The faces behind the voices of radio disc jockeys

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EL PASO – While you listen to your favorite song during your commute to work, there is a small team of radio disc jockeys pulling levers, pushing buttons, flicking switches and orchestrating the entire three-four minute performance.

This is an inside look into the lives of three DJs and the DJ booth. Sarge Preston, Jojo Garcia and Victor Cruz are three local radio DJs at KFOX 92.3. The three DJs have a combined 91 years of experience.

Their time spent on air is a very small part of their daily job responsibilities but it is also the favorite part of their workday. Cruz jokes: “if I wasn’t on the air, I could actually get a lot more of my work done.”

These three disc jockeys wear many hats around the station, and their job responsibilities extend beyond the confined space of the DJ studio.

They have meetings to attend, commercials to piece together, music tracks to edit, remote locations to be at, public relation events, and to interact with their audience and play music that their audience enjoys.

These gentlemen are very detail-oriented and have to anticipate what will happen throughout their day in order to keep things running smoothly. There are a lot of elements and details that go into the time between the songs played on the radio, and these DJs are responsible for them. As time and technology have progressed, more has been expected from DJs, they are professional multi-taskers and skilled performers.

Mike "Sarge" Preston, Program Director and DJ at KOFX 92.3

Mike "Sarge" Preston, Program Director and DJ at KOFX 92.3

Broadcast journalism is not for everyone; you must have a passion and drive to work in this field.  This is not a career about becoming wealthy; it’s a career choice for those who love the communication field, whether it is radio, television, multi-media journalism, or Internet bloggers.

Preston advices “Apply yourself and show initiative no matter how menial the task might be, do whatever it takes to get your foot in the door.” Internships are a must if you plan on pursuing a career in the media; it gives you an opportunity to branch out into other communication fields. You can go from being on screen, behind a computer monitor, to behind the microphone, and no matter what you will make a difference in the world of communication and in yourself.

Valorie Vasquez, a UTEP senior intern, is currently doing an internship at KFOX 92.3 alongside the morning DJs, and she states, “I’m really enjoying my internship, and it’s fun working with these guys, even if I have to wake up at seven in the morning.  These guys wake me up, and I leave here with a smile on my face, and more confidence behind the microphone.”

A lot of interaction and communication exists between the audience and the DJ. Most DJs have a degree in multimedia journalism. Many communication media are often combined and bring what audiences demand from news media – news, laughter, music, weather reports, gossip.

Good communication skills are essential when conducting interviews on the air, getting involved in the community, working in close proximity with other DJs, such as Preston and Garcia on “Double Trouble in the Morning.” Garcia loves this most about his job: “We’re like one big family; we do so many things together.” There is a dynamic friendship and relationships that exist between the DJs on and off the air.

Having spent three hours with these DJs and interns really gave us an insight into how passionate and how much they enjoy interacting with the listening community and everyone that surrounds them.

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  1. Bobby Gutierrez on

    Nicely done! Love backstory pieces. Smiled when I heard the Bell & James’ track in the montage. 🙂

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