Jason Doyle found his voice in radio, journalism

March 31, 2016 Feature, Features Print Print
Jason Doyle

Jason Doyle

His career started as a 15-year-old, working as a mobile music DJ and fostering a growing desire to be in radio.

Jason Doyle has been on a journey ever since to discover what he wants to do with his life.

OCCC was a big part of his success, Doyle said, having spent most of his working life in radio broadcasting, following the ins and outs of its various permutations, with a little print journalism thrown into the mix.

“All I have to do is wake up,” he said. “Life is show preparation. I’m getting to do exactly what I want and it’s such a privilege.”

Doyle started college at the University of Oklahoma in 1991 but quit going to class and lost his scholarships.

Realizing he would have to fund his own degree if he planned to get one, he chose to enroll at a less expensive college, OCCC.

“I took radio and TV production, learned how to cut and splice,” he said, referring to the basic skills of broadcast. “Of course, everything is digital now.”

Doyle said he was guided by Mass Media Communication  Professor Gwin Faulconer-Lippert.

“I wanted to quit and just start working,” he said, “but she encouraged me to continue to work hard but keep developing my skills in college classes.”

“Gwin was not only a role model, but also a great inspiration,” he said. He will never forget being 19 years old and getting a phone call from Faulconer-Lippert congratulating him after he landed an internship at KJ 103.

“Here were these two people used to seeing triumph and tragedy, sharing a human moment,” he said, “the one where you’ve reached a goal you’ve set for yourself.”

Faulconer-Lippert said she has vivid memories of Doyle.

“Jason was always enthusiastic,” she said. “He loved audio production. It was truly his dream to be on air. And he wanted to be a talk show host.”

His first paid radio gig was on KJ 103.

“I got to play voice characters like Richie Cunningham,” he said.

It went so well he took the show to Kansas City. His first interview was with Senator Bob Dole and Willie Ames. “We ended up talking more about family, why Willie had came back home to KC, and just having fun.”

KPHN-AM KC is the station he said would become his favorite.

“It was a local wire service, still family and locally owned and operated at a time when everyone else was becoming corporate giants,” Doyle said. “I must have caught Disney’s attention because in 2002 they took over and I was replaced by Goofy.”

When his job as executive producer at KPHN-AM KC came to an end, he planned to move to Sacramento but he also wanted to come back home to Oklahoma.

Doyle moved in with mom and dad.

“I lived hand to mouth for the next six months,” he said, “while using what I learned at OCCC: network, network, network.”

He got his foot in the door as a reporter for KTOK. This would pave the way for a new love, political reporting.

He served as a fill-in talk show host and later the assignment editor. Doyle said he took the job not knowing what he was getting into.

He got to watch the conversion of a newsroom in the late nineties when everything went digital.

“That was a major shift for media,” he said.

In 2003 a Capital correspondent’s job at OETA opened up, which Doyle was hired to fill.

“I was going to be at 23rd and Lincoln every day,” he said, “neck deep in government.”

It was a great experience, he said, and every year got better until the Great Recession of 2009 and Doyle decided he better look around for something more secure.

He took a job as chief information officer in a marketing and public relations firm specializing in electronic health records. He created programs for the firm to sell their products, but after a few years found he was ready for another change.

It was then he decided he wanted to write but he didn’t want to be in front of the camera. After some deep soul searching he moved to Splurge magazine in late 2015.

“Splurge is focused on Oklahoma City things,” he said. “I’m all about supporting the local community.”

Doyle said he is known for his sense of humor.

“Yes, politics is serious, life is serious, but we have to laugh,” Doyle said. “When was the last time you got mad or mean with someone who was laughing?

“I laugh while I interview, work the board, talk about life and jump through a lariat,” he said. “If you can make fun of someone and make them laugh at the same time you’re doing your job.

“I take the Okie sense of humor and try to play it,” he said. “David Boren liked to laugh and have a good time so much he called me and said, ‘I’d like to be on your show’ and I thought, now I’ve got people bringing me stories.”

Doyle described himself as the Will Rogers type. “I’ll talk politics, but I’ll talk about anything, to anybody,” he said. “Liberal, conservative, it doesn’t matter, let’s talk.”

“I don’t trend,” he said, “but my kids set me up with Facebook and I fell in love with it.”   Doyle said working with the younger generation inspired him to start in social media.

“Social media created a weapon that can be used for or against you,” he said. “But people still spread the word faster than technology.”

Doyle is still working with Splurge magazine as a contributing writer, working at a local pawn shop, a job he has held onto for a while now, and working his dream job as a talk show host. His listeners are now the Oklahoma City metro commuters tuning in on their drive home. He hosts KTOK’s 5 p.m. show.

“Rush Limbaugh perfected the national show. I want to turn local radio into something just as good,” he said. “I can talk local or I can talk national. I prefer local.”

Doyle said all the networking he started learning at OCCC is finally paying off.

Listen to Doyle on the afternoon drive at five on KTOK (1000 AM.

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