This week on the 150th ChicagoVerseUniteD audio podcast: Jerry Bryant and Ryan Manno of JBTV! In an interview recorded at the JBTV studios, the two hosts of the program discuss the show’s forthcoming national launch, kicking off this Saturday, February 18th, on NBC Nonstop. The pair also reflect on JBTV’s history, share their motivations as hosts, and explain why it’s important they have a relationship with the artists who perform on the show. Stream or download that podcast below, followed by a feature interview with JBTV’s executive producer and general manager Christian Picciolini, and the JBTV Smashing Pumpkins special.
CVU: Describe your role on JBTV, and how you started with the show.
Christian Picciolini: I started as general manager and executive producer of JBTV on New Year’s Day 2010. I’ve managed bands like The Frantic, Flatfoot 56 and Treaty of Paris, so over the years, while trying to get my bands coverage on JBTV, I’d become friends with Jerry Bryant. On New Year’s Eve 2009, Jerry and I had dinner and he asked me to come run JBTV. The show had been facing problems financially and his business advisors and bankers were suggesting he shut the show down. Being a long time fan of the show, I was honored he’d turned to me for help. There was no way I’d let such an institution fade away, so I jumped at the opportunity.
CVU: How has the program and the operation changed since you started on JBTV?
CP: I started the next day, on new year’s day 2010, kept what was working and completely revamped everything else to focus more on live performances and keeping the show content more current. I believe that giving deserved emerging artists, both international and local, a platform for exposure is a lost art. No one does it anymore, and I decided to dive head first into that. I added some great new and talented hosts with passion and credibility like Ryan Manno (Q101), Toby Jeg (Red Scare Industries), Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms) and Jenna Martinelli. Remember when radio had personalities that would introduce you to new music instead of some programmer in a different city creating your playlist? I wanted to bring the “tastemaker” back to music. Doesn’t matter if it’s radio, tv or the web, we need a trusted personality to tell us what’s good. That’s JBTV. New music, now. We introduce you to artists you’ve never heard of, so that they may become artists you can’t live without.
CVU: What are your goals for the show now, given its national broadcast range? Where does JBTV go from here?
CP: My goals are the same as they have always been since JBTV started in 19848. Expose people to good music and provide a platform for amazing artists who may not have a platform otherwise. I want to make that content available anytime, anywhere, and in any way. I want people to be able to access our original content from any device (tv, smart device, computer, vehicle) on any medium (tv, radio, web, mobile), anytime they want or on-demand. The new NBC Nonstop deal is great for us because it is becoming a well-established national network. We’ll be debuting Feb 18th in almost every major market on a great network. I’ve also been developing a national JBTV radio network that is centered on the same ideals of the JBTV brand. 2012 and beyond will be groundbreaking times for JBTV. The timing is right and we’re prepared to take the lead when people need a trusted source for good music.
CVU: What has been the best part of your time on JBTV? Whether it’s a performance, an interview, an aspect of the job,…
CP: So many things. I really love all the bands I bring on. They are all amazing. I’ve been able to turn people on to wonderful new music and I’ve also been turned on to new things. I also really love the talented people I work with. They are the best and most talented in the industry, from our camera operators to our editors, motion graphics people to our audio department and hosts. They are like family. I think my favorite part of the job would have to be the live tapings though. I keep saying that the JBTV studio is like our clubhouse and we get to invite our favorite bands to play live for us at lunchtime. The studio is a pretty magical place. I’d like to invite all your listeners to come visit sometime.
ChicagoVerseUniteD is a weekly music and nightlife podcast series, hosted by Jaime Black. CVU features interviews with the premier talent and tastemakers in the Chicago music and nightlife communities, and is published through the Dynasty Podcasts network. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, and Posterous.