Jaki’s Buzz- Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed on our Jaki’s Buzz blog. You and I have known each other for awhile and in fact worked together hosting a film premiere a couple of years ago, great to touch base again with you again!
Jim Masters- It’s my pleasure Jaki, excited to be asked!
Jaki’s Buzz- Your career is very interesting and you do a wide variety of things including hosting on PBS and working both in New York and CT. Tell us what you are currently working on and in what capacity?
Jim Masters- Currently I am host of the lifestyle travel show, “Connecticut Perspective TV” on ABC WTNH-TV Channel 8. The crew and I travel all over Connecticut discovering and celebrating some of the state’s best places to dine, visit, experience and more. Our show airs Sundays @ 11am and also late night Saturday night/Sunday morning @ 2:35am for the night owls. I’ve hosted the show for over two years now. I have lots of fun meeting great people all over The Constitution State!
I am also a host on Close-Up Talk Radio Worldwide and host multiple daily and nightly talk radio shows interviewing guests from all walks of life and many entrepreneurs, business leaders, news makers and celebrities. I also host “Close-Up On America’s Business” the Telly award-winning TV newsmagazine show from Close-Up TV News (which I have hosted since 2004) and airs on Ion stations across the country. In addition I have been a familiar face and national/local personality-host on PBS for 25 years now. I currently work with the #1 PBS station in the country, WNET-TV Thirteen in New York City, along with sister stations, WLIW-TV Channel 21 New York and NJTV-New Jersey Public Television. For 23 years now I have been a host on CPTV – Connecticut Public Television.
I also own, Jim Masters Communications, LLC, which is my talent based business. I am hired by producers to act in commercials, host infomercial shows, voice spots, anchor news, emcee concerts and events and other talent related tasks. I will be headed to Venice, Italy soon to co-host a national concert special which will air on PBS in 2014. I am also a partner in a soon to be launched, marketing and public relations/motivational speaker firm, Masters & Logan Marketing, Public Relations and Motivational Speakers, LLC. Lastly, I am co-authoring a book and I just hosted a national 30 minute show, “Road To Riches” which is debuting soon on TV, the internet and on DVDs and also hosted a national video for the American Kennel Club which is been distributed on DVD across the country.
Jaki’s Buzz- Wow, I feel like a slacker after that, LOL! So, how did your career start, where did you study and what was one of your first jobs? Also, Is this something you wanted to do from an early age?
Jim Masters- I have loved and followed the broadcasting/entertainment/media industry ever since childhood growing up in New York on Long Island. As a kid, I used to always have a tape recorder near by and would do mock interviews with family and friends, we’d do plays in our garage and I performed in several school plays. Back then I used to get excited when I would receive distant TV or radio stations late at night on my TV or radio in my bedroom and I had a real interest in things like TV and radio studios, the towers, the station call letters, the sets, the talent and all the rest. I was told by one of my teachers in school at around age 10 that she thought I should consider a career in the media since I seemed to have such a thirst and real interest in it. I attended Long Island University-C.W. Post College in New York and got involved in the radio station. While in college, I also interned at Cablevision on Long Island and News 12.
After graduating college with a degree in Communications/Broadcasting with specialization in Visual and Performing Arts, I started working for an ad agency in New York. While doing that, I received a scholarship to the Connecticut School of Broadcasting from a New York City radio station. After attending CSB, I then accepted a position with WLIG-TV in New York (now WLNY-TV 10/55, a CBS station). I was the Assistant TV Traffic Manager. As time went on, I ended up doing voice-overs for the station, co-hosting LIVE telethons for The Long Island Arthritis Foundation (which I ended up doing for over 10 years!) and eventually became the station’s Connecticut News Bureau Chief and reporter for the station’s award-winning 10pm news program.
While at WLIG-TV, I also started working evenings as an announcer and in production for WLIX radio on Long Island and I also started hosting for the PBS station, WLIW-TV Channel 21. So, it was a real busy time. Down the line I was offered a position with WTWS-TV Channel 26 in New London, Connecticut to serve as Assistant TV Traffic Manager and Staff Announcer. Plus, with the opportunity to become voice of the station and also to emcee many station events, host specials, sports shows and also report news for the station’s 10pm news program, “Newsbeat 26″. It was great training ground as it was a young station so we could be very creative.
While at WTWS-TV 26 (now WHPX-TV), I started working with PBS -Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) in Hartford as on-camera host/celebrity interviewer. I have been with CPTV since 1990. I also hosted many of the station’s on-air auctions, marched in UCONN victory parades, emcee many of the station’s artist/celebrity viewer meet and greet events and perform many of the station’s on-stage welcomes at venues like the Oakdale Theatre, The Bushnell and The Palace Theatre. While working with WTWS-TV 26 in New London, I was offered an on-air position to be the midday announcer/news anchor for WTYD 101FM in New London and to also host, produce and sell the sister station’s new shopping show on WNLC-AM, “The WNLC Shopping Center Show” and had the opportunity to work with some great people. At the same time, I started hosting a public affairs show for The American Cancer Society called, “Cancer Awareness” which was a weekly television show and which won the ACS National Media Award.
While at WTYD/WNLC, I was solicited by Clear Channel Radio station, News/Talk 960 WELI in New Haven, CT to host, produce, market and sell a new shopping show that was being launched by THS Direct Marketing. At first, I was not sure I was interested because my pursuits and interests were TV oriented. I thought I would try it for 6 months, help it get launched and move on. Well, that was 18 years ago! I had hosted, produced and marketed the show from 1995 until we decided to cap off the popular, successful and long-running show and wrap it up in July of 2013. It was not an easy decision but, we were all ready and it was the right decision. Since we wrapped “The Home Shopper Show with Jim Masters”, its like the flood gates have opened with offers. Pretty amazing! Back in 2004 I also accepted a position with Close-Up TV News in New York and started hosting the TV news-magazine show, “Close-Up on America’s Business”, and in 2011 I became a daily host on Close-Up Talk Radio worldwide. If I did not pursue a career in the media, I would have been an Architect. I studied Architecture in school and it remains a passion of mine.
Jaki’s Buzz- You have something very unique in terms of working on many different platforms and in some cases producing your own work is that correct? Tell us about it.
Jim Masters- Yes, I have been fortunate. I have always made sure I soaked in as much as I could and learned as much as I could. I’ve worn many hats on-camera and on the air and also behind the scenes. People will tell you that I am a team player and that I run and jump in an instant. I’ve taken additional acting voice classes in New York and in addition to college at LIU and courses at CSB. I also took classes at Edge Design Voice Group, New England Academy of Theatre, Mediabistro and The Art of Voice in New York City. I’ve been fortunate, I have not been off the air since college and have had the opportunity to work in television and radio simultaneously and also write for a local newspaper. This business does require an ample amount of your time and sometimes at the last minute. So you always need to be ready to go! I’ve been doing lots of work in recent years that has been of the national nature as I expand the “Jim Masters” brand. It’s been terrific.
Jaki’s Buzz- I’m sure your work has a lot of variety but what does a typical day look like for you?
Jim Masters- You are right Jaki, variety is the name of the game in this business. It’s pretty much 7 days with some Sundays free. When I hosted the shopping show on WELI New Haven, there were no free days. So it is refreshing to have some time here and there now. My days are filled hosting Close-Up Talk Radio shows throughout the day, then heading off to host and shoot “Connecticut Perspective TV” on ABC WTNH- 8 which we do all over Connecticut and then hosting on PBS and all the other projects and work that are on-going or that pop up last minute all around the Greater New York tri-state area and throughout New England. I have been doing a wealth of infomercial hosting too so I’ve been all over the map lately. Many times if not in the studio or on stage, I am in the car, on a train or on a plane too!
Jaki’s Buzz- What is the one thing that motivates you to wake up and do what you do every day?
Jim Masters- I have had the opportunity, honor and pleasure to connect with so many people of all walks of life in so many ways. Some are well-known, some are not. Knowing that I am motivating, inspiring and relating to people locally, nationally and even globally is a wonderful feeling. People tell me often that I am “easy to speak to”. That I make them feel “comfortable”, “welcomed”. I once interviewed famed singer Sarah Brightman on PBS and after the interview, she came up to me and she whispered in my ear that I made the interview easy for her and that she felt so comfortable that she told me things that she never thought she would. I think knowing that I have the opportunity to become a part of the lives of so many people, viewers, listeners, guests, interviewees, gives me that spark. I love what I do. I’ve worked hard at it. Constantly honing, polishing, fine-tuning my skills. Learning, participating, helping. I do lots of charity work as well and enjoy lending a hand when I can. I am a news and weather junkie too so I get charged up when things are “breaking”. If I can touch the life of just one person and make their day a little better, then I have done my job no matter what show I was hosting. I am a positive person and I try to spread a little bit of it around.
Jaki’s Buzz- In this difficult economy many folks are battling keeping a positive attitude and attempting to get into this field. What advice would you give on both keeping positive and in getting into this business and hopefully following in your successful footsteps?
Jim Masters- If you are passionate about it, love it and can understand it is not always a 9-5 world and that behind all of the glamour there is an intense amount of work in what can be a very fickle business, then go for it! I have always looked at my career as a thread. One thing leading to the next. There are a great deal of people who enter the business for the “glamour” side and then quickly realize there is a lot of work and demands that need to be met. There are a plethora of venues now but, it also means you need to standout more. Really hone your craft. Be a good listener. Always be wide-eyed. Give it all you got. I’ve done many things that I never thought I would do and have had many doors open that I never knew would be open. The main thing is to love it! Because when you love it, people will see that, it will show and it will seem to become, over time, effortless.
Jaki’s Buzz- Thank again for reconnecting and taking the time to join Jaki’s Buzz! How can people find you?
Jim Masters- I am always interested in new and exciting ideas, projects and more and I have a website that is currently being designed at www.jimmasters.net and it will roll out soon, however, right now folks can find me here:
on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/jimmasterstv
on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/jimmasterstv
on Linked In at: Jim Masters
Also at www.MastersandLogan.com