10 Questions with ... Jason Kidd
March 6, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I interned at WBSB (B104)/Baltimore from 1989-1992. Jocked on air in the 90's throughout MD, VA, PA until landing nights/music coordinator at WXYV/Baltimore in 1997. Programmed WWHT/Syracuse from 1999-2002, WKST/Pittsburgh 2002-2003, KQBT/Austin 2004, WWMX/Baltimore 2004-2005, WQSR (JACK FM)/Baltimore 2006-2009, back to WWMX until last year when I got the call to come to 'PGC. I also somehow found some time to work at XM Satellite for 6 years from 2005-2011 as I was involved with the 80's and 90's channels as well as The Hitlist and POP2K.
1. Why Radio?
I couldn't help it. I got bit real early. I was literally 5 listening to WPGC/Washington and WLPL/Baltimore. Those were the first two stations I had ever heard. As the 80's progressed it got worse for me. I was introduced to B104/Baltimore, Q107/Washington, WAVA/Washington, WBMW/Washington, WMAR/Baltimore, WGHT/Baltimore and WKHI/Ocean City. All of these stations I could receive from my house. From the great processing, great imaging, BIG jingles, etc. to the amazing talent like Brian Wilson and Big Don O'Brien, Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara, Howard Stern, The Greaseman, Elliott and Woodside, Scott Shannon, Willie B, TK Tom Kent, Gary Spears, Chris Jagger, Greg Thunder, Alan Kabel, Gary Murphy, Downtown Billy Brown, the list goes on and on. I was hooked! It was a great place to grow up being able to hear all of that going on at once.
2. To date, what has been the highlight of your radio career?
Getting to program in both Baltimore and Washington, DC, two markets that I consider home and inspired me to do what I do. Programming 'PGC has been the ultimate dream job.
3. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the highest level, how would you rate the intimidation factor of taking on the PD gig at a station like WPGC, with its rich history?
That rich history has given me a lot of confidence, because I was in the area during a lot of it. The fact that it's one of the biggest radio stations in the country and Dan Mason lives here, could make it a bit intimidating! LOL...It's probably a 3.
4. Do you miss doing an airshift?
You know, I was off the air for a few years while programming earlier in my career and never missed it. I always felt like a long air shift just got in the way. Fast forward to jocking on XM, doing mornings on WQSR/Baltimore and then afternoons on WWMX/Baltimore as part of the Jason and Jenn show, it was probably some of the most fun I've ever had on the air. Okay, I might miss it a little bit now. :) Maybe the next time one of our jocks calls out, I may..... naaah.
5. How do you start your day at 'PGC?
Well I used to drink those big iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts, but I had to stop, caffeine overload! Aside front that I spend time listening to the market. I find out what the big stories are and make sure we are capturing that. I study our music, the meters, the competitors, our spotloads, I record all of our jocks and go back and listen to various breaks, I write imaging and meet with my brain trust team of APD/Angelique Alston, Promotions Dir Renie Hale and Imaging Dir AJ. After getting off subject a couple of times, we actually talk and plan out the radio station for the next week. I also spend time talking to WIAD Program Director Steve Davis. Someone I've been a fan off since his days at WRVQ/Richmond.
6. What near future challenges are you facing at 'PGC?
It's been a long time since WPGC was a rhythmic/crossover station. Many people still have no idea that we are back to doing this format. We have to do everything in our power to get the word out. Also, regarding mornings and talent, I am looking for someone who can cater to a very diverse audience, but still play to our urban core of the radio station. Someone who is a warrior, real passionate, will push the envelope and know how to lead a show. It's an extremely competitive market as we are up against some of the best morning shows in the country. It's a very huge and challenging opportunity that could be very rewarding for whoever takes the reigns. Feel up to the challenge? http://www.cbsradio.com/careers
7. Think back to being 10 years-old. What did you want to be when you grew up?
At 10 years old I was running a station out of my parent's basement and then later the garage. The first station in the basement caught fire while running an Orioles game one night. Luckily, no one was hurt. I think the station reached about 5 or 6 houses. They were somewhat far apart. LOL Luckily I have stopped that today as one of my neighbor's works for the FCC. My back up plan was always TV weather. Some say I will still do that one day. I don't think so.
8. Don't you also program a dance station on HD?
Yes, we started that back in September and it's growing by the week. Everything from Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, David Guetta to throwbacks from the 90's and 2000's. Bars and Coffee shops in the city are actually listening! We stream online at www.area955.com. Check it out!
9. Who have been some of your radio mentors?
People from Dom Theodore, Dr. Dave Ferguson, Jay Stevens, Jerry Clifton, Steve Kingston, Don Geronimo, Rich Davis, Pat Garrett, Dave Labrozzi and Albie Dee have all influenced me throughout my career. These guys all played a part in how I got here. Some may not even realize it. Could not have done it without them!
10. What about the Washington D.C. market would probably surprise most people?
- Many believe we don't have skyscrapers here in DC like most other top 10 markets. This is only partially true. Our suburbs are where all the tall buildings are. Our suburbs here are little cities with cool downtown areas. Places like Silver Spring, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Tyson's Corner and Reston are well on their way to having the skyline of a downtown like Orlando or Jacksonville.
- A melting pot... more now then ever before. We have people here not only from all over the U.S., but the entire world. There are three airports in the Washington area with tons of international airlines you've probably never heard of. We now have the biggest Ethiopian population in the states. Our Asian population in northern VA was up over 70% in the most recent census. Our Hispanic population continues to expand from places like El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Chile and Columbia. We also have a huge middle-eastern population. At the same time, we are apart of the mid-Atlantic region, where accentually the north meets the south. You have influences from both. Yes, you can even get sweet tea here! With all that in mind, it makes for an exciting and very challenging place to program. If you come in here and think you are going to program like you would up north in less transient cities like Philadelphia or Boston, you will lose.
If you were going to be on The Amazing Race and you had to pick one record company executive to be your partner, who would it be?
Joe Daddio from RCA...I am a big geography/map guy so I could lead us to all the challenges and he would do all the challenges. LOL
If you could only watch one movie, one TV show and listen to one CD, which would you choose?
Wedding Crashers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Prince/Purple Rain.