“The Jason Show,” Jason Matheson’s daytime Fox 9 show, is in the midst of its second test to gauge its appeal to a national audience.
In June 2016 it aired on Fox stations in L.A., Dallas and Phoenix. This month it will air in the test markets of Orlando, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, L.A. and Fox affiliates in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Since he’s on TV twice a day and I already have videos featuring Jason — including one I produced when his new TV show debuted on Fox 9 and another shot when he and restaurant marketing exec Collin Haas got married I figured I could get away with doing this interview via e-mail.
Q: What is your mental state as you launch your second nationwide test?
A: I am much more calm. As is, I think, the rest of our crew. Having done a national test last year, we know a lot more about the process already. Plus, I think the show as a whole is a better one. I’m also so very grateful. Last year’s test went pretty well for us and the network, so to be given another chance is just wonderful.
Q: How is this test different from the previous test?
A: Well, it’s different in that we are in some different cities, like Chicago, which is great because that area, Chicagoland, is where I’m from. It’s also different because the show is just more in line with our original vision. That vision was simple: Have fun. I know that seems overly simplistic. But when we were writing key words on a board during the development of the show back in 2015, the word we kept coming back to was, “fun.” We throw some “lifestyle” stuff in there, but really, the show is designed to just take your mind off the crazy world for 60 minutes.
Q: What makes you nervous — since doing national tryouts doesn’t?
A: Black water and heights make me nervous. I’m also incredibly shy, which is weird considering my jobs, but I truly am. Dinner parties and small talk scare the crap out of me. I’m not good at “cocktail conversations” so I tend to shut down or look uncomfortable, which folks can sometimes read as me being rude or standoffish. It’s not that at all, it’s just the older I get, the more social anxiety I deal with. I hate it.
Q: Have you had a chance to talk to one of the bigs, “Ellen” or “Harry,” about the headaches of a national show?
A: Not really … though Harry Connick Jr. — who is a good friend of the show — has been so very supportive. He sent me a message a few weeks ago congratulating me and the team on the national test. I love that guy!
Q: How many new suits from King Brothers Clothiers can we expect to debut on the current national tryout?
A: I love those boys! You can expect about three. If it was up to them, I would have a new one every day! They are truly so very talented. I’m thrilled to be able to showcase them on a national level.
Q: Would Collin say you have been a bigger PITB (pain in the butt) during the run-up of this national tryout, as opposed to the previous one?
A: I think Collin would say I’m a PITB 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Seriously though, what that guy puts up with! I try to be über self-aware; I know I can be extremely moody and a, well, pain. He puts up with so much and I’m so very, very, very lucky to have him by my side. He — along with my Mom and BF Jen — are my biggest cheerleaders. I have good people in my life, and I try never to forget that.
Q: If “The Jason Show” goes national, can we expect you to end your FM107.1 radio show?
A: No. I’m under contract with myTalk for a while longer. Besides, I can’t begin to tell you how supportive they have been with my dual careers. I mean, it’s really unbelievable. Dan Seeman, Amy Daniels and Ginny Morris are some of the best people I have ever worked for.
Q: What degree of difficulty is added by being on the radio from Fox 9, as opposed to being in the FM107 studio with Alexis Thompson?
A: It’s not difficult at all. Alexis and I have a rhythm after 10 years together, so it doesn’t really change the show at all. That’s the blessing of having a great partner.
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.