10 Questions with ... Jay Michaels
February 24, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in radio at 15, working part-time for the Clear Channel cluster in Louisville. From there, my career has taken me to Paducah, KY, Evansville, Seattle, Terre Haute, IN and now Indy!
- WHKW-WZTR/Louisville, KY
- WSTO-WIKY/Evansville, IN
- WREZ/ Paducah, KY
- KQMV/Seattle, WA
- WMGI-WWSY/Terre Haute, IN
1. What got you into radio?
My step-father was in the military and stationed in Norfolk, Virginia when I was five. He was deployed during the Gulf War, and Z104 (WNVZ) held an event for military families. I remember going to the station, seeing the studio, and I was immediately hooked.
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
This is it - I knew from a young age, that radio was it!
3 How does it feel to go from 'worst to first'?
I can't even describe it. Being able to take a frequency, that some looked at as never being a serious threat, and making it a dominant player - words just can't even describe how it feels.
4. Can you talk a little about your team in Indianapolis?
My afternoon jock, and imaging director, is an up and coming star. Zakk's passion, not only for radio, but, for this product is obvious. His ability to connect with audiences of all ages is uncanny, and he's quickly become my right hand with The Beat. Ms. EKlass is our night talent. She came to us from the competition, and is the new queen of nights. I'm handling middays.
5. What's going to keep The Beat on top and how do you keep The Beat sounding new and hot to listeners?
The music speaks for itself. It's more about how the music is put together, than the "format" itself. We have a great talent lineup, and are on the streets every day. This station was designed and built for the people of Indy - as long as that mentality stands, there's no stopping us!
Promotions are key to this station...things that are exciting and fresh. We have some fun stuff planned!
6. Who were some of your radio mentors?
I've been extremely blessed to have learned from amazing people. The top 3 are Karen Rite, Lisa Adams and George Lindsey. All three have given me a unique perspective of radio and programming. Lisa Adams saw a young and eager programmer, and let me part of the launch of MOViN (KQMV) in Seattle; George has always been a talent and programmer that I strive to be like every day, and Karen Rite (although out of radio now) always knocks me back to reality and keeps the ego in the check.
I'm also lucky to get to work under three great programming geniuses every day. I report to Davey Morris and Val Garris, both have helped me grow as a programmer; in addition to work under Mike McVay is an honor.
7. What's probably the most important experience in your programming background that prepared you to lead The Beat from worst to first?
In May of 2006, I had the honor of assisting Lisa Adams launch MOViN 92.5 in Seattle... I got to watch, not only a radio station, but, an entire brand born. I've tried to use everything I learned in that experience, into building, launching and growing The Beat.
8. The Beat plays Classic Hip Hop. Are there a few songs that always make you smile and/or dance the minute you hear them?
Of course! The cool thing about this station, is the passion and memories it brings back. Who doesn't wanna dance when "Ditty" by Paperboy comes on.
9. What would probably surprise most people about Indianapolis?
How much there is to do here - seriously, there's always something going on in Indy. We have a ton of really cool local restaurants and shops that add to the cool local feel of the city.
10. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I run two radio stations, what's free time? HAHA... When I am able to get away, I love concerts, love live theatre. And traveling, even if it's just a weekend getaway... it's a nice detox.
If you could be on any TV reality show or game show, which would you want to be on?
To be on 'The Price Is Right' is on my bucket list! I've always thought of my life, both professional and personal, as a bit of a 'reality show' - so I guess "The Jay Michaels Show" (
If you had to eat one type of meal everyday for a month, what would it be?
Mexican.. hands down!