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Jake Sommers Interview 11-11-16

interview-jake-sommers2016Jake Sommers
Production Director/Afternoon co-host

Career Capsule: Secular Radio KEGL (The Eagle) Dallas,TX., KLUV Dallas, KJ103 Oklahoma City, OK. Q102 Cincinnati, OH K102 Minneapolis, MN
Christian Radio 104.9 The River Columbus, OH. KTIS Minneapolis, MN
The Christian FM Network, WCIC Peoria, IL.

  1. Jake, Tell us what’s new with WCIC… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?

After leaving Christian FM where I was for 6 years(Jon Hamilton and Paul Tipton are the bestus), I took a job working for Tru News and Rick Wiles. From there I joined WCIC.  Everyone is treated with respect at WCIC. Our GM Dave Brooks is the kind of leader that radio people dream of…because he IS one of us. He leads by example, as does our PD Jeremy Tracey (Who could program ANY market in America). I appreciate them so much for bringing my family to Peoria. This is the most loving radio family I have ever worked with.

2. What is your typical day like regarding getting ready to go on the air? 

My Afternoon partner is Suzanne Happs from Positive FM in Maine. Suzanne was GM and afternoons and an amazing talent.
We meet at 10 am with prep ideas and then figure out what is going to work. Then at 2 we meet again to work through the bits and craft them to sound best. After working on them a few time they sound really natural when we do them on air.

3. What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?

The best…Wow, I have been around the block a few times and have picked up some good advice. Gregg Swedburg at K102 in Minneapolis once told me that “don’t tell the talent where the “line” is…just go get them when they cross it. 

Don’t reign in your talent…Let the thoroughbreds run! John Frost said that.

That break sucked…Tommy Kramer said that.

4. Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?

In smaller markets one CCM station should do, maybe a signal for the younger kids and a teaching station.

5. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your show?

PREP PREP PREP. It is ZERO fun to go into a show and have no idea

what to talk about. Suzanne is so good about keeping things organized and our show moving forward.

And Energy Drinks.

6. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?

The talent pool is very shallow. No farm team anymore. When I got in the business, people were throwing jobs at you, now they are few and far between. I would say that individual stations should start a mentoring program and grow our own talent…We need people that come from outside the Christian radio industry…to breathe some fresh ideas into us. Like Tracy Johnson.

7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?

I have been in Christian radio for 14 years now and have seen some really great changes. When I got here Christian radio jocks were using all the “Christian Speak” words. Now, we are talking about real life and using real life words on the radio. Being not perfect, is perfect!

8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

My Heroes: 

Mark Sebastian from Q102 in Cincinnati. He is a bigger than life personality and I still want to be him when I grow up.

Gregg Swedburg K102 in Minnepolis. Greg was my PD when I was going though a bad cocaine addiction. He never gave up on me. He was the one that I mentioned earlier about not telling the talent where the line is.

Dan Keiley ay KKRC in Sioux Falls, SD…Let me open up and be a real personality…on steroids!

Tommy Kramer. I still have scars but I wear them with pride.

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