[JPL] Re: Jazz Radio / Listeners under 40

Andy Cook ajcook68 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 8 11:27:58 EST 2007

Representing the under 40 crowd, I agree with Jeff that we approach radio listening differently than older generations, simply because we have so many choices and sources today to listen to the music we want.  Things have changed so much in just the last 10 years and I believe we have failed in keeping up with the times.  I remember growing up 25-30 years ago where college and public radio were the only places I could listen to jazz.  Now, with I-Tunes, I-Pods, Internet sources, CD players in cars etc.  There are so many other options for me to listen to jazz at any time I want.  Now, I don't own an I-Pod, I listen to jazz rather traditionally with records, CD's, cassettes etc. but so many my age and younger are not like me at all, and those are the folks jazz radio needs to go after and hold on to.  During drivetime, going to and from work, besides getting traffic reports and news updates, most of the time I am listening my own music in my car CD player.  If I can't find
 something to listen to on radio, I know I can get it somewhere else. 

I also believe a lack of attention in hiring younger radio talent, under 40, especially in public radio needs to change.  Stations who program jazz,  should look at hiring younger staff if they choose to focus on reaching a wider audience. With the exception of WBUR, the first 10 years of my radio career, I applied for jazz programming positions with many public radio stations, only to find out that most of the time they ended up hiring someone that was much older than me.  Despite my extensive experience and knowledge in radio broadcasting and jazz, for some reason, public radio stations always felt hiring someone a lot older than me was the way to go. The feedback was usually  "Your too young," or "You need more experience."  Well, now I am in my late 30's,  Am I still too young?  Will radio stations still be saying that when I turn 50?  

I admit I could be wrong about the age issue, relating to my previous experiences, but then again, I don't hear a lot of younger radio talents out there hosting jazz shows.  I think with Mike Adams and I, working with Jeff, are the exception, but they're needs to be more us that should be given that opportunity.  Heck, weren't we all young at some point in our lives?

Andy Cook

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