Nobody's Toy... Jesse Lozano



Jesse Lozano

Enjoying the annual trip to Lake Havasu

Jesse hosting a jog-a-thon at Del Mar Hills School with Savannah and crew in tow

Jesse interviewing Kevin Jonas at Wango Tango
When Jesse Lozano walks into the Clear Channel Radio office in San Diego on a January morning, he is greeted with hugs, handshakes and smiles. His radio family genuinely misses him now that he divides his air time between San Diego's Channel 93.3 and Los Angeles' KIIS FM 102.7. He holds down the afternoon drive slot at the California stations and one in Phoenix, too. It's a career the Escondido native could only dream of in 1999, when he was a 19-year-old intern at 93.3, sorting CD's, stapling papers and washing and driving the company van. He had a gift for speaking in front of crowds and entertaining throughout his school years. When he arrived at the station while a student at Palomar College, he knew he had found what he wanted to do.

"I feel lucky to have started when I did," says the now thirty-year-old deejay. "Radio was just transitioning to multi-media and my first real job here was a voice track shift. I wasn't spoiled by the awesome aspects of old school radio where on-air personalities ruled the day. I accepted and learned the technology and knew what I was going to be doing in my career." At 22-years-old, Lozano's life changed in mind-boggling ways. His bosses placed him on the popular morning show, AJ's Playhouse - a time Lozano describes as one of the best in his life. And he would do the mid-day show himself. Two weeks after the impressive promotion, the Orange Glen High School graduate received news that had an even bigger impact on his life. A young woman he met while working part-time in retail was pregnant with his child. He was going to be a father.

Jesse with his daughter Savannah at Wango Tango in Los Angeles, KIIS-FM's annual day-long concert event

Jesse with his daughter Savannah at Wango Tango in Los Angeles, KIIS-FM's annual day-long concert event

But Lozano never missed a beat - on air or off. In addition to his weekday show, he has a weekend show that's syndicated in 80 markets. He says there are two things that have made him a success. "The first thing is my daughter. The second is my theory that all you have to do is work harder than the person at work who's working the hardest. That way you sit at the top of everyone's list."

While he's made a name for himself on the airways as Boy Toy Jesse, his title of Dad is the one he values most. Seven-year-old Savannah has spent nearly half of her life growing up in radio stations, at first as a baby sleeping under the audio board while her father was on air, and now, often sitting next to him in the studio, knowing like a pro when she has to be quiet while he does his cut-ins.

In the newer age of radio where Lozano has found success, his daughter is a very visible part of his career. His four hours on the air each day, for which he is paid, are augmented with a web page that is dominated by photos and links to videos he writes, shoots and stars in. There are parodies, a single dad diary and a blog with Savannah. He does them all on his own time. His audience follows him on Facebook, YouTube, and Myspace. And every day, seven thousand fans check in to see what he's saying on Twitter. But it's in the videos that Lozano's thoroughly likable personality and positive energy come shining through. He's naturally cool, but he's g-rated. He's hilarious, but always respectful. He has the look and moves of a rock star, but he has the heart of a down to earth dad.

"I do not know why I'm making these videos," says Lozano. "But I just want my daughter to have a lawn in the backyard, and this is how I'm going to make that happen. I don't necessarily know what's going to come of it, but I know that the reaction and feedback is always complimentary and positive."

It's more than radio fans that are paying attention to Lozano. He helps teach a class on radio to homeless teenagers at a drop-in school in Los Angeles. He helps raise money and toys for Rady's Children's Hospital in San Diego each year. And he has a website called singledad.com. It's filled with advice, support and videos for many fathers who, like Lozano, take the responsibility of raising their children very seriously.

"You would be surprised there are so many people in the world who are shocked that I am the way I am with my daughter," says Lozano.  "A lot of guys have ruined the way people think about dads - especially single dads - and because of that thought process, the good guys pay for it. I don't have a leg to stand on in court. I'm not going to change the legal system, but I'm going to let other guys know out there that we're here for them."

Lozano still considers San Diego his home. He returns once a week to do his show and stay in touch with those at Channel 93.3 and to see his parents who still live in Escondido. He works six days a week to accomplish all he does, and he doesn't complain about it. "Radio is so easy for me because I live the lifestyle. I listen to and love the artists I play, and I watch American Idol." He also has respect for the people who pay his salary - the advertisers on his show. He recently paid a visit to Toyota of Chula Vista. "They told me that I was the first deejay who had come to see them. They were appreciative, and so am I."

Meeting Ryan Seacrest backstage at Jingle Bells

Meeting Ryan Seacrest backstage at Jingle Bells

Despite the fact that his face and his voice touch the lives of so many people each day, Lozano is very humble about his on air role. He says the PPM rating system keeps him in line. "PPM is an immediate smack to the ego. You find out in real time whether you're as awesome as you think you are - or not! I've learned that the less I speak, the higher my ratings are. People really want to hear their favorite music, not me blah, blahing."

That's debatable. Lozano recently filled in for the Australian top 40 countdown show that has 100 percent coverage of the Australian market. And he's talking to television producers about a single dad reality show. He may soon be appearing locally on Fox television with American Idol updates, and every year he introduces and interviews the top stars in the music industry - usually with Savannah accompanying him on stage, or sitting on his lap.

"She definitely has a crazy perspective of the world. And she's not allowed to talk about it at school because I don't want her make the other kids jealous. But it's my hope that she'll grow up thinking, 'Wow, I can do something with my life that's really fun. My dad loved going to work and he had so much fun and we had the best times together.' I hope she maintains that perspective in whatever she tackles in life."
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