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Radio Interview


Jake Sommers

PM Drive Air Personality


Columbus, OH



Jake's Career Capsule
First of all. Thanks to Dan Baughman my GM for taking a chance on me 4 years ago. Thanks to Matt Hahn and Tate Luck for taking the River to the next level. Tommy Kramer for showing no mercy, and My friend John Frost for breathing life into this old, burned out, rock n roll DJ (love you, John) Brief career capsule: KKRC Sioux Falls, SD under Dan Keiley.. WZOK Rockford, Ill.. Y108 Denver, CO.. Q102 Cincinnati, OH.. WXGT (92X) Columbus,OH.. B97 New Orleans, LA.. WGAR Cleveland, OH.. K102 Minneapolis, MN.. KEGL (The Eagle) Dallas, TX.. KLUV Dallas, TX..  and now at my favorite station 104.9 The River WCVO Columbus, OH.


1. In Addition to your duties at WCVO you also have your own company "Quality Voice Tracking", tell us how it came about?

It came about as a way to keep my Princess Dana (my wife) home with our children. I think that if Dana can be at home with the kids and not have them in day care that is the way to go.


2. Regarding voice tracking, what are the benefits to small market radio?

First of all I used to HATE the whole concept of voice tracking. I think Randy Michaels (from Jacor and Clear Channel) has KILLED the pool of up and coming talent. When I got in the biz you started out as a board op for remotes, then on the air on weekends, then overnights and worked your way up the ladder...That is not the case anymore. Clear Channel has 1 guy doing 8 stations, so there is no way to groom new talent. Thanks Randy. Oh, you asked me a question...Now it's the norm and I figure if it's going to be VT's anyway, I would like to be the one doing it. Benefits? The SOUND. Being able to have phone bits and listener interaction on YOUR station.


3. How do you get a "feel" for a station or market you're voice tracking a shift for?

I like to listen to the station on line and hear the other jocks and see what they are doing. I send a few lines to the PD in a different read to see which one is best.


4. Some say voice tracking defeats local radio, what's your response to that?

I agree. Nothing is better than calling a request line and talking to the guy on the air, hanging up, and hearing yourself on the air 5 minutes later. But sometimes the quality of talent is just not there (Thanks again, Randy). A lot of smaller market PD's have so much on their plates that grooming talent falls by the wayside. That's where VT'ing comes in, if it's done right, it's hard to tell the difference. If the VT jock does homework it sounds as good (or better) than local radio.


5. What kind of show prep do you do on a daily basis?

I LOOK and LISTEN. Tommy Kramer is my prep teacher. One thing that you heard, one thing that you saw, one thing that you read and I pass it through the Jen prism and then I make it Jake. So you think you can Dance, American Idol are great things to talk about. Talk about your kids! My son Stephen is a constant source of real life prep.. He pooped on the potty for the 1st time a few days ago and it was a potty! I mean, party.


6. What do you think are the main characteristics of today's Christian radio PD?



7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

Who we are. I believe that we should be radio people that are Christians not Christians that just happen to do radio. Good radio is good radio no matter what format it is. If we do good radio they will come and THEN hear WHY we do what we do. This is a most incredible format...We get to make a difference EVERYDAY.


8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?

Be REAL Be REAL Be REAL Be REAL Be REAL Be REAL Be REAL Be REAL. I am 4 1/2 years cocaine and alcohol free (praise God) and I talk about my recovery and so do other believers....on the air. People call to tell me that they have a week clean. It gives hope to those that are still battling porn addictions or over eating (or whatever the demon is) There is HOPE in in Jesus and we are there to share it.


9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

Any station that John Frost has his hand in. I like 104.9 The River. We are pretty edgy. Spirit in Seattle is rockin' too.


10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?

We have the greatest potential growth of ANY format. Why? Because people need a safe place to hide. This world is evil and getting worse every day. We are the house on the block with the "safe place" sign in the window. We are the crossing guard at the intersection to make sure you get across safely. Lets do good radio and they will come.



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