How Jen got into broadcasting

How I got into broadcasting ... well, I was originally majoring in English at CFCC (Central Florida Community College) in Ocala, but I had several friends in broadcasting already.

One of my best friends worked at Z-93 in Ocala (K-Country now). He used to always tell me that I had a great voice and a great personality - that I should be a DJ. Well, I wanted to be an English teacher all my life ... nobody was going to change my mind by flattering me.

Well, yet. I met someone else - another DJ - he worked for WTRS - he and I started dating and I got really interested in broadcasting. He showed me around the radio station and piqued my interest even more. I still didn't change my major, though. Broadcasting became an interest, but not anything more than that - a hobby perhaps. Through him I met several other people in broadcasting, until I met "the one" that convinced me I had what it takes to get into the business.

Drew told me I was a lot better than some people who were already in the business ... flattering, but not quite enough to do the job. He used to call me at home sometimes because he needed a phone bit (a call to air on the radio). He trusted that I'd do a good job - so he did this several times while he worked at this radio station - set up the calls using me. The guy I was dating started doing the same thing. It was really flattering, but I found that I was loving hearing my voice on the radio. I was still too scared to get a real job doing this, though.

Well, I graduated from CFCC about three years later with my AA degree. I had decided I no longer wanted to be an English teacher, but I wanted to get in on all the fun that goes along with broadcasting. At the time I was dating a broadcasting major at UF. I loved radio, but had started doing research on the field of broadcasting, and thought maybe TV would be more fun. Besides - Oprah Winfrey was my favorite TV show and I wanted to be the next "Oprah."

The guy I was dating convinced me to get a job at AM-850 on the UF campus just for some extra money. I started out as a board-op (around January 1994) with minimal talking involved. It was mainly satellite programming. I sometimes got to give the weather forecast or read a PSA (Public Service Announcement). That was it ... until there was an opening for a talk show host on a locally-produced talk show at the AM station. I worked as a co-host for Tradio for over a year (until about August 1995).

That was like a dream come true for me. I had a "talk show" and even though it wasn't on TV, Oprah started out on the radio, too, and besides, I had a lot of fun and in the meantime found that I was definitely in love with radio.

At that time Classic 89 on the UF campus had some openings and they were holding open auditions for radio announcers, so I thought, "Here's my chance to get my feet wet as a DJ." I made my way through the audition, which wasn't easy. I had to pronounce a lot of German words (you know, those composers with the difficult names and the music they made with the difficult titles). I worked at Classic 89 for a couple of semesters, and then when an opening came available at Kiss 105.3 I jumped at the chance to get a "real" radio job. The rest, as they say, is history. I love my job - I love radio - I will never do anything else. Ever.

Earlier history: the high school years.

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