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Catching up with Jimmy Baron and his new ‘Stories of a Life’ business

Jimmy-baronWhile on 99X for more than 12 years, former morning host Jimmy Baron loved doing interviews, be it with regular people or celebrities such as the Dalai Lama or Paul McCartney.

Out of radio since November after rock station 92.9/Dave FM let him go following a two-year stint, Baron is now pursuing an idea to parlay his interviewing skills: talk to average folks and create “stories of your life” videos.

About 30 years ago, he did a video of his grandmother. “That planted the seed,” Baron said, “a seed that stayed dormant for 20-some-odd years.” (He found the VHS tape years later but sadly found out that he had taped a Wrestlemania match over most of it. “That was one my ultimate big fat fails,” he noted archly, referencing his former daily radio bit.)

In 2008, while Baron was between radio gigs, he did one for a friend’s father. “Hearing him tell the story of his life and relating his memories is priceless for the family,” Baron said. “I tell people, ‘Think about  it if your old family photos could actually speak.’ ”

He recently launched a website, www.storiesofalife.net, which explains the different packages, which range from a straight interview to a full-fledged “legacy” DVD with videos and photos.

Packages start at $2,100. That may sound steep but people will spend that much to do family portraits, he said.

“What I’m doing is telling stories,” Baron said. “Having an ear for a good story is something that is ultimately what’s going to make the videos good. You can have all the fancy production you want but at the end of the day, the person who is producing needs to know how to tell a story.”

He first consults with the family to line up questions. If need be, he has the family collect photos and videos, too. He’ll sit down with the subject for two to five hours.

Baron said he’s not doing an expose to delve into the darker parts of people’s live. “Its’ supposed to be a feel-good thing,” he said. “It’s a way to honor their life and celebrate the great life they’ve given their families.”

He said he feels he has a knack for making people feel comfortable in front of a camera, especially people who are not used to it: “Often, people will open up to a total stranger easier than a relative.”

Baron won’t be doing narration and though his voice might pop up now and then during the interviews, he tries to keep himself out of it. “People don’t want to hear me,” he said. Then he couldn’t help but joke, “I know that because that’s what Dave FM management said to me.”

So far, he’s done about a half dozen videos and has several more lined up. He hopes once he generates enough volume, he can focus on the interviews and outsource more of the editing. (He has gotten technical tips from his former Morning X colleague Steve Barnes, who is now running his own social media consulting company.)

Some of his favorite interviews on radio included one with James Woods talking about being on a test flight with some of the 9/11 terrorists, reporting suspicious behavior and having nothing done. He also enjoyed hearing McCartney express his disappointment when Michael Jackson purchased the rights to the Beatles songs from under him.

As for a future in radio, 50-year-old Baron said he’s open to opportunities but given his ties to Atlanta, his options are limited. “I need to concentrate on building my future via other means,” he said. “If something comes along, who knows, but I’m not spending a lot of time thinking about it.”

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

17 comments Add your comment

Lori

February 27th, 2012
6:57 pm

Thanks for the update, Rodney. I truly miss Jimmy on the radio and hope that another station will see his value. Best of luck to him in his new ventures.

Hemy Neuman

February 27th, 2012
8:10 pm

He worries about his future? At least he is not a jew in jail.

Steve B....No wait....S Barnes

February 27th, 2012
8:12 pm

Uhhhh……I’m an actor!

$2100 is a lot of money. Especially if you are between acting gigs like me.

Kar

February 27th, 2012
8:18 pm

Jimmy’s secret was always that he was a mensch underneath the irritant role.

[...] more Catching up with Jimmy Baron and his new ‘Story of a Life’ business at Radio & TV Talk… /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR [...]

Catgut

February 27th, 2012
9:51 pm

Jimmy The Rat Baron, you are gone from radio until I say so, and that’s that!

Goldenrod

February 27th, 2012
11:40 pm

Always hated Baron, he was never a fan of the Star Wars so I had no use for him!

richard whiskey

February 28th, 2012
8:06 am

thought i seen him working as the door greater at the north peachtree wal-mart the other day,if it was’nt him it should be,that’s a job you are qualified for jimmy.

DD

February 28th, 2012
8:50 am

Will this man EVERY go away? I was so glad when he left the ATL airwaves….his constant “old man” (and he is NOT) complaining drove me CRAZY!

P.S. I still miss Yvonne.

Tom

February 28th, 2012
9:01 am

My favorite Jimmy moment was when he asked the “not-so-fresh” question to Liz Tayor. Jimmy is an Atlanta Institution… Good luck, Jimmy!

Madea gets reassignment surgery

February 28th, 2012
10:02 am

Can we get back to making fun of Tyler Perry?

dtanner

February 28th, 2012
10:53 am

@hemi neuman,that is a good one,hemi a meek little man like you better get used to picking up a lot of soap in jail,and why would you kill for someone who looked like andrea sneiderman?

Curious George

February 28th, 2012
2:12 pm

Is that photo of Jimmy from his guest appearance as a ‘walker’ on an upcoming episode of “The Walking Dead?”

Curious George

February 28th, 2012
2:14 pm

Isn’t Leslie Fram on “Hee Haw” now?

Curious George

February 28th, 2012
2:16 pm

Is Barnes (allegedly) still the alter ego of Captain Back Acne?

kevin

February 29th, 2012
8:45 am

A

February 29th, 2012
2:01 pm