10 Questions with ... Jay Alexander
August 12, 2014
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) You just had a great book; your station went from #3 to #2. What do you think the keys were?
Attention to detail! Just tightening down and back to the basics, the music flow tempo, attitude and staying deeply involved in the community and we do have a GREAT MORNING SHOW with Steve Harvey and the crew!
2) How long have you been in Lexington?
Since 1999. Ken Johnson was VP/Programming for Cumulus when they popped the Groovin Oldies Format in Lexington on 102.5; PD Bill Clarey and I hit it off and he brought me up for APD/afternoons
3) You have worked in various formats and in several markets. How do you think all that exposure has helped you?
That it comes down to connecting with your audience. They tune to the radio for information and to hear their favorite song. If you are not doing that, there is plenty of choices for them to switch to.
4) How do you juggle between being on the air and programming?
I get in the office early to handle music, talking to labels, scheduling and listening to music. I will take an hour or so out of the day not answering my phones to get ready for my show in the afternoon.
5) Have you ever held any other jobs outside of radio that you loved?
NOPE. Radio is in my blood!
6) Radio has changed over the years. What are some of the changes you like?
Prophet systems has made it easier in that you do not have to be manned 24/7, but that does knock out trying to groom up-and-coming talent on the overnight shifts.
7) How do you see the future for Urban Radio?
The future of radio, Urban Radio has been written off time and time again, I see the format just getting stronger and stronger. We have to stay focused and remember why people cume the radio station and super-serve that audience
8) What was it like working with Michael Saunders, Helen Little and the legendary Barry Mayo?
MAN! Like going to graduate school in radio everyday!! I was blessed to go in and be groomed by this caliber of talent everyday!
9) What are some of your favorite song these days?
I am lovin' the John Legend "You and I" -- what a great record!! Mainstream stations should not sleep on this record; females love this song!
I am huge Lil Wayne Birdman fan, so "Lifestyle" is another huge record
Mary J Blige "Suitcase" from "Think Like A Man Too" -- ladies love that track!
10) What are your thoughts on Hip-Hop and how its evolution has affected society?
Hip-Hop is just a reflection of what is happening in the world, not a reaction to it. Major brands are seeing that. There is not one major product that is not using Hip-Hop in their marketing strategy because it is not just people of color ... it is mass appeal.
Can you tell me about all the mentors who have helped you?
Jim Robinson, owner of WBMU, took me under his wings, taught me the basics and business of radio and gave me my first full-time job. Jim is retired now but dabbling with WBMU online ... and I am doing the voice for him.
Michael Saunders first hired me at WPEG when he came aboard as PD.
Skip Murphy showed us all what real morning radio was about. He stayed on top at PEG from the day he started till the day he left for Dallas.
Tony Grey, what a great tactical mind he has! He has shown me to look at the overall picture and drill down on what we can do and let the other stuff go! Stay focused on the BIG PICTURE.
Barry Mayo ... what can you say? Barry is just a great teacher and friend. He is one of these guys I can pick up the phone and call him to ask a question.
Do you have any annual events that help market your station in a big way?
Minority Business Expo ... we work with the city for this annual event that draws over 700 people ... minority business owners and suppliers together. Proud to say this year's event brought Wil James, the first African-American President of Toyota, and Chris Rabb, Yale grad and Author of "Invisible Capitol." What a great two days!
Roots and Heritage celebration happens every September and draws close to 70,000 people to the historic East End for music and fun!
What's your favorite radio memory?
Interviewing President Barack Obama.