Benone shares her experience as a producer for the drivetime show, “Top 8 @8”



When students face difficulties in high school, they must either push through, find help or drop out. Teacher Jordana Benone, however, found a solution in a radio station.

Benone’s work as a teenager helped her keep a positive attitude about life after high school.

“Working in a radio station with older people gave me a sense of maturity about high school,” Benone said. “I could see that there was life beyond.”

By the time she was 16, Benone was a producer on a drivetime show, “Top 8 @8”, for KISS-FM.

“I liked producing the most because it was creative, and we could come up with bits, like comedy bits or sketches that were funny,” Benone said. “You could choose the tone of how the show would go that night.”

Previously, Benone also produced with Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps on “The Mark and Brian Show” for KLOS-FM.

“Their morning show was pretty crazy, so that was fun to come up with bits with them,” Benone said. “I was really young, so it was nice, because those people treated me like a little sister.”

Benone recalls her time as a 17-year-old working with men trying to record noises for the station.

“They were like, ‘what are the weirdest sounds we can come up with?’ They were dropping cheese pizza on the microphone,” Benone said. “They really wanted to get the sound of it plopping on the microphone, but they were damaging equipment, and I needed to use that equipment. I had to, essentially, bust these grown men. That was fun.”

When Benone’s sister was 16, she worked in the marketing department of the KIQQ-FM radio station but also had to watch her little sister, who was 11 at the time.

“Everyone at the radio station thought I was very cute, to have this little girl roaming around,” Benone said. “And so they taught me a lot about how to edit music, how to work with tape, and how to mix stuff.”

Later, Benone would work at the KIIS-FM studio for two to three years, answering phones, taking requests and doing “remotes,” which involved talking to people and giving out merchandise at the beach.

“Remotes were fun, because I liked to set up the equipment; I’m kind of a techy,” Benone said. “I liked trying to figure out how to get the best sound when you’re at the beach. That’s a huge challenge.”

During her time working at KIIS, one of Benone’s favorite people to work with was “old school” DJ Bruce Vidal.

“He had a beautiful voice, and he was so kind and fun and funny and would teach me how to edit tape and all those kinds of things,” Benone said. “He was just a really good guy.”

College marked the end of Benone’s radio days, despite many “great” job offers due to her experience in the business.

After participating in theatre throughout high school and minoring in it in college, Benone spent the summer teaching drama to incoming seventh graders. This is what caused her to change her mind about radio.

“It felt so much better, I realized,” Benone said. “Do I want to make famous people more famous and wealthy people more wealthy and spend my life in clubs and at concerts? Or do I want to something where I may be helping a person find some kind of talent?”

This realization inspired her to become a teacher, which she thinks is the best job of all. She “never looked back” because of it.

“At the end of the day, if there’s one kid that’s like, ‘I’m going to be better at this thing because of you,’ that’s a way better day than, ‘oh, you played a really good show man!’” Benone said, “Although I still like going to shows, it’s just that’s not my calling. That’s not my passion.”