Alive & Unedited: Jason Perkins

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Ditching its home-shopping content earlier this year, Grandview's WDEM-TV has been broadcasting a mix of classic movies and original programs, including a flagship spot called Lifeline Columbus. Host Jason Perkins shared more about the indie network's arts-and-culture offering.


Growing up, my dad owned two music stores in Lubbock, Texas. This was back in the late '80s, early '90s. He moved the store up here off Sawmill Road. His side of the family lives in Columbus. I bounced around from school to school. I finally ended up graduating from high school at Westerville North.

During college, I ended up getting a gig on morning radio. That's kind of where I jump-started the broadcasting-media career. It was The Alan Kabel Show with Kate and Matt on Mix 97.1.

I was also the 2008 CW Star. It's basically a one-year contract with the local CW affiliate. You're the representation or face of the station. They did some pretty crazy stuff. I interviewed Tyra Banks, Cheech and Chong, 90210 [stars] - just very random people.

The hardest part of doing TV is always knowing that you can fail. There's always an opportunity of failure at anything you do, especially on air. You have to say the right words at the right time - if you don't, people look at you like you're an idiot.

On camera, I don't care what people think of me. Off camera, it's the total opposite. You think more of how a person is viewing you because it's more of an intimate moment. On television, you're just looking at a piece of plastic and a lens.

Lifeline Columbus is a magazine-formatted talk show, where we go around to different happenings in Columbus. It could be a festival, an event, an art gallery. It could be something interesting that showcases the whole realm of the show, which focuses on arts, culture and lifestyles.

The interactive interviews are the ones I enjoy most. I've interviewed some of the Harlem Globetrotters. I played one-on-one. Cody Nicely from Glass Axis was amazing. He starts out with a bowl of hot glass, and he made this trout on a piece of wood in a matter of two hours.

Columbus is a powerful and growing city at the same time. People here are so diverse. You can meet a different walk of life every day that you live in Columbus. It's such an open city to people's living habits.

In spare time, I love cooking. I like to play a lot of golf when I can. I like to grab a drink here and there. Being part of my family is a big part of my life.

The best advice I've ever received is stick with your intentions and trust your heart.

Three things I can't live without are air, a toothbrush and cozy socks.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at

Lifeline Columbus airs 10 p.m. Thursdays and throughout the weekend on Channel 17. For a live stream, click to

Age: 25

Day job: Host, Lifeline Columbus; freelance video producer

Neighborhood: Northwest Side

Birthplace: Lubbock, Texas

Years in Columbus: 18


Playing Favorites

Favorite TV show: Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development

Favorite movie: Dumb and Dumber

Favorite book: Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Favorite band: Wilco

Favorite song: "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John

Favorite food: Chinese

Favorite drink: Morning coffee

Favorite color: Sky blue with royal blue