10 Questions with ... Jay Alexander
September 10, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Carolina School Of Broadcasting WBMU/Asheville 1981-1983, WZFX/Fayetville,NC 1984, WMNC-WQXX/Morganton 1985-86, WPEG/Charlotte, NC 1986-88, WCKZ 1988-89, WEDJ 89-93 , WEND Metro Networks 94- 98, Grovin Oldies 102 1998-99, WBTF 1999-Present
1) Where and what was your first job in radio? Who are some of your mentors?
WBMU/Asheville's Jim Robinson was the first guy to put me on the air at this Urban station; I learned a lot from him! I have been blessed to work and learn from some of the best in the game -- Michael Saunders, Skip Murphy, Helen Little, Barry Mayo, Tony Gray, Jerry Clifton ... Voice actor and high school friend John Causby all gave me a great foundation to work and learn my craft
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't know then, would you still do it? What would do you differently?
Learn the in and outs of computers
3) What's the best advice you can offer others on becoming successful in radio today?
Make yourself marketable. Learn EVERYTHING; don't say you won't do anything . Talking to some kids that want to be in the business, the passion and the love of it is not there!
4) As a successful programmer, what are some of the most challenging aspects of the job of programming then and now?
Time management ! Then you need to have a staff that you could delegate some responsibilities to; as a one-man show, I'm making sure that I do not let anything fall through the cracks! I want make sure anytime you turn on the radio, look at the website, we are doing something relevant -- if it is playing your favorite song or giving you info that you can use in your life, that's relevant.
5) How important are morning shows in 2013? Does it really matter if the morning show is live or syndicated, as long as it is connecting with the audience?
As long as the show connects with the listeners, I don't think that it matters! We have Steve Harvey in The Morning; Steve and the crew does a fabulous job for 1079 The Beat and Lexington. every listener I meet talks about something that was said or done on the morning show smiles and laughs about it. Steve and the crew connects with the audience! I could not be more pleased!
6) Because of callout research are today's Urban programmers going to be even 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 WBTF? My Powers roll between 56- 60 times a week.
7) Do you think today's radio/record label relationship is in a good place where both have a better understanding of each other's goals?
Yes I do! With the use of PPM, labels understand that we, as programmers, know that we have a delicate balance of breaking and playing new artists and records that are unfamiliar
8) What's your read on the format music wise nowadays and how do you feel about the future of Urban radio?
Radio has been written off time and time again, only to be stronger than it ever was. Speaking from my seat, I know that I have to super-serve my local audience, and be there as a part of their everyday life ... knowing when they turn on The Beat, they will hear their favorite music; hear Steve, Tommy, Carla and Shirley say something funny; hear Artie with her Office Challenge; hear me with The Top 5 at 5; Daddy King with his Word on the Street; and Neil With the Quiet Storm. Knowing you will be the first to know what is happening around town, with the Wildcats and the KSU Thoroughbreds just being a part of their everyday lives, that when they miss something they feel they have missed out!
9) Is Urban radio moving swiftly enough in keeping pace with outside media pure plan competitors attempting to invade its space, especially given the streaming options growing in auto dashboards?
Not as fast as I would like to see, we have streaming on our websites, and you can download the app for your smart phones, I would love that capability in the car
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
I don't look back! I see every challenge in my career at every station I have worked, the different personalities I have had to deal with, the people who told me, 'You can't, you never will, you sound like this or that, you're not enough to do that' as a stepping stone . Makes me keep climbing, if I look back I may trip or run into a wall so I see them all as a blessing.
What would people who think they know Jay be surprised to learn about you?
That I am learning to fly airplanes.
What are your current station pre-sets?
107.9. 103.3 102.5 104.6 96.9 106.3
What the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you that you still use on a daily basis?
Keep your eyes and mind on what you are doing! From my late father!
Name the one gadget you can't live without.
Seasonal. Hey, when I flew and did traffic reports watch them build Bank Of America Stadium; I am a die-hard Carolina Panther fan
I am a local beer fan! Shout out to my friends at West 6th Brewery!