Yesterday morning, reality blindsided me in a way I truly wasn’t expecting. The short of it is that my regular morning radio show had come to an end, and its host was no longer with the station. Allow me to elaborate.
KCJK-FM in Kansas City is the home of 105.1 Jack FM. I’m sure many of you have gone through the radio dial in other cities and discovered various Jack FM stations. All are more or less the same, with the “Playing what we want” concept. For the local affiliate, one of their staples was their morning show, “Jack’s Big Breakfast”. The show was a regular staple for me from day one of my switch at work from evening shift to morning shift in February 2010. (prior to that, I was usually not awake during JBB’s hours, though would still catch bits and pieces from time to time).
I did a few minutes of researching via the Google, and tracked information back to the debut of Jack’s Big Breakfast. Monday, February 25th, 2008. Its debut also included the debut of what was arguably my favorite part of the show, “Jack’s 8 Tracks”. Eight songs that would all share a common theme of some sort. Over the years, I chipped in on various occasions as a member of the “Crack Research Team” to assemble various J8T playlists for the show, and it never stopped being fun.
Eventually (back last year), the station’s parent company decided they wanted to go a slightly different route with the morning show’s content, and J8T was retired. Earlier this year, the show’s co-host was removed from the show and went over to a different station under the same parent company.
After this Thanksgiving weekend, Monday’s broadcast was back to normal. Then yesterday, I tuned in for the commute up to my daughter’s daycare and then to my office. Where there were usually on-air segments and call-in contests and whatnot, there were none. The show was all “auto-pilot” format: a few songs, then commercials. More songs, then more commercials. No on-air DJ to be found.
Why does this hit me as hard as it does? Allow me to put that piece into the puzzle. The mastermind behind Jack’s Big Breakfast since its inception four and a half years ago, along with the station’s former Program Director, is a man by the name of Bryan Truta. While Truta was around during 105.1’s prior existence as E-105FM, I didn’t get to know him until well afterwards. Sometime back in 2009, after the JBB broadcast that morning, he was doing a remote at a Wendy’s up in the area of KCI airport. My office is in that area, so I stopped by to grab a Baconator and ended up meeting and talking with Truta for a bit. A solid friendship was born on that day. In the 3+ years since then, we talk regularly. I’ve been in-studio for the show with him. His daughter and my daughter have hung out. I hope to have him handling DJ services at my wedding. The end of JBB is more to me than just the end of a habit. It’s the end of getting to hear my friend reach out through the speakers to wake up both myself and my daughter (who would wave at the speaker and say “Hi Truta!”).
I feel no loyalty towards the station anymore. There are still two other DJs at the station, or at least there were prior to the shakeup. It feels like a somewhat bitter breakup, and might not have been so bad if not for the fact that their parent company, Cumulus, never paid up for a contest that I won two and a half years ago that would have banked me $210 (before taxes). If I wasn’t able to get Cumulus to pay up while I had friends there, I definitely won’t now. All I can do is just turn and walk away, and so I shall.
As for Truta, I spoke with him yesterday and he assured me that while it sucks being off the station, he has some stuff in the works that he’s very excited about, and he knows that I’ll back him on anything he does. If you wish to do the same, give him a shout on twitter – @TruTaForm. He’ll appreciate the love and support.
R.I.P. Jack’s Big Breakfast
2/25/2008 – 11/26/2012