KC PROFILE: KMBZ TALK SHOW HOST DARLA JAYE

JohnLandsberg
May 3rd, 2012
Darla Jaye

     Actress. Singer. Comedienne.
    Those are generally not the careers people think of when they hear KMBZ’s long-time talk show host Darla Jaye on the air. But those are a few of the things she did before settling in on her award-winning radio career.
    Darla was nice enough to discuss her media career with Bottom Line Communications and how she landed at KMBZ seven years ago, where she has become a major on-air presence. She has been recognized by “Talkers” magazine as a top talker six straight years, and can now be heard nightly on her highly-rated “KMBZ Live With Darla Jaye” show from 6-9 p.m. weekday nights on the dial at 980AM/98.1 FM.

Name: Darla Jaye

Title: Talk Host “KMBZ Live with Darla Jaye”

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN.

Educational background?
  Music major and theater minor-Simpson College, Indianola, IA.

How long have you been in your current position?
   7 years on July 5, 2012

How did you get into your chosen field?
   I was an actress and a singer in Minneapolis and had just finished a comedy show at Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop (alot like Chicago’s 2nd City). I was told I would have a major role in the next show, but it was given to someone else. I was devastated and tired of waiting tables, so decided to check out a local broadcasting school called Brown Institute.
   While studying broadcasting, I got an internship at a local radio station and started doing their female voice spots, cuz I was the only woman there. A man was touring the station and listened to me recording a fruit basket commercial as Mae West, and offered me a morning news job in Lafayette, IN. I packed up what little I had and moved to a cornfield and the rest is history!

Previous jobs?
   WKJM-Lafayette, IN., WKLQ-Grand Rapids, MI. & WGRD-Grand Rapids, WMMS-Cleveland, OH., KIOI-San Francisco, WLLC-Detroit, WVNN-Hunstville, AL., and KMBZ-Kansas City.

Major awards/honors?
   Talkers Magazine-Talkers Top 250 Talk Hosts 6yrs. in a row, First Female solo Talk Host in Kansas City, KAB Top Radio Personality-2nd Place-2008, Graduate-Eisenhower   Excellence in Public Service 2010, FBI Citizens Academy-Kansas City

Has your chosen field changed over the years?
    When I started in music radio doing morning shows (co-host always), I was usually the only woman on the air at each station. When job hunting I often heard “We already have A woman here.”
   After several years in Rock radio, trying to break into Talk, I was told that women weren’t good Talk Hosts, and that men wouldn’t listen, from several program directors. There are a lot more women in radio today, from management to on air.
   Obviously as technology marches forward, there are way more responsibilities then just the on air product. Facebook, Twitter, Texting, and whatever comes next!

Who do you follow on Twitter?
   President Obama, other Talk Radio Hosts, Bottom Line Communications (of course!!) and all the national & local news media.

Marital Status
  Single. No kids.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
   That I am still excited to go to work every day, as there is always something new to talk about. Being able to be creative and focus on what I want my show to be and say. The ability to be a part of the community and talk about issues important to my audience, and to help charitable organizations.

Least rewarding?
   I can’t think of a “least rewarding” that won’t get me in trouble!

Did you ever consider another career?
    I wanted to be an actress and singer before I got into radio.  I am also very interested in being involved with the Military, particularly Veterans. I also considered politics. I seriously considered running for Congress Ks. 3rd District in 2010.

Do you have a mentor?
  I have had several radio mentors through out my career. Mama Jaye has been my lifelong mentor.

What is the strangest thing you have come across in your job?
   Like many in the entertainment industry, lots of radio people are very insecure!

What is your favorite thing to do in Kansas City?
   Go to the Plaza and try new restaurants all over the metro.

What do you do in your free time?
   Read, work out (a new thing for me!), shop, go to movies, hang out wiith friends.

Hobbies?
   I’m a voracious reader, I sing, write and follow politics.

“People might be surprised to know that you …”
   Have a huge heart and a very soft mushy side.

What are your favorite TV shows?
   “60 Minutes” and anything on HGTV and “Chopped.”

Who was the biggest celebrity you ever interviewed?
    Barbra Streisand. She was my idol when I was growing up, and one of the Rock shows I was on managed to get her for mere minutes on my Birthday. It was the first time I was ever tongue tied!

Who would you consider is the most interesting person you have interviewed or met?
    Sarah Palin after the 2008 campaign. After following the media onslaught and vilification of her during the campaign, I was pleasantly surprised to find she was very kind and quite intelligent, as opposed to how she has been portrayed.

What do you love most about Kansas City?
   The people and how quickly I felt like this was and is home.

5 Responses

  1. LAC says:

    LYING PIG
    Sure wish Darla would replace the Lying Pig on KMBZ weekdays between 11-2pm.

    Go Darla !

  2. Barb Smith says:

    NOTE TO DARLA JAYE

    Where do I start. My mom’s name was Darla Jeane and that is what caught me was your name and I love to listen to you. Then last week on the way home from the grocery store you mentioned your b-day was March 2nd and so was hers. She was a wonderful caring woman that was always doing things for other people. A good memory was a food fight we had while making Christmas baskets for the veterans in our town.
    You’re right Darla only great people are born on March 2nd. That is also the day she passed 16 years ago. God bless and take care.

  3. Susie Hudson says:

    MEMORABLE
    Hi from the Hudsons! We loved meeting you and spending so much time with you! You made our time one memorable vacation.

    We loved getting to know you! God bless and take care!

  4. CALLING DARLA FANS
    Darla, Fans, anyone, IF you know of any resources, volunteers, anything that can help – I’d so appreciate it. Trying to help a DISABLED VIETNAM VETERAN keep his home. He is currently in the VA hospital after heart surgery (pace maker) and rehab (damage to heart). In his absence, his Preach, Robert Krahl, who is in jail for pedophile charges has/had Power of Attorney and passed this on to his Attorney James Barker. Barker has emptied the Veteran’s home, sold assets (including car/s) and emptied accounts (believed, admitted to taking money to VA social worker) and intends on selling the home. Claiming vet, Louis Laugesen, is incompetent. VA has tested and not the case! Myself, a neighbor and another friend are trying out best to keep this from happening, but we are just simple people and this is very overwhelming. Police are limited… We need a miracle. Appliances, heirlooms, everything sold or trashed. Today for example, I am on my way to empty a dumpster with hope of salvaging few things for when he comes home, he does not have a stroke! PLEASE!!!!! Jennifer Gould 816-446-7389

  5. Jeff Bottom says:

    DARLA FAN
    Listened when you were in Huntsville/Athens.
    Always enjoyed show. Felt like maybe you got a dirty deal.
    Doesn’t seem like 7 years.
    Will try listening on Iheart.
    Take care.

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