Jay Michaels is the Program Director for CBS Radio’s JACK-FM (KJKK-FM) in Dallas. This 18-year PD has a radio career spanning 25 years and he is, of course, on Radio Ink’s 2017 Best PDs in America list, which is out now. If you were a Program Director, or any employee at a radio station, would you want to be successful to the point that your GM says this about you….
Market Manager Brian Purdy tells Radio Ink that since Jay took over JACK-FM Dallas in July of 2015, he has steadily improved the ratings. “Beyond re-engineering JACK’s unpredictable Adult Hit music variety position, Jay has led an infusion of creative JACK-FM hosts who consistently engage the growing audience with social media and street appearances. In the last 14 months, the jackontheweb.com site unique visits have increased 258% and Facebook “likes” have jumped 235%. Jay’s JACK-FM event leadership helped generate a 12% event revenue increase in 2016. Jay’s on-air creativity and social media acumen have been an inspiration for Program Directors and talent throughout the CBS Radio Dallas team.”
Here is our extended interview with one of Radio’s Best PDs…Jay Michaels
Radio Ink: What is your day like and how do you manage talent to get the most out of them every day?
Jay Michaels: 100.3 JACK-FM isn’t the same station that was launched 12 years ago. Radio (and media in general) have changed since the incarnation of the format, and therefore so has our station. Brian Purdy (my mentor and market manager), trusted me with the station, and we took a big chance. JACK doesn’t sound like an Oldies station. From an imaging standpoint, we have added a female voice but continue to use Howard Cogan, as well. However, we have completely changed the tone to make it less attitudinal. I felt that in the world we currently live in, it was important for JACK-FM to be a positive, lighthearted station.
100.3 JACK-FM #The80sLiveHere is the brand focus of the station. It has given us a unique position in the market, playing 80s music nine times per hour – and even though we appeal to 18-49W/M, they love it! We also play Pop 90s, from Matchbox 20 to Goo Goo Dolls and Alanis, as well as some 2000s from Coldplay (no one else in the market plays them), Fall Out Boy, and Train. We complement the music mix with plenty of current pop culture sweeper references (TV, movies, and lots of 80s clips), as well as a local feel.
Our talent is fresh and knows the demo, which is 60F/40M. The lineup is Mornings-JT (Jake Springer, MD/APD), Middays-Billy Kidd, and 5p-mid-Angela Chase. I work with each air talent on their delivery, content, and digital posts and content. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat and all over the market with appearances and van hits.
This is a fun, unpredictable radio station for DFW, and we are a full-service station, with local on-air talent, endorsements, remotes, and an active social media presence (in fact, one of the top performers in the company for a music station). In the last 14 months, the JackontheWeb.com site’s unique visits have increased 258%, and Facebook likes jumped a whopping 235%. Our events and NTR have helped generate a 12% event increase in 2016. 2017 is our first JACK-FM Lost 80s Live concert with Berlin, Naked Eyes, Cutting Crew, Information Society, Tommy Tutone, Wang Chung, Spandau Ballet, The Flirts, and Dramarama.
100.3 Jack FM is one of the greatest successes I have had, and it has been with one of the greatest teams with whom I’ve worked. When I took over July 2015, Jack was at a 3.3 P25-54 share and grew performance to a 4.4 in 2016, accelerating year-over-year revenue growth 65%! The surge continues in 2017 as we look to be #2 P25-54 Q1 (Jan, Feb, March) #2 W25-54.
Radio Ink: What is your biggest station accomplishment (outside of ratings) over the past year?
Jay Michaels: The biggest accomplishment is keeping the random style of music on JACK while basically changing everything else previously mentioned while delivering ratings, revenue, digital, and a full-service at work station. We took a big chance, and it’s paid off on all levels.
Radio Ink: Who do/did you look up to or admire, and why?
Jay Michaels: I look up to my market manager Brian Purdy who has helped me grow as a manager over the last three years. Other people throughout my career who have had a profound effect on me include John Peake, Joel Folger, Jim Ryan, Pat Paxton, Michael Martin, Tom Poleman, Chris Oliviera, Jeff Sottolano, Darren Davis, Wendy Goodman (RCA), and Dina LaPolt (the best entertainment lawyer and sister-in-law).
Radio Ink: Tell all the young broadcasters reading this who want to be successful PDs exactly what they have to do to make that happen.
Jay Michaels: The biggest advice I can give broadcasters wanting to be PDs is to never give up, no matter what. Work hard, have fun, and always think outside the box, and most importantly be a good, decent person.
Reach out to Jay to congratulate him at [email protected]. Subscribe to Radio Ink in order to receive your digital copy of this magazine on your digital device today by calling Sue Henry at 561-655-8778.