooke: I spent four years avoiding all things radio. I went to Journalism School at the University of Montana and thought radio sounded boring. I had dreams of being a documentary photographer or live TV director. I waited until my senior semester to take the only required radio class. I obviously changed my mind about radio after that.
Jubal: I have "I love Tom Cruise" tattooed on my inner lip. It was from a radio bit, but it's a great conversation starter.
10) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
Brooke: Right now, I'm loving Twenty One Pilots, Elle King, Kacey Musgraves and Nathaniel Rateliff. However, with a two-year-old at home, "Wheels on the Bus" and "Jingle Bells" get more spins.
Jubal: I listen to a lot of Motown and Funk, but mostly, I listen to Hip-Hop. I usually only listen to music when I work out, and it's always the same song, on repeat, for about a month until I find a new one. Right now, it's Maino's "Harder Than Them." Last month, it was The Game's "El Chapo." I'll let you know what next month's song selection will be.
What's the biggest gaffe you've made on-air?
Brooke: The only time I didn't prep for an interview was with Billy Ray Cyrus. I'm not a huge Country fan, but growing up in a rural town of 700 people, I figured that gave me authority enough on the subject. Throughout the conversation, I kept referencing "Boot Scootin' Boogie" and how much I loved it. Finally at the very end, he awkwardly interrupted to inform me that wasn't his song. I'm not sure who I insulted more ... him or Brooks & Dunn.
Jubal: Wow! Where do I start, or finish, for that matter? There have been a lot of them. The funniest blunder I've ever had was years ago. I had a comedy show the night before, and the gig was a six-hour drive away. So I did the gig and drove straight to work with no sleep. I was exhausted and falling asleep while talking. The show was discussing something and I was standing there hallucinating that we were talking about Scott Savol (a contestant on American Idol at the time who was pretty heavy-set). In the middle of everyone's conversation I just blurted out "FAT BOY." Everybody stopped talking and looked at me like, "What did you just say?" I tried to explain my lack of sleep and my dreaming about Scott Savol, and it actually ended up being a pretty funny moment on the show. I try to get more sleep now.