KC PROFILE: KMBZ TALK SHOW HOST DARLA JAYE

JohnLandsberg
May 3rd, 2012

     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.

19 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.

  6. Huge Darla Fan says:

    CALL GOES OUT FOR DARLA
    Please, please, could the management at KMBZ get rid of Dana and Parks and put Darla in that time zone!
    Darla is great!

  7. J Doubeday says:

    From: j doubeday
    Subject: parks and dana radio show

    MISSES DARLA IN THE EVENING
    I miss Darla J in the evening. As much as I disliked Dana and Parks, I listened to part of the show every day. I miss it. We’ve always had bad language. You guys are journalists and radio personalities. If you need it to make a point-then u have the right to do so.

    I am a grandmother of five. I am so sick and tired of everyone being sensitive. I am so sick and tired of everyone being so moral-I work retail-we have women who show 3/4’s of their Boobies work there. I don’t hear anyone squealing. The human race is two-faced. Get over it and move on to real problems. I will never listen to 980 because of your mental limitations on being “nicety-nice”.

  8. Michael Vathakos says:

    NICE MESSAGE TO DARLA JAYE
    Ms. Jaye:

    I really appreciate the work that you do and the sincerity that you do it. I was disappointed that you were switched from FM in the evening to AM in the mornings; however, as I am an early riser, I endeavor to listen.

    Particularly impressive is the year when you took control of the ‘Coats for Kids’ project, in which you were at so many of the commercial cleaners personally collecting winter clothing. During that campaign, one evening I was out with a couple of guys and they told me about you. Collectively, we spent over $800.00 at Eddie Bauers on the Plaza, had complete winter outfits packaged up, and delivered them to the cleaners the next day.

    You are such an animated lady, and if I ever get the chance to meet you in person, I’ll be grateful for the opportunity.

    Incidentally, those people who are on the FM portion of your network are disrespectful, inane, and totally out of touch with mainstream Kansas City.

  9. oey claire says:

    ERUDITE DARLA JAYE
    I can’t stand that Dana and Parks. She is soooo tasteless and ignorant w/her screaming and inane remarks. Darla J, on the other hand is erudite, kind and an excellent radio personality. She needs MORE airtime!

  10. Lee McGraw says:

    DARLA’S NEW FRIEND
    Wow! When I read about you I thought to myself “now there is a lady that I would love to have as a friend”. (And maybe more) I could sleep in while she was at work! Just kidding, of course…I never miss her show. As the line goes in Best of Show where they are interviewing a middle age beauty talking about her marriage to her 90 year old, toothless, wealthy husband ” we enjoy soup, enjoy ….talking….or not talking”.
    only problem is my daughters name is …you guessed it..Darla.

  11. Pat Carlson says:

    DARLA JAYE NO LONGER SOLO SHOW
    Her show is no longer a solo show. She always has a younger male on air with her. He is not billed as a co-host, but he is one.

    I like Darla Jaye; she seems like a good person. However, I never have much cared for her show. With the transition to mornings and the addition of the co-host, the show has only become worse.

    I would support Darla Jaye for congress over that mindless bloke who is in there now! Run, Darla Jaye, run!

  12. norms wilson says:

    CARLA
    Where is Carla. I miss her

    • JohnLandsberg says:

      I’m not sure where Carla is, but Darla Jaye announced on Facebook yesterday that she has been terminated at KMBZ. It is the station’s loss.

  13. mary l says:

    DARLA BEST THING AT KMBZ
    Shame on KMBZ for firing Darla. Such bad form. Won’t be listening anymore. She was the best thing about KMBZ.

  14. CAN’T BELIEVE DARLA DROPPED
    I can’t believe our dear, fun-loving Darla has been dropped by KMBZ…we love her! She is one of a kind…the constant news we wake up to now is just plain boring and annoying! I hope she’s picked up quickly by KCMO, the other talk station as we’re in withdrawal…we miss her laugh and humorous way of making even bad news tolerable first thing in the morning…Love you Darla!

  15. Christine Strider says:

    REALLY MISSES DARLA JAYE
    One morning I could not believe my ears and thought my radio had gone off of its station setting… I searched and searched for my Darla Jay and she was nowhere to be found… I started getting a lot more done in the morning other than listening to the radio… so I tried calling the radio station to see what happened but it’s a phoney phone that is never answered… it just rings busy anytime of day or night… so I was at a loss until I just happen to think of googling the name Darla Jay… Here I am and I see that some jealous person fired her… I sure miss you Darla Jaye, if you read this… You are one sweet sweet funny talented beyond words off the cuff speaking quick witted clean speaking but not afraid to say what’s on your mind… Guess your mind’s pretty clean… lol I loved loved loved your show… And I’m just a temporary transplant in Kansas City but I blessed the day the dial ended up on your old station and I was able to hear somebody whom I consider a younger, female version of Rush Limbaugh. Hope I can find out what radio station you have moved to… I’ll listen to you with my cell phone if I have to!
    PS: Sarah Palin is one of my top five people whom I would love to meet in my lifetime. I have stood up for her with everyone who has had nasty things to say against her… she’s a very sweet woman too❤️

  16. nancy crigger says:

    DARLA IS GONE?
    I thought Darla was returning on Feb 15, but she did not. I just found the answer to where Darla J is–no longer on your station. I now listen to an alternative station. I still listen to Rush and Hannity in pm, but not in the mornings! You really don’t offer much for the am programs.

  17. nancy crigger says:

    ok

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    Published September 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm - 2 Comments If you are a professional communicator you have likely worked with all kinds of executives on a variety of messages. Some are natural communicators who can virtually repeat your finely tuned key message points effortlessly.  They ...

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    Published July 1, 2017 at 7:59 am - One Comment Since the presidency of Donald Trump began in January the public has had a unique view in seeing how many, many executives act when their true remarks/feelings/views go public. Unfiltered. It is often not a pretty scene.  It̵ ...

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    Published May 29, 2016 at 8:30 am - 2 Comments It has been called “appalling journalism.” That might be considered a positive comment regarding an editing trick inserted into a documentary on gun ownership that has come to light. Long-time NBC Today Show star and ...

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    Published November 10, 2015 at 10:23 am - 5 Comments In Journalism circles, having a degree from the University of Missouri was often a ticket for success. It is not only the nation’s oldest Journalism school, it is also one of the most prestigious. When rankings for the best ...