Julie Jacobson '96: #1 in the morning

Jacobson and her husband co-host, Gene Gates

By Denise Erdahl Ploof

Radio is the most exciting form of broadcast media because you can freely express yourself in the course of three to four hours with no one scripting your words, limiting your broadcast time or telling you what to wear." So says radio personality Julie Jacobson '90, who recently hit the big time with her morning talk show on a Los Angeles radio station.

With the "Gene and Julie Show," she and her co-host husband, Gene Gates, have worked their way up from smaller radio markets to the L.A. market, airing from 5-9 a.m. on country station KZLA. Jacobson says that although L.A. is not the biggest market, it's the most prestigious because it's the number one biller in advertising revenue.

Jacobson, an English major, met Gates working in radio in Seattle. They started their own show in Modesto, Calif., and took it to the number one rating slot in the first rating period. They then moved to Albuquerque, where they again took their show to the number one slot. From there, they went to KBSB in Dallas, and were interviewed on Night Line and featured in a New York Times article.Originally from Bellevue, Wash., Jacobson says that she and her husband are "normal people. We're trying to reflect what's going on in the world that's not negative on our show," she says. "We just try to make people laugh. We try to make life fun."

The biggest contribution to her success was being a Pi Phi at Puget Sound, says Jacobson, 32. "The contacts I made and the leadership skills I learned have become valuable tools for my professional life." As she grew more interested in radio broadcasting after graduation, she contacted Ruth Walsh, one of the first women news anchors on the West Coast, for advice. She had heard Walsh was also a Pi Phi. That advice and their continued friendship inspired Jacobson to continue with her radio career.