Five Years Later: My Journey Through The World of Radio…

How Far Have I Really Come In Five Years?

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

— Lao Tzu

DETROIT — Five years. January 5, 2005. A grand total of 1,828 days (counting the extra day we got in 2008) have passed since I drove that long and winding stretch of back roads on the outskirts of Lansing, Michigan heading into my first day at work at WQHH-FM. It was five months after I had graduated from the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts. It had been a year and a half since I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Communication after six listless years at Michigan State University. The day I walked into that small building, that more resembled a strip mall than a radio station, I was unbelieveably nervous and scared, and amped, and excited…and scared as hell! Those of you who have known me for years know how my odyssey in Lansing ended, and it’s not something I feel the need to completely rehash here. This blog is about the entirety of the road I have travelled since that cold day in January of 2005.

As much as I have ripped into how my time at that station ended in June 2007, some of the best times I have had in life post High School came in that time I was in Lansing. The reason I continue to use the moniker “Jay Scott” is out of respect to the brother I worked with who convinced me to “make that name work” for me when he told me to roll with it on my first day on a mic. I still listen to the tapes, yes I said tapes, of my shows from 2005-2007. I still look at the pictures and listen to the interviews (LeToya Luckett, Joe, Ice T, countless others). I still think about that small studio with the outdated DAD-ENCO program, janky mics, and small TV. I think about having that city in the palm of my hands. I think about the love I got when I did appearances for the station, whether it was speaking to a group of middle schoolers, schilling for the station at a car dealership, or hosting a talent show at the Boys & Girls Club. That’s what I miss, and what I often think about in reference to the time period spanning January 5, 2005 to September 30, 2006. Since then however, the road has been anything but smooth.

I haven’t blogged since November 5th when I was in Chicago. I have been doing a ton of thinking about where I’m headed. You all know that I’m a graduate student at Wayne State University here in Detroit. I started Grad School to change course in my life and legitimately chase the dream I have been looking toward since I was a 7th grader, and that’s being a news and sports reporter. I left Urban Radio and really had no intentions on looking back. I hate what Black radio has turned into. I made that as evident as possible when I blogged on my old site two years ago about what I hated about Black radio. One thing I mentioned amongst others:

“There’s a reason why 9 out of 10 Urban Jocks sounds exactly the damn same, and it’s because they are conditioned to be that way by Program Directors and by hearing other talent in a vicious cycle of suck. The words “Show Prep” might as well be friggin Mandarin Chinese to a lot of young cats. When I was in Specs Howard, the instructors there used to preach the words Show Prep to us ad nauseum. When I did SNL, I would start prepping that show on Wednesday afternoon, so by the time I got to Saturday, I was already 5 steps ahead of the game…You have too many small town no-name talents who have over-inflated egos and zero professionalism. I’ve worked on morning shows that started at 6:00am, where the so-called host didn’t even show up until 6:15! I have noticed a lot of these new talents that think they are absolute superstars, but can’t even run a board correctly, talk up to a post (Meaning the DJ’s last word would be followed by the song’s first), or even get through a break without stumbling or moments of dead air…”

—February 8, 2008

If you want to see the rest of that blog (that was a 2-part blog), I will re-post it on here tomorrow afternoon.

I look at where I have gone since 1/5/05, and I have often wondered is a lot of this hard work even worth it? I had to scratch and claw and fight every day to do that show, and essentially built SNL from the ground up and created a fanbase. I was the first person at that station with a Facebook profile, a MySpace Page, and probably would’ve been the first dude on Twitter. I created 90% of the imaging that ran on that station from 2005-2007. There is still stuff there that I did that still airs, including a couple things with my voice still on them. I integrated such small things as drops, jump cuts, and samples that none of them were creative enough or ballsy enough to do. Yet at the end of the day, what did it get me? Since leaving 96.5, I have briefly worked in Flint, had an internet radio show called Feel The Hunger Radio, and I currently am apart of RealTalkFM in Detroit. I just started doing an internet sports show called “The Real Talk on Sports”. People think I’m living my dream, and in certain aspects I am.

I love being in front of a mic as much as I love typing these blogs. The problem is that getting support is the ultimate goal. I’ll be blunt with you: I have often thought of shutting down this blog because many of the people who claim to support me are too damned lazy to even check in on this blog, and give me any kind of tangible feedback. You have enough time to tweet until you’re blue in the face, or get on Bossip, or Facebook, or TMZ, but can’t throw 5 minutes my way on a blog or on RTFM, or RTOS. If you can sit your fat asses in front of your computer and watch some nobody on YouTube make a fool out of himself, you can tune into my radio show live or even listen to the podcast of it. The same thing goes for all these clowns who get shouted out on my shows or in my blogs. I support those who support me and a lot of you jack-asses haven’t been holding up your end of the bargain (Obviously, the Illiance/Axis of Greatness fam is exempt from this entire section). I have grown very frustrated as you can tell.

I sit here right now five years removed from that first time I stammered my first sentence onto the airwaves in Lansing, feeling like my proverbial peak came in June of 2006, two months before my 27th birthday. I certainly hope I haven’t hit my high water mark, because the last few years I have felt like I have been treading water. I graduate from Wayne State within the next year to 18 months. My next move is unknown. It won’t be back into Urban Radio, that’s for damn sure. I would love to be able to work in Sports broadcasting. I have fancied myself as the black Keith Olbermann (save for the acrimonious way he left ESPN). I respect those who have done it, and maybe all this struggling will pay off. I’ll simply say this, whether or not you’re with me or not, I’m not going to quit doing what I do. Brant Johnson couldn’t make me give up. The Economy couldn’t make me give up. Depression and Anxiety Disorders couldn’t make me give up. My own apathetic nature as a young adult couldn’t make me quit. Non-supportive phony MFers won’t make me quit either. If I have to do a radio show where I’m talking to myself, I will. If not one son of a bitch reads this blog, I won’t give in to what the Devil wants me to do, and that’s quit.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’d wager it wasn’t built in 5 years either. To those who have supported me, and you know who you are, I Love You, Thank You, and let’s make this happen. To those of you offended by this blog, I’m sure you probably stopped reading and went back to rifling through TMZ looking for your daily Tiger Woods or Brangelina fix. F*ck You! I will be back to periodically updating (as in at least once a week) with more substantive stuff next week. In 2010, year number 6 will hopefully be the year I can upgrade from floaties to at least a canoe or rowboat. Just don’t try to climb aboard when I close on the Yacht by 1/5/2015. Happy New Year…Bitches.

Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Wednesday, January 6, 2010.

The 45th day since the Detroit Lions’ Last Victory, and the 25th day since the Detroit Pistons’ Last Victory.

Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ

P.S.: Happy Founders’ Day (January 9th) To The Greatest Group of Men ever Assembled: The Men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. G.O.M.A.B. or Go Home!

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Jay Scott Smith

What’s Happening! The name’s Jason…but for the sake of this blog, you can call me Jay or Jay Scott. I am a 37-year-old Journalist, Detroit Native, Man of Sigma, and Charismatic Enigma…That About Covers it for me! lol You wanna get in contact w/me, well, here you go! G.O.M.A.B. to my Blu Family! (ΦΒΣ/ΖΦΒ)

7 thoughts on “Five Years Later: My Journey Through The World of Radio…”

  1. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Your persistence is inspirational. Continue to dwell in the land of Awesome! 😀



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