After 14 years in television, Mark Jaycox jumped to radio in 2004 joining the Salem Media Group in Milwaukee. He began coaching salespeople when he was 28, working for Media One in Chicago in 1995. He started out in radio as an LSM and his career took off from there.
Jaycox joined Midwest Communications this past June as the Vice President/Market Manager in Lansing, MI, where the company owns four stations. Midwest CEO Duke Wright tells Radio Ink, “I am pleased to have Mark join my family-owned company and I’m excited for Mark to share his knowledge and expertise with our listeners and clients in the Lansing area. Lansing is a crucial market for our company and we are fortunate to have it in good hands.” Let’s find out why from Jaycox himself…
Radio Ink: Why do you believe you’ve been able to achieve the success you have as a manager in radio?
Mark Jaycox: After managing and selling in most media, including television (both broadcast and cable) radio, newspaper, and most recently, outdoor…I found myself longing to get back into radio. Every media has it own strengths and weaknesses…however, in today’s world of audience fragmentation, mobile delivery platforms (smartphones, etc…) and audience retention, I believe radio creates more engagement with its audience and at a far greater value than most other forms of advertising. I believe radio has the unique advantage of creating a one-on-one relationship with its audience, through offering a listener their favorite format and their favorite DJ. It creates a bond that other media struggle with. That emotional connection is fertile ground to build brand.
Radio Ink: Who mentored you and how did they help you succeed?
Mark Jaycox: Gary Kazuk in Rockford, Illinois. Gary was my sales manager back in 1990 with the Rockford Magazine. Twice a week, we would go off-site and role play. Everything from how to conduct a thorough CNA, to building compelling campaigns that addressed the clients needs. It forced me to move out of my comfort zone to be “real.”
Radio Ink: What do you expect from the people you manage?
Mark Jaycox: I want our employees to feel like they’re a crucial and important component to the team’s overall success. I want them to believe we can succeed and in order to do that, not only does everyone need a clear understanding of their exact job responsibilities but also how they can contribute in other meaningful ways. I expect and hope for complete transparency in all facets of the operation, so folks “invest” themselves in the direction of our company.
Radio Ink: When/how do you know you have a great employee who has the potential to become a manager?
Mark Jaycox: Do they excel in their current position? Are they looked upon with respect and admiration from their teammates? And do they have a well-balanced temperament that can enjoy successes and learn from failure?
Radio Ink: What is the number one challenge you face every day as a manager, and how are you overcoming it?
Mark Jaycox: Conflict management between employees. We can’t afford to be derailed by solvable challenges. I rarely will let issues fester. I prefer to pull all involved parties into a room and hammer out a mutually agreed upon solution.
Radio Ink: Tell us what your biggest/most proud moment at the station or cluster was over the past 12 months.
Mark Jaycox: The launch of our brand-new station: FUEL 92.1 – Lansings High Octane Fun. We are the first station in the country with this new format, and with the Tom Kent network behind this initiative, we are confident Lansing and mid-Michigan will love their new station.
Radio Ink: What does it take to be a strong and successful manager in radio today?
Mark Jaycox: Patience. An open mind. High energy. A love for programming and sales. An understanding of the competitive landscape.
Radio Ink: What would you like to see the radio industry be better at?
Mark Jaycox: I think we could do a better job of marketing ourselves and targeting TV dollars. Television over the next five years will offer up more and more opportunities for radio shares to grow. We just need to be strategic in targeting it and having the right conversations with the right accounts.