When Jay Michaels landed the Program Director post five months ago at Clear Channel’s KDMX (Mix 102.9) Dallas, his mandate was to make the longtime Hot AC more than a female-friendly background companion. In a word, he aimed to make the station a lifestyle.
Mix is already trending up in the radio ratings, and now Michaels has put his money where the mic is. Starting January 30, Khloe Kardashian—yes, of reality show renown—joined Mix’s weekday line-up with “The Mixup with Khloe Kardashian Odom.” The show, which airs 12-1 p.m., includes celebrity call-ins, listener interaction and plenty of dish.
Kardashian and husband Lamar Odom became residents of Dallas last month when the NBA player was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks. It took Michaels about a minute to begin calculating a plan: “As soon as I heard Lamar and Khloe were moving to Dallas, I started thinking about what she could do for Mix,” he says. “We’re trying to brand the station as a destination for pop culture. It was a crazy idea, but I started digging around to find people I knew that knew her people.”
Michaels connected with Ryan Seacrest—heard via syndication in afternoon drive at Mix (as well as producer of the Kardashians franchise on E!)—which led to Khloe’s mom, Kris Jenner, and then to Khloe. “It was a long, crazy process,” he muses, but everyone involved was just tremendous.”
Following the show’s launch January 30, the PD is all the more certain that his new talent was destined for radio. “If Khloe were just a reality star with no personality and nothing to say—and we did this just for the publicity—it certainly wouldn’t work,” he says. “The fact is, she has all the elements you look for in on-air talent. She’s open and honest, educated, quick-witted and a natural at interviews. What she does in bare banter is brilliant. I can’t tell you how good she is.”
Each hour-long show comprises a celebrity or music guest phoner, along with Kardashian’s take on current pop culture, and call-in interaction with station listeners between the songs. On her first show, Khloe had mom Jenner alongside in the studio, and an interview with Kyle Richards, one of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Michaels says, “They’ve known each other for years, and they talked about being at each other’s house playing dress-up together. It’s great radio and different from gossip. Money can’t buy the conversation that went down between them.
“She’s funny and witty and very comfortable with whoever calls in. Nothing is off limits because she’s so open and honest,” Michaels adds.
Before “The Mixup with Khloe Kardashian Odom” even launched, reaction has been over the top. In addition to mountains of global consumer press, Michael says, “My email box is full with questions from people all over the world. Dallas-Fort Worth fans have given them the warmest welcome. People are chanting her name at Mavericks’ games. This is a kind and friendly city, and the response has been very welcoming.”
So, of course, the question that begs to be asked: Might Khloe, who has also been heard on other Clear Channel stations in the past, be primed for syndication? “We’re doing our best here and taking it one day at a time,” Michaels offers. “But I don’t believe there’s another female like this that’s syndicated in radio. We do have something unique. I think she will blow people away. It makes it a joy to come in every day and work your ass off.” *