10 Questions with ... Alex Jordan
July 26, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Last July I relocated from Tucson, AZ where I'd attended the University of Arizona, studying Media Arts, Journalism and Africana Studies to my hometown of Tampa. This is my second stint at the station. I'd done afternoons and served under GM Chris Turner as his PM drive/MD/PD personality in the early '90s. WTMP is the legendary Tampa Urban station that me, my family and friends grew up listening to.
1) Where and what was your first job in radio? Early influences?
I got my first commercial radio job in beautiful Portland, OR. Cosmic John, a.k.a. Barry Callis (whom I'd heard doing nights at Q105 Tampa during its heyday) hired me to do weekend overnights while I was still taking Radio/TV classes at Portland Community College.
I loved the jocks on WTMP ... Jerry Walker, Tom Hankerson, Goldie Thompson, Jim the "Angel" Murray and many more. I was also very aware of guys like Rick Dees, the Greaseman, Tom Joyner, Frankie Crocker ... I'm a fan of radio and a fan of on-air personalities ... I also loved the late Jack Gibson a.k.a, "Jack the Rapper;" he mentored me during my time in Las Vegas.
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
Yes ... the opportunity for individual and collective success is a function of your talent, drive and "Want to."
3) Does anything surprise you along the lines of new media platforms in terms of effectiveness with the audience?
Yes and no, the transition(s) is in motion. There are new ways of doing things that I did not utilize until a business situation dictated that I take action; I feel that process or one much like it is true for a great many people. Eventually we will all find our on-ramp to new technologies and their applications ... some sooner some later
I notice the different levels of audience member participation in the full spectrum of media platforms and electronic technologies.
There exist a digital divide among audiences and generations that without question affects the efforts of content providers. Connecting to and with potential business partners and audience members across a wider path is one area of empathize for us at WTMP
4) How you prefer to be promoted on new records? And how do you feel about playing local Tampa artists' records or would you still prefer to wait until the research validates it?
Contact me via e-mail first, email@example.com I will respond ... saves time and allows me to give you my full attention. As far as the efforts of local artists, we are currently playing a great song from the winner of our Black Music Month R&B showcase ... a young man from St. Petersburg. K. Thomas' "Sex On The Radio," we have plans to play the best music we can find for our audience regardless of where it comes from
5) With the current trend toward talent importation and voicetracking, it feels like we're at the end of an era of fundamentals and the dawn of a new paradigm. How do future personalities continue to maintain relevance? Who's going to train them?
Good questions. The studio I started out in back in 1983 is a relic ... I don't like all the realities that go along with that statement ... still I love this industry. My real question is how I do/we get the job done under current conditions. Focused, smart team work, willingness to change learn grow survive and thrive.
The first people I worked with in radio created the atmosphere and culture of air-checking, having fun, of striving to get better and learn new things, of show prep and "Love of the game" for lack of a better term. I desire to continue that tradition while incorporating new technologies and new methods of connecting to folks today!
6) Because of callout research are today's Urban and Urban AC programmers going to be slower in adding and playing new music? And what is the maximum number of spins a record in power rotation could be expected to receive in a given week on your stations
I can only speak of what I'd like to do. I'd like to think of our station as a living organism that will grow change expand and contract in response to conditions and because of desired outcomes ... while essentially maintaining a recognizable and welcomed core.
As for the number of spins, we are syndicated nine hours each day M-F. The Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Michael Baisden show both play our artists; our separation outside of those times is at least 2.5 hours.
7) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
Ye t, I'd like to be better on-air, in the production room, in the coach's chair, and at the bank.
8) What's your read on the format music wise nowadays?
I'm an optimist ... I absolutely love music and I feel we can always find great music to share with our audience. Having worked Classic Rock, Smooth Jazz, Top 40 and Oldies, as well as various forms of Urban allow me to bring a viewpoint uniquely forged by my experiences and to look outside the box and the neighborhood for music that reflects the variety and expanse of our audience.
I want WTMP to sound Just LIKE TAMPA and Central Florida.....nowhere else!
9) As you assess the financial shape of the industry today, are traditional budgetary expectations still taking precedent too often over the investment on the product and human resources channeled into it?
Your honor, I like my job and I'd like to keep it :) I would like to see/feel the effect of more owners operating with an optimistic long turn view of their properties and the industry. Think like buyers, not renters ... PLEASE
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
Stephan Hill offered me a gig at WILD; that would have been interesting, but really everything that has been an element of the journey thus far has its purpose and lessons.
What would people who think they know Alex Jordan be surprised to know about you?
The Rolling Stones are my favorite band.
How can Urban radio best bridge the gap that exists with the younger/future listener base that exists today?
Talk to them, listen to them invite them and give them a reason to investigate your action.
What the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you that you still use on a daily basis?
Have fun! "Seek first to understand ...then to be understood"
Name the one gadget you can't live without.
What's been your biggest disappointment in radio today?
It's bigger than radio; the constriction of staff members across business, technology facilitates change(s) ... people still and always will make the world go round. Look at the companies that really work ... nothing is more valuable than PEOPLE