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Coachella Valley's Jammin 99.5 Radio Presenter, "Dave Acosta" Doesn't mind wearing Multiple hats!

Tell me a little bit about your background. Where are you from and how did you get started as a radio presenter?

I was born and raised in Philadelphia PA. I grew up in the center of the city in the 70’s where my parents were divorced at a young age and I lived with my father from aged 11 on. My father owned a popular “Disco, Bar and Restaurant” in town so he worked mostly nights. I turned to Radio as a way to try and stay out of trouble. We had some great stations and personalities. I always had my radio on WCAU 98 “Hot Hits”. It was huge to me, I fell in love with the “Talk Over Jingles”, Tight Music Segues and Terry “The Motormouth” Young, a fast taking DJ that was entertaining. He is the man who made me want to do radio.

What station do you work for and how long have you been there?

I have been with Marker Broadcasting since October 2012. I’m on Jammin 99.5 and I also do Sundays Noon-6pm on The Big 106 KPLM Country. I’m also The Production MGR for our 5 Radio Stations in charge of Commercials and Imaging.

What do you love about your job?

Everything! That’s why I don’t mind wearing many different hats. I get to be on the air on radio and I also get to be creative when putting together commercials and station Imaging. That to me is a blessing.

How do you determine what songs you play on the radio?

Normally, Music you hear on the radio is already chosen and laid out for the DJ by the Program/Music Director, With the exception of requests. Reason is, so there are no mistakes in hearing the same song 4-5 times a day. There is a little more control over the spread of the music that you hear throughout the day.

What is the most challenging part of being a radio host?

Coming up with timely things to talk about. The one thing that sets you apart from a “Liner Jock” is what you talk about on the air between songs and during your breaks. You have anywhere from 5-15 seconds between songs to grab and retain the listener so they don’t tune out.

What happens when an artist sends you a song for radio airplay and you don’t like the music, but you like the person? How do you address that issue?

I let them know that it has to go through the channels from Music Director to Program Director. I don’t have any say in what plays on air. I could put a good word in but that is all.

What are some of your favorite artists you enjoy playing?

I love TLC, I thing every song they made is good. Being from Philly I like Teddy Pendergrass, the O’Jays, The Jackson 5 and deep soul like Deborah Cox, Larry Graham and Mavis Staples.

What disc jockeys did you love listening to as a child? Who were your influences?

The main man Terry “The Motormouth” Young, Billy Burke and Todd Parker. Also Top Philly DJ’s Hy Lit and Jerry Blavet were long time friends of my father.

What was your most embarrassing moment while at a live on radio?

It was my 2nd shift at KOLA 99.9 in Riverside in 1996 or 97. I was doing the Midnight-6am shift. I just got done talking and I pressed the mic button to turn it off. The button flew off and hit the floor. As I bent down to pick it up I said “Oh S..T” as I stand back up I see the mic light is still on! I waited a good hour for the calls to come in but luckily nothing. Someone had to have heard me.

Have you ever said something on radio that had serious repercussions or said something you regretted later?

Besides the “Oops!" Moment? No.

How has Covid affected your job?

It hasn’t really. Our stations were down a bit sales wise but thanks to our station owner, Todd Marker who is great at running all of our stations, we didn’t miss a day of work.

How has internet radio and independent DJ’s affected FM radio?

I personally don’t feel Internet radio taking anything away from FM radio. Not bashing Internet radio but when people get in to their cars they turn on FM Radio. Especially the “Old Schoolers” they are used to having a radio out by the pool or while they BBQ and having it on their favorite Old School Station. People still like their local DJ’s and Info they get from FM Radio.

What advice would you like to give to aspiring radio presenters?

Learn every job at the station! Don’t just be a jock or just a Board Op. Learn Programming, Production, Promotions, Sales etc. because if the station you are on flips format and the only thing you can do is be a jock? You will most likely be out of a job. Be a valuable player and know every job at the station.

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