Dave & Geri
Dave Jagger & Geri Jarvis
Interviewed by Steve Harmon
There are so few of these shows I thought it
would be fun to talk to a Husband-Wife Morning team. Doesn't it seem like after
10-10:30 you just need to hide from your morning partners for a few moments!
Imagine spending morning, noon, then night together. The husband-wife team of
Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis has been waking up Grand Rapids, Michigan for 17
years. They are the longest-running morning show in the city. Previously, the
duo worked at KLLS in San Antonio where Dave did the morning show and Geri
reported traffic in the mornings and afternoons. In-between the split shifts,
she was the entertainment reporter for KSAT-TV.
Harmon: TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE SHOW
GJ : It's a female-oriented morning
show with 4-5 songs per hour. Dave and I are co-hosts (NOT HOST AND
SIDE-KICK, or there would be hell to pay at home) along with newsman Bruce
Parrot; television meteorologist, Joe Kopacheck; and producer Retro Joe,
and a cast that includes virtually anyone walking through the studio door.
Harmon: I know that makes Tony and Kris at KSON crazy,
they really don't want anyone walking in the studio; or hope someBODY might walk
in and say a funny line. I have heard Dorsey and Hawkeye/KSCS have used the
Security Guard in their building for the past 14 years and he is very funny. So
I, as usual, see both sides and will plead the 5th on this thing.
Harmon: WHAT'S IT LIKE TO WORK WITH YOUR WIFE????
DJ: Oh Lord!!! It's the BEST of both worlds and it's the WORST of both
worlds. The best part is I never know what she's preparing for the morning
show and so I'm always surprised what she's prepared for the next morning. There
really is no worst part because she's typing this..
Harmon: HOW DID YOU END UP WORKING WITH DAVE?????
GJ: I was the 6 & 10 PM anchor of a television
station in Texas and getting ready to move to another market. His GM at the
radio station was worried that he was about to lose the best morning man he ever
had because he was afraid Dave would follow me. So he called me and offered me
mid-days at Dave's radio station...at a time when women only worked in news and
overnights. I told the GM that I didn't think I could do the job.....and he said
"believe me, you can do it." I made the switch, a few months
later we were married, and we've worked together since.
Harmon: WHAT MADE YOU LEAVE SAN ANTONIO FOR GRAND
DJ: That was a tough decision because we doubled our market size when
we went from SA to GR but the timing was good. KLLS was about to blow-up, and
the money was good in GR. So here we are 17 years later in the midwest.
Geri HATED IT the first year we were here and begged to return South every day.
But, once we settled in and found our niche, it's been home. We married the
market, and I guess they married us.
Harmon: WHO HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES IN RADIO?
GJ: I grew up listening to Ron Chapman first on KLIF, then KVIL.
I loved being 10 years old and calling Charlie Van Dyke at KLIF and asking him
to play THEY'RE COMING TO TAKE ME AWAY!! Later on of course, Kidd Kraddick was a
HUGE help to us and set us up with our agent, Bob Eatman. He was nice enough to
send a congratulatory basket when we signed with Eatman. Jeff and Jer are huge
role models, as is Little Tommy who has been a BIG help to me. Mike McVay is a
friend for life. Charlie Cook, now president of Westwood One, who said
after hearing our first aircheck in Grand Rapids "you really really suck
...but I think we can fix it to where you just plain suck."
DJ: I can't believe Geri knows who Charlie Van Dyke is! Without a
doubt, Kidd has been a tremendous influence on our careers. I have
wanted to be in radio since second grade, so most of the guys that
influenced me you've never heard of. Nameless jocks that I listened
to in San Antonio. I used to stand at the windows of KONO and KTSA in San
Antonio and stare at the guys on-air for hours. So they influenced me greatly.
Mike McVay, Charlie Cook, and three of my favorite guys in radio Ace, TJ and
Yankee Pete ..oh yes, Harmon's okay too!
Harmon: Thats very nice of you to say. HOW DO YOU KEEP IT
FRESH AFTER 17 YEARS IN THE SAME MARKET??
DJ: Change, change, always change. Never rest on your laurels.
Never assume that just because you've been there the longest, you'll always have
the numbers. You have to know what's going on in your market at all times.
GJ: It's hard to do. We have listeners who walk up now saying "I
remember my mom listened to you guys when I was in elementary school, and now I'
m married and listen to you guys all the time. At first I used to think
"ARGHHHHHHHHH". Now I realize that is a huge compliment and it's proof
that we're 'keeping it fresh'. I love Bitboard and use it religiously. We are
one of the Bitboard pioneer morning shows. We remember when you would run over
to Kidd's house to restart the Bananacom Computer after it it would crash, which
was always! We also use a couple of other services but not any others that
require us to report. Networking keeps us fresh. Having a life outside radio is
beneficial to keeping it fresh ... and drugs. Kidding!!!!!!!!!
Harmon: WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB???????
DJ: Absolutely working with Geri! I'm dead in the water without
her. I had been in radio almost 10 years, but it never clicked like it did when
Geri came along.
GJ: Bobby Duncan, PD of WGRD was at our house watching the Lions
lose (again) and he said something that really stayed with me. He said
"we're all C students with really, really cool jobs." He's right!
I would go nuts behind a desk from 9-5. I admire those that can do it..but
it isn't for me. How cool is it that my husband and I are out of the station by
9:30 each morning..and free to live normal lives, and come back and talk about
it the next day. IT'S THE BEST!
Harmon: And whats the WORST PART?????
GJ: Hands down...getting up at 3 AM.....I'm a night person. The
alarm goes off and Dave hits the ground "hi .. good morning, and how are
you today?" I WANT TO KILL HIM! I'm the kind of person that's like
"Please don't talk to me until I down my first Diet DP!"
DJ: What consolidation has done to radio. I hate to see
young people not have the same shot that we did when we began. We're lucky to be
with a company that believes in us.
Harmon: WHAT IS A MUST FOR YOU EVERY DAY?
DJ: Energy! I have to have a great deal of energy around me in
morning to keep the show going.
GJ: A nap! I just can't do the show without a nap anymore. I also find
I'm a much nicer person when we're on vacation. Not because I'm happy to
be away from work, but because I sleep like a normal person.
Harmon: HOW MANY CHANGES OF OWNERSHIP HAVE YOU BEEN THRU
IN YOUR 17 YEARS IN GRAND RAPIDS?
DJ: Ohmygawd!! Four I think, maybe 5. All of the owners have
been, and remain great friends, with the exception of AM/FM. We didn't care for
them at all.
GJ: Speak for yourself!
DJ: Did you like them?
GJ: I'm sure their mothers were very nice people! Next question!
Harmon: That's plenty, continued success and stability!