Former WAMO jock, now Radio One personality J-Kruz of 97.9 the Beat in Dallas recently joined CW Network’s “Eye Opener Morning Show” as the host and co-producer of the new music segment “The Underground.“
The show features urban independent artists from across the country. The program will air weekday mornings in Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Miami, Houston, Portland, Myrtle Beach, and Fort Smith, Ark. The segment airs Thursday mornings and repeats at night on Nightcap in Dallas and on News Fix in Houston.
The 10 year radio veteran hand picks the artists featured on the show each week. Childish Gambino, Kat Dahlia, and Jon Conner are a few of the artists recently spotlighted.
Making the transition from radio to television has been a great experience and he welcomes the challenge.
“I’m truly grateful to the staff at CW for giving me this opportunity. I know all sides of radio, but television is new to me and they’re allowing me to learn as I go,“ he said.
“We’re very fortunate to have J-Kruz contributing his in-depth knowledge of new and upcoming artists,” said Justin Allen, the executive producer of “Eye Opener.” “The Underground” has quickly become one of the favorites among viewers and our own producers.”
J-Kruz radio career began in Pittsburgh at WAMO 106.7. For the past two years he’s worked at 97.9 the Beat in Dallas weeknights from 7 p.m.–12 a.m. He also produces a weekly segment called “Raising the Bar” where he promotes local emerging artists. His dynamic personality and popularity in the community keeps him busy hosting events throughout the city.
The program is a 2 hour syndicated morning news, comedy and variety show that airs weekdays in various cities, he said. It’s a new hip morning show geared to young working adults… it’s not your typical morning show. It covers politics, pop culture, health issues, gossip and more. “It’s fun and a new approach and the syndication is growing they’ll be adding more cities in the near future,” he continued.
“I was invited to a meeting with DALLAS Weekly @ CW network,” he said about how he got the position. “The opportunity arose and I jumped on it. I’ve always dreamed of being on TV ever since I was a young kid! I was even part of the 106&Park Search last year. I submitted my video for a chance to be one of the hosts. I love it (radio) but I’m definitely ready to expand my brand and television is a natural progression. The great thing is that I can continue doing radio while doing the show and venturing into other areas of entertainment.”
Pittsburghers can tune in @ www.jkruzonair.com to see “The Underground” segment that he hosts and co-produced. The show airs on Thursday’s he posts the show on his site the following day. He also utilize his social media sites to promote the show, so that the artists featured can get maximum exposure and reach as many music lovers as possible.
“I recently signed with a talent agency in Dallas called CoreTalent, so I’m interested in more work in TV, films, modeling and whatever other opportunities come my way,” he said about his future. “I’m also building my website www.jkruzonair.com which is a site that I feature hip-hop news and new artists in the Raising the Bar section which is a movement I started to help underground artists get their music out. In the near future, I’m looking to start the Kruz’s Kidz Foundation encouraging the youth to stay in school and stay focused and positive.”
He will feature primarily underground artists, but that could change in the future. His goal is to begin interviewing artists on location and covering mainstream talent and large events, but at this time he’s content learning about television production and getting comfortable with the show.
“I want to share the abundance of music and artist on the underground scene all across the world that people don’t know about,” he said. “I love good music and as a radio personality and advocate for new artists, I feel it’s my job to expose them to it! I hope that the show will allow people to also seek out new music and support and connect with the underground music scene.
“I would tell anyone trying to get into broadcasting to put themselves in a position where if the opportunity arises they are there and ready to take advantage of it. Getting an Internship at a radio or TV station is recommended. In my experience it’s the best way to get your foot in the door. If you get hired it might not be exactly what you want at the time but once you are in there you’ve got a better chance of getting what you want. That’s how I landed my first radio job at WAMO. Education is key as well, so I’d encourage them to at least get an undergraduate degree, because knowledge is powerful and finishing college also shows discipline.”