I had the honor to work with JoJo Kincaid at Q106 in San Diego for a couple of years, from 1992-1994. The legendary personality brought his “A” game every day. Every break. His energy is legendary. His consistent excellence was unmatched.
But there are three things that impressed me most about JoJo.
It’s a show. Not a shift. JoJo was on in the afternoons. But he didn’t just work a shift. It was a show. Every break mattered, even talking over the intro of a song with just a few seconds to entertain. He never just went through the motions. JoJo used every single microsecond. JoJo didn’t work a shift. He performed a show.
Appropriate Production. This was one amazing show that came alive because JoJo knew how to use every single element to complement his performance. Listen to the airchecks and watch the videos. He made every nuance of every song fit his show. JoJo didn’t do a lot of show prep in advance, but he was the most prepared personality I’ve ever worked with. He thought about how to weave each break into art.
He understood his audience. And as a result, he taught me programming lessons that have served me for decades. Shortly after becoming PD, JoJo called one morning and said, “I’m taking you to lunch”. He drove me to a Hometown Buffet in a community in the southeast part of San Diego. I’d never been to this area before. We took the long way to the restaurant, just chatting about radio, Q106, and how I liked the market so far. We spent about three hours together that day. During that time, it was clear that I didn’t understand the market or the people who lived in San Diego. There is more to it than LaJolla, Del Mar, and the beaches. JoJo didn’t lecture me on it. He showed me. And on the way back to the station, he told me, “That’s the real audience. That’s who I talk to every day.”
The Secret Sauce
Performing with passion is more than just shouting into a microphone. JoJo summoned his inner excitement in every break. We had a tight playlist, and in his afternoon drive radio show he spun the same tunes day after day. But he made it sound like every spin was the first time he had the honor to play that song. It sounded like he couldn’t wait to hear it and share it.
That’s passion and passion is contagious. Listeners can feel the energy that reached through the speakers and connect with listeners.
One of the greatest compliments for any personality is that the radio station sounds better when they’re on. That’s Jo Jo. It was such a privilege to work with this legend in the early 90s.