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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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David Martin


The issue is not a lack of a creative youth class. The youth no longer need our distribution nor do they find it an attractive outlet for creative expression (i.e., the eight dollar an hour overnight shift with no opportunity to be creative). In my experience there has never been a cohort more passionate about creating original audio and video. No previous generation empowered by tech to create and share that work. We have met the enemy and he is us so said Pogo. He was right. Want to be the next star of national and international TV? Why apply for some entry level TV job just join Mogulus. Check out the very cool audio on PRX.

Greg Gillispie


And your first radio gig - "on-air" that got you "moving and shaking" was...?

Fred Jacobs

I came out of the research world, so my first gig was with Frank Magid in Iowa, the groundbreaking research company. I would love to see other JacoBlog readers list their first radio gigs. I know there are great stories out there.

Dan Kelley

First radio gig was WEEF AM & FM, Highland Park, IL (suburban Chicago).

A visit to the station in 7th grade soon made way for very frequent visits; just about every Saturday and Sunday afternoon spent there.

It was an hour bike ride there and another hour ride back home on my Schwinn; at times my parents drove me back and forth.

I was fortunate to be with a group of people who tolerated a kid in the studio with them. A new staffer would be hired and my presence explained as "thats Dan...he just hangs out here...and he'll run to McDonald's for you if you ask."

Eventually I made my way in the production studio to play and learn to edit tape, record carts and the like.

The staff told me I needed at least a 3rd class FCC license to get on the air so I took the train into the city, took the test and got mine.

My big break came Christmas Night 1972 when I was given the privilege of my first paid board shift. Nobody else wanted to work Christmas Night. There's nothing more I wanted to do.

By my junior year in high school, I was doing afternoon drive on the station; getting out of school at 2:35 to be on the air by 3.

How many kids can get into the biz this way these days - between automation, voice tracking, labor laws and liability issues?

Mal  Lang

Had the graveyard shift weekends at KQMQ FM, Honolulu about 1980, locked myself out of the studio while in the stairwell. Took awhile to get the building security guy to let me back in, he was sleeping of course. Many listeners called later to say how much they enjoyed hearing an entire side of a Stones album.

Jordan Guagliumi

I was one of dozens of Syracuse University students who went to class, volunteered endless hours at campus CHR powerhouse Z89 (WJPZ 89.1 FM) and worked part-time (weekends, overnights, fill-in) at the NewCity cluster (then Cox, now Clear Channel) in Syracuse. Weekends on WBBS-FM, WYYY-FM, WSYR-AM were always filled with eager future broadcasters like myself. And now, those studios -- like most -- are empty.

As an active member of the WJPZ Alumni Association, we are working to help educate, encourage and cultivate future broadcasting standouts. Activities like our recent Fall Conference are integral to this effort. Anyone who wants to contribute to the cause (financial, mentoring, or otherwise) can check out http://wjpzalumni.org/ to learn more.

The purposes of the association are: 1) To raise the profile of WJPZ on and off campus as the greatest media classroom on any college campus in the country 2) To provide an educational and professional support system for the current staff members and alumni of WJPZ Radio; and 3) To develop the next generation of communications, marketing and entertainment industry leaders.

Kyle Guderian

Hi Fred,

I broke into the business at KGWB-FM in Wahpeton, North Dakota at the
age of 14 doing weather 2x per hour during the Rick Dees weekly Top 40
countdown. By age 16 I was on the air every weeknight from 7p-midnight.
While doing that I was airchecking with Jay Trachman via long distance
telephone and going to Dan O'Day seminars in places like Des Moines,
Iowa. Radio was purely an obsession that was instilled in me at an
early age - because someone gave a high school freshman the chance to do
weather updates 2x per hour on a Sunday morning. You can actually hear
me going through puberty in my old airchecks!! I'm 31 years old now and
forever grateful for the opportunity I had at such an early age.

Kyle Guderian
Assistant Program Director
Marketing & Promotions Director
KPNT.fm - 105.7 The Point

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