March 18, 2014

Our Neighbors: ‘On air’ aspirations from a young age



Whether a DJ is playing a listeners’ favorite artist, delivering good or bad news, broadcasting has changed over the years.

Jervis recalls starting out playing vinyl records on turntables, with a handwritten commercial log. Commercials were on cartridges that looked like 8 track tapes and “on the air” meant someone was actually in the building working, on the clock.

“I remember getting our first CD player when I was at WYGO. That was cool. Now those are obsolete. Everything we air, from the music to the commercials to the promos, with the exception of when we’re live on the mic, is on hard drive now. And with the onslaught of voicetracking, there are only a handful of us old school guys left. Note to media owners — we must start training some new blood or else local radio is a dying art.

“Also, back then there was country, top 40, AOR (album oriented rock), R&B, gospel, and maybe a few more. Now each of those have five or six different formats under their own umbrella. There’s hot country, classic country, oldies, adult contemporary, hot adult contemporary, alternative rock, classic rock, southern gospel, contemporary Christian, and of course now talk radio is a niche format of its own that’s becoming hugely popular, especially in metro areas.”

Jervis said although he has written plenty of promos in his time and done live remotes begrudgingly but with a smile, he is not much of a spotlight hog.

“I don’t mind being in a crowd; it’s never really been my favorite part of the job. Just give me my own little corner and I’m good,” he said. “But I love people, I love making them smile and it is easy relating to them.”

He has especially enjoyed being the stadium announcer and DJ for the North Laurel football and basketball teams for the past several seasons. “It keeps my pulse on my kids, who for me are priority one.”

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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