Meet John W. Jacobs III! Jay is the CEO of Jacobs Media Corporation, WDUN AM/FM, 94.5 THE LAKE, AccessWDUN, and AccessWDUN+, a family owned media business and one of the largest news organizations in the state of Georgia. He is a third generation Hall Countian. His family has been at the center of business and service to this community for 100 years. He is married to Anna Alexander Jacobs, whom he met while he was working at the family radio station and while she was studying Mass Communications at Brenau Women’s College. The couple has three children and one son-in-law, Jake and Lydia Jacobs Gailey, Louisa Jacobs, and John Jacobs IV. They have two grandchildren Wesley and Anna Brooks Gailey.
If Jay is not at work you might find him vacationing in St. Simons Island, at Caswell Beach North Carolina on Oak Island, or just about anywhere in the world on a golf course.
Today, AccessWDUN is North Georgia’s most read news website for local news. AccessWDUN just turned 20 and WDUN Radio has been here for 70 years. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Jay as he opened up and told us about his life and love of our community.
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I started in 1983 after finishing college. I started as a salesperson in the family business. I was an apprentice for about five years learning the business. Then dad offered me the opportunity to manage. I have now been running this business for a long time.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “You just can’t beat going to Waffle House. I also love Scott’s Downtown.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “I am a third generation Hall Countian. Been here my whole life. My grandfather owned Imperial Pharmacy on the downtown Gainesville square, and he also was the founding President of the Kiwanis Club here. He, my father, and I have all served as president. I am also assisting in the planning of the Kiwanis Club’s 100 anniversary in 2025.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Hall County?
A: “A lot of people stand out that have had influence on me. Beside the great influence of my father, a few folks that come to mind that have had an impact on my life here are Jim Moore, Phillip Wilheit, Kit Dunlap, Larry Baldwin, Bill Maine, Pepper Brown, and Abit Massey. All of these people are interesting and influential in their own ways.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “Australia and New Zealand. I’ve always had the interest in traveling there I want to play golf down under.”
Q: What is one of your favorite movies?
A: “As a kid it was definitely ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ As an adult I would choose ‘Jerry Maguire.'”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Be willing to make mistakes and be willing to change.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “I want to play golf at all of the Open Championship golf courses. I have played some of them and I have a few more. Randy Phillips, Ron Bracewell, Neal Booth, and I have traveled with our wives to France, Scotland, and England to play and I’d still love to play more.”
Q: What is your favorite music/ three bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “I am a classic rock guy. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rush, and Yes.”
Q: What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Hall County?
A: “One thought is Mintz Jewelers is where I got my engagement ring. It was next to Frierson’s on the Gainesville square. I would also say Imperial Pharmacy.”
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Hall County would you have lunch?
A: “Jack Nicklaus. We would have lunch at the Collegiate Grill.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “The people. The people in Hall County make this community great. We have it all, diversity, differing backgrounds, and they are all potential listeners.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: “Working and playing more golf, and teaching my grandchildren about the great game of golf.”
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I love to cook. I love to cook just about anything, the harder the recipe or cooking technique the more fun it is for me.”
Q: What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Beauty. Comfort. And a place to find the friendliest faces.”
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: “Andrew Zimmern.”
Q: If you had a full time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: “Golf coach.”