(Expert In The Wings) Jay Clark
by Buzz Knight
Today many media professionals sit on the sidelines ready to blend with any organization and enhance the quality of a brand. Too many. These folks are keeping busy and active with projects but deserving of more recognition for their past, present, and future contributions.
When I approached Ed Ryan, the Editor in Chief of Radio Ink, about a column called "Experts in the Wings" that would highlight these individuals, he was more than willing to give me the space to embark on this column with the hopes of frequent contributions and even more frequent recognition for each of them.
Jay Clark is first up as an expert ready to take on any project that needs a kick start in your organization.
Jay was most recently the Executive VP at Sirius where he was involved in all facets of the Programming Department from Howard to Buffett and everything in between, and the creation of the various VP positions in Music, Talk, and Sports which still exist today.
Beyond his work for Winstar with the Sports Fan Radio Network and Comedy World (an early 2002 dot com broadcast venture), Jay's resume lists some amazing call letters: WRKO, KSLX, WTKS, WWWE,WOMC, WTIC/AM/FM, and WABC. Jay left Sirius some years back to tend to some family issues but when I saw him this past year at the Dallas NAB he indicated he was primed and ready for any challenge.
When I asked Jay what he feels is missing in day-to-day action at radio properties, he said: "Attention to detail, probably due to lack of staffing. With few exceptions no one seems to be working with on-air staffs, critiquing, cajoling, and helping frontline product folks. Web and social media is, in most cases, neglected and dated. On-air streams are not listened to and, in fact, I sometimes wonder if even over the air is listened to by anyone in charge."
Jay in fact feels many operators have "gone overboard in cutting to the bone" when it comes to resources like writers, producers, and Web people. Thinking back over his career, he has had many interesting celebrity encounters but one bizarro moment regarding Jerry Lee Lewis sticks out.
"Jerry Lee Lewis, way after his prime, worked a concert at Heart Plaza in Detroit. That was the day the IRS confiscated his jet plane. He began drinking at about noon and appeared in no condition to go on but insisted. We literally carried him to the stage at 6 p.m., stood him up, and to all of our surprise he walked to the keyboard and went on to do a perfect show. He then walked back to the stage stairs out of sight to the crowd and collapsed. I caught him before he hit the floor and we carried him back to his dressing room where he slept it off until midnight when we got him back to his hotel."
Jay Clark's elevator pitch in his own words: "I want to work for you and if hired you'll have an honest employee with passion and integrity who will work 24/7 to help your company succeed. I have a 'what you see is what you get' personality, am a great people person, love mentoring, and am very good with budgets. I am diversified, creative, and very excited about the opportunities new technology brings to the audio table. I've been successful in all size markets with both music and talk formats and my resume speaks for itself. All I need to know from you is what your needs are so we can get to work. Thanks for listening."
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