KNWA Today: Movers & Shakers – Radio Jon/Deek

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They are the dynamic duo, who has dominated the radio airwaves in Northwest Arkansas for nearly 15 years. Their personalities are polar opposites — but it’s this chemistry that has made Jon and Deek, stand the test of time. 

You know the old saying, “Opposites attract.” When it comes to disc jockeys, Jon Williams and Derek “Deek” Kastner, their relationship is and has been, Nirvana. “We just clicked. We just wanted to work together.” says Kastner. Jon Williams says: “You just cannot replicate or make-up that kind of chemistry.”

Both men came to the University of Arkansas for sports. Jon, to play baseball in 1992 and Kastner to witness Men’s Basketball win the 1994 NCAA Championship. But their first encounter with one another, didn’t get off to a great start. “He comes on the radio and he’s doing an impression of Robin Leach from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and he’s talking in that voice. And I call my program director and ask, ‘Who is this guy on our radio station, talking like Robin Leach about pizza?'” says Williams.

“Deek’s” tardiness & charisma, may have rubbed Jon the wrong way, but he eventually respected the craft, making way for the Jon and Deek morning show in 2005. Williams says: “It was instantly apparent that he had both passion and the talent to do stuff that we enjoy doing on radio.” Kastner says, “What I like to do, he doesn’t and what he likes to do, I don’t, but this just works out great.”

And success followed dominating morning radio for over a decade. But the duo needed a change. In 2016, their new & current home, Cumulus Broadcasting brought aboard the pair, re-branding its name to Radio Jon/Deek. Williams says, “They’ve basically handed us this radio station and said, ‘Do your thing.’ That’s such a rare opportunity to get to have the radio station and to see the vision. And they gave us this block of clay and said, ‘Make it what you want to make it.”

When Deek isn’t on-air in Northwest Arkansas, he doubles as host of a syndicated show in Tulsa and has done so for the past 20 years. “I do a show in Tulsa when we weren’t together and I be put together with people and we fought all of the time. And you just appreciate the mentality of somebody who gets what you’re trying to do.” says Kastner.

And what they’ve done is create a sound & show, that’s Rockin’ The Free World! Kastner says, “We share the same ideas and same drive. And it just worked out to where we worked together and stuck together since.” 

Jon & Deek also have a massive following called the Loyal and Royal Army, with over 30,000 followers on social media.

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