10 Questions with ... Jakoby Winters
August 16, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Pulled from the line of a concert and into the world of board-ops. A month later I was given weekends and a Top 40 Dance Mix show. Four months after that, there was a rare vacancy. I applied, and here I am now.
1) What led you to a career in radio?
Fate. Ha ha. Pretty much born and bred in broadcast, for better or for worse. If I have the story straight, my grandparents met while working at a TV station, then purchased a radio station, and had my dad working there by 14, and I guess the rest is history.
2) What are you doing social media-wise?
Twitter is by far my favorite and most used. Other than radio, it seems to be the most effective way to personally and authentically connect with peers and/or your audience. It's fantastic to have a question, blast it out to the world and be flooded with answers and opinions.
3) What are your favorite show prep sources?
Complete Sheet is the stand-by. But honestly, with the rate news and information travels today and being the night guy, it's nearly impossible to use any pre-gathered prep. By the time my show starts, everything from that day has been so picked over and I'M tired of hearing about it, so I assume listeners might be too. I work really hard to find material for my show different than what the other dayparts here (and in the market) are using.
4) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
Our station is everywhere. I don't know if we ever say "no" to anything, but it definitely pays off and helps to keep us #1. Matty (afternoons) is huge in the schools here, attending pretty much every sporting event there is, which definitely keeps us in the eyes and ears of the kids. Brad + Tara (mornings) are just such a legacy and powerhouse that they're out and about even when they're not. I don't think there's ever been a remote or event where I haven't been asked where Brad and/or Tara is/are. My first six months here were extremely humbling, consistently being asked, "Are you Brad?" (Even while wearing a name badge.) And with such a spread out market (four cities) we really have to work to be everywhere, getting our van out with giveaways as much as possible.
5) What is your favorite part of the job?
Getting a chance every day to do something that could be memorable, something that people might talk about. I mean, we essentially get paid just to be ourselves and exist for people. The reigns and purse strings may have tightened a bit, but we still have one of the coolest jobs in the world. I feel like a lot of people in the industry may be a bit jaded and take it for granted, but if you take a step back and really look at the opportunities we're granted, every day is pretty amazing.
6) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I don't think I make it much of a secret at all that I fall into the legion of Howard Stern fans. Which I suppose can be frightening for management. But make no mistake, I don't want to be Howard Stern, but how can you not respect everything he's accomplished and what he's done in the industry? (And also maybe ask yourself how to grab a contract like he has.) Even if you're not a fan, it's hard to deny that he changed the way things are done.
7) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
Without a doubt, my dad. I literally grew up in radio stations, so it's hard not to be influenced. He airchecks me now and it's something I definitely welcome. I look to him for advice and guidance and I know for a fact I'm not the only one in the business who does.
8) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
The excitement of possibility. And c'mon, the fact that we get to call what we do work? Even the worst day, with mountains of production, a live show, a remote, and re-imaging the entire station is better than the best day at any other job I've ever had.
9) What advice would you give people new to the business?
You tell me. I'm still new. But I guess one thing I could say is that anything other than honesty is extremely transparent. Just because everyone is talking about that one big thing doesn't mean you have to. Don't fake it, 'cos you're just gonna look like a dummy to those who actually do care about whatever it is and you'll have lost their ears that easily.
10) What would you like to do to save radio from its "dying-industry" image?
Give power back to the personalities. Let them be people, and y'know, have personalities. YouTube has taken over the world and shown clearly that people want to see other people. They want to know how they live, act, and interact. Let DJs show that and allow them to connect as people, not just voices telling you where to purchase your next car followed by a prep sheet one-liner. Give them/us a little more room to breathe.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A DJ was definitely at the top of the list for a long time. I remember frying cassette tapes in my makeshift studio inside a tent in the living room by stopping, rewinding, and fast forwarding too much, 'cos that was the image I had of my dad editing and playing back audio in a real studio with reel to reels and whatever else has been replaced by computers.
I wanted to be a farmer for about a day, but only because I thought they were interchangeable with spaghetti-western cowboys. I dreamt of becoming a chef for a few years, and like most every human I saw (see?) my name in lights and wanted to take the stage as a rock star.