Industry Pro of the Week: JoJo Cerda

JOJO CERDA

PD Clear Channel KTEX/McAllen-Harlingen-Brownsville, TX

 

Previous Stations & Positions:

KTEX Production Director

KVEO-NBC TV Promotions Director

KFRQ On-Air Mid-days

 

Years in the biz:   1989…19 yrs?…geez – doesn’t seem that long…cool

 

Marital Status:  Married

 

Kids:  Daughter Katlyn 10 yrs. old

 

You have a distinctive market for country music in South Texas.  What adjustments do you make to the sound of the station and to the music that addresses the challenges you face?   KTEX is in the McAllen/Harlingen/Brownsville/South Padre Island, Texas market…from here, we are about 10 minutes from the border to Mexico…we’re about as far south as you can go before you dip into the Rio Grande River.  This market is about 88% Hispanic, although we have the highest English speaking listenership of all the stations in the market. We share a lot of audience with the Spanish stations. Surprisingly, we also share a lot with our Churban sister station.  Our listeners love Strait, Chesney, Toby, and Texas favorites Lawrence, Walker, and Jackson. We have a group of songs that we sprinkle into the mix that have a South Texas flavor to them…it’s kinda like gravy on our potatoes. There’s nothing hick or hick-spanic about our on air presentation.

 

How famous are you and Patches in South Texas?   I think Patches is more famous than I am…People are always walking up to me saying “Hey Patches, how’s it going?”…I tell them that “I’m Jo-Jo – the younger, cute one with a tan….Patches is the older, more mature one wearing the Depends”.   It’s funny – we always talk about it on the air – how people confuse us – or think that we are always together – truth is – we don’t hang out – we are two totally different people with totally separate lives.  I always get asked “Where’s Patches?” like it’s my day to take care of him – geez.

 

How did the radio bug bite you?   In junior high, I knew I needed to “Communicate.” Since then I worked at the school newspaper and yearbook…went to college & majored in R/TV…the rest is history.

 

Are you currently utilizing, or planning to utilize: podcasts, video, texting or other digital technology in your programming and promotions?  If so, in what way? 

My contract stresses digital technology, so I kinda have to. We post artist interviews & events on our web site…I’m trying to convince Patches (partner) to buy a video camera, since he’s a grandpa – it’s easier to convince his wife of a purchase.

 

What is the most pressing problem radio faces today?   There are too many to list – but the short list is: budget cuts that affect personalities, merchandising, promotions….in the other corner – iPods, digital downloads satellite radio (& others) are taking away from local radio listening…there are a lot more options of entertainment.

 

What can record labels and artists do to better serve you and your station? 

Is the FCC going to read this?  I’d better not chance it…let me be P.C. – I think having a better understanding of the local market is key…country listeners want to know all they can about the people they hear on the radio – this format lends itself to that – the more labels take new artists around to introduce them to radio & it’s listeners, the more we can all win…radio shows are very valuable.

 

You and the Patchman have excellent chemistry on the air.  Has it been that way from the beginning?  Do you guys get tired of each other?   Tired of each other?  I don’t think we ever got accustomed to each other…I’ve known “The Patch Daddy” for a long time – he’s cool in his own sorta way.  He’s a funny guy & I lean on him to be the smart one of the group. We’ve been partners (so to speak) for 5 years – he hasn’t changed for me – it’s like a marriage…after we’re done with our “thing” he goes his way & I go mine…kinda like the cartoon with the coyote & the dog – where they’d watch over the sheep. He handles the music & I run around the building playing the political game – it works out well for both of us.

 

What are your favorite web sites and blogs?  I’m a huge Dallas Cowboys fan – gotta keep up with them. For prep purposes, CMT, GAC, all the TV networks, and movies.com.

 

Do you feel there are enough concerts that come through your market?  If no, how have you addressed that issue?   It’s an uphill battle – we are 4 hours from San Antonio & 2 hours from Corpus Christi….CC is a terrible market for concerts – SA is good – but the routing is not always convenient. We have a small arena & the market is willing to pay to go to shows – however, artists have a cap on their tickets – understood – a lot of our listeners end up in SA or Houston at shows to see the bigger acts…which they end up spending the same amount if the ticket were priced higher.  I’ve made it a point to reach out to as many managers & booking agents – I’ve started to make some waves…yee haw!

 

How are the Cowboys going to do this season?  How do you feel the draft went for them?  The ‘Pokes will be fine…we’ve got to get over the “first round hump”.  We’ve got the members – now its time to bring it all together – Jerry Jones continues to show that his playmakers will be rewarded.  I talked to Terence Newman – he was really happy about his extension…draft choices – only time will tell…I’m eager to see our top 2 choices – you don’t get drafted that high to sit on the bench.

 

Do you ever play local or regional country acts?  If so, do you have a success story?

We have a local act (Texas Heat) that we have nurtured through the years – we’ve seen them grow musically & in stage presence. They have done lots of promo events with us…they’ve gone & recorded a CD – that is pretty good – we’re proud of them.  KTEX has a “Texas Saturday Night Party” Show that features Texas artists or songs about Texas – we have included T.H. in the mix…T.H. is looking for a label, btw.

 

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the music business?  

Be humble, give it your all – you will never know everything and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Working late & on weekends will not kill you!

 

How important is it for a station to be local for their specific market?    As much local information the PD may feed the voice tracker or syndicated host – nothing beats local personalities…you’ve got to feel the vibe around town…no disrespect to “trackers” but there’s always dialect, phrasing, & events that you just can’t get from an email from the PD hundreds of miles away.

 

What are you looking forward to most?   I guess football season, the next Wrestlemania, the next time I can go to Vegas…when I hit my bonus…yeah!

 

What do you like to do when you “unplug”?   It’s hard for me to unplug…even at home, I’ll be watching TV & thinking of the show for the next day.  I have learned to back off a lot over the last couple of years, though…I’m usually online or watching Tila Tequila, Flavor Of Love, The Kardashians, or WWE Raw!

Thanks JoJo!

 

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2 Responses to Industry Pro of the Week: JoJo Cerda

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