WHEN I WRITE THESE BLOGS, THEY ARE FREE FLOWING THOUGHT THAT I TYPE ON MY COMPUTER. I DON'T TAKE THE TIME TO CORRECT GRAMMATICAL ERRORS. SO, IF YOU SEE RUN ON SENTENCES OR PUNCUATION ERRORS, MY BAD! JUST FOLLOW HERE THE STORY TAKES YOU. THANK YOU - JOHNNY MAGIC
After Doc left to go over to K92, I got a call from my General Manager, to tell me that Grace was leaving too. It caught me by surprise but people will always do what they feel is best for themselves and family. So here we are, Me, Brian, Alex, Danny and Shawn and a ton of interns. We set out to do a show. The Company felt that it was just too many guys and we needed to bring a woman on the show. We started a nationwide search for the right person. One by one, they would fly someone in and after 10 min on the air, we knew that person wasn't the one. It was getting really frustrating and the same time kinda cool because so many people wanted the job. There was a young woman that sent gifts baskets, made photos of herself photoshopped with us as a morning show. I was impressed with her going the extra mile, that I invited her to drive down and audition. She was on a morning show in Tallahassee and didn't want them to know she was auditioning for another job. That same day, I was leaving the building and a young lady was sitting in the lobby. She looked at me and asked if I was Johnny and told me her name. She mentioned that she heard about the job and borrowed money to buy an airline ticket to Orlando from Los Angeles. She rented a car and drove straight to the station from the airport. She didn't have a hotel or anything. My Program Director(who was new at the time) told me about her and that she took a chance and just flew out here on her on dime. The next morning, we decided to have her audition. Keep in mind there was someone driving from Tallahassee to do the same thing. A morning show radio audition consist of that person going on the air and doing a show with you. She came in bright and early ready to go. We had a morning show meeting and she threw out some ideas. It was 10 minutes before we went on the air, she mentioned that she didn't want to use her real name on air. Brian said, "How about Jayde?" She liked it, I liked it and we went with it. After about an hour into the audition, I knew she was the one. I talked to all the guys on the show and they all liked her too. During the audition, I called my Program Director to let him know that we wanted her. While we were doing the audition, something magical happened. We all felt it. It was like we knew her forever and we'd only met her for a couple of hours. I had to make the hard call to the young lady driving to Orlando, to let her know that we found someone else. It was a hard call to make because she was so nice. She understood and was cool with it.(Fast forward to years later and this same woman is a record executive and doing extremely well. We met and she reminded me of the audition and the call when I told her not to come. We laughed about it.)
So, we now have Jayde and this is when the fun started. We had to convince Corporate to hire her. So, with nothing but the clothes on her back, we had to find Jayde a hotel to stay in temporally, get her grocery and restaurant gift cards so she could eat. We also had to find a car for her to drive. We had no idea when Corp was going to give us the green light to hire her. Until we found out, she stayed in a hotel. She came in everyday and we were doing great shows. They were getting better and better every day. The electricity and energy were amazing.
Here's some inside stuff you may not know. So, Corp flew into Orlando, some of the best Program Directors around the country. They put them up in a nice hotel for a couple of days and had nice dinners out. The whole goal was to listen to this new show with Jayde on it and decide what to do with us and even the radio station. They went to a ballroom, listened every morning, and met every day. Each day, we would ask our Program Director if a decision had been made. Each day he said, "No". Then one morning before the show, I got everyone together and came up with a new plan. I said, "F-It'. That's the attitude, If they were going to fire us, then we are going out with a bang. We come up with the slogan "F-It for Life" We just went for it. No holding back, not broadcasting scared because they were listening, just going all out. There was freedom we all shared. We were just having fun on the radio. Our Program Director on the following Monday came in and said the job was ours. I think I cried. We were jumping around like little kids. So Began the Johnny and Jayde Morning Show.
Here's what I found out a couple years later. All the Program Directors in that room said to fire us. Blow the show up and bring in MJ from Tampa to do his syndicated show. They all left Orlando with the understanding that I was done doing morning radio at XL 106.7. Over that weekend Linda Byrd, who is now a Division President at iHeart, called the Corp Program Director and said that she wasn't going to do it. She told him that she felt something and she was going to give us a chance. Even though everyone said, "No" Linda said, "Yes". This is something, I'll never forget. She took a chance on me and on us and it paid off royally. Some of the Program Directors in that room have since apologized to me for making that decision. I held no bad feelings. It just shows how close it was for this show to never exist. #blessed
There is no way I can do this in 3 parts. So next Blog, I'll keep showing the progression of the show to where it is today.