Meridian Star

January 28, 2013

Back in the Booth

Jane Smith returns with radio show

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Forty years ago Jane Smith was talked into hosting a radio show on WMOX by her husband Eddie Smith who told her it would only be for a short time while he looked for a permanent personality for the 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. time slot.

    Twenty years later, Jane Smith finally gave up her seat in front of the console and microphone. Now she is there again.

    "It's like Deja Vu," Smith said Thursday after wrapping up her show, "Time Out With Jane." "I was just trying to get through the first day, the first week and now I've been here since January 7. The time slot opened back up and here I am again."

    To the delight of many in Meridian and the surrounding area, Jane Smith, who now owns WMOX situated next to a field on Highway 11/80, took over the reigns of the radio station with the passing of her husband. Her son, Bill Smith, is the manager of the station. Smith said she has gotten a lot of feedback from people who are enjoying her show again.

    "I'm really appreciative of all the good things people have told me since I came back," Smith said. "I'm enjoying being back but to be honest I don't know how long that will be. If I could just find someone to clean my house while I'm here doing the show."

    Smith said it is the same format she brought in the original radio show. There is entertainment news from around the area, as well as hot topics and important issues concerning residents. The topics range from upcoming festivals to crime, date rape and even human trafficking that some believe is occurring in Meridian, Lauderdale County and East Mississippi.

    Between her stint at the microphone the first time and this, Smith said she was enjoying her work with United Blood Services in Meridian. She said she loved that job and that the two, hosting an informative radio show and trying to find enough blood to supply local emergency services, are similar in some ways.

    "In both you are trying to inform and ultimately help people," Smith said. "I'm a people person and loved being out and talking to everyone. Here, I'm more one on one with someone, talking about something either fun, informative or on a more serious issue. But the results are much the same. I'm trying to help in any way I can."

    Since she came back on the air, Smith has talked with county law enforcement leaders on area crime, physicians on prescription drug addictions by teens, officials with Habitat for Humanity, and human behavior specialists from Weems Community Mental Health Center. She has also been a big proponent of local fundraisers and charities, seeing those organizations as major contributors to helping those in need in our area.

    Smith, despite all the well wishes, said she doesn't know why she agreed to come back to the microphone. At 76 years old, she said she is ready to enjoy some retirement time.

    "I don't think this will last another 20 years," Smith said laughing. "I will do this as long as I need to and then turn it over to someone else."