You may have heard of radio personality Jennifer Hutt from her longtime radio show (and cable TV show) with Alexis Stewart, “Whatever! with Alexis and Jennifer!” Now, after six years doing radio with media partner-in-crime Alexis, the two have parted ways both personally and professionally, and Hutt is taking center stage with her own Sirius XM Radio show, ‘Just Jenny.’
Hutt was a lawyer before beginning a friendship Alexis, daughter of Martha Stewart, when the two’s “Odd Couple” style friendship catapulted them into the world of media. Hutt’s unique sense of humor, irreverence and chatty persona made her a natural for the gab-friendly world of radio.
POP goes The Week spoke with Hutt about her new show, her very public weight loss, and the one question she hopes she won’t have to answer ever again.
I’m always curious to know how people get their start – tell me how your life as a media personality began.
I was working as a personal assistant for my dad. Alexis Stewart and I became friends and she asked me to do a radio show with her. But, arguably, people who know me since way back when would say I’ve always been a media personality!
You’ve done both TV and radio – I’m sure both have the fun sides – what is it that you love about radio?
I love the intimacy of radio and the immediate connection with the fans. I feel like they are my friends… My show is a group effort between the listeners and me. I like being accessible to them and their accessibility to me keeps me going. I love the honesty of radio… And the no need for hair and makeup!
Folks who know you know about the radio show with Alexis Stewart ending – there was a lot of press about it. How does it feel to be completely in the driver’s seat with this show Mind you, you’ve done the show solo for a while, but how does it feel and does it affect how you approach things topic-wise? Is there a new approach that you didn’t have with “Whatever” with Alexis and Jennifer?
I was always the driver of the show even with Alexis because I’m naturally more talkative. So steering a conversation just feels normal. I’m a talker!
You’ve got quite a LOYAL fan base! Do you find that you have become friends with a lot of people who are frequent listeners?
I’ve definitely formed friendships with listeners, which is so cool. These are people I’d never have met were it not for my shows. I feel incredibly lucky that people have been interested enough to get to know me.
What is the new show you’ll be working on – give me all the details! What’s it all about?
The new show is “just Jenny” – it’s on SiriusXM Stars Channel 107, Monday through Friday at 1pm. It is about everything that touches all of us from the super serious to the super mundane… I will take calls and try to help listeners with their stuff while slogging through my own! No topic is off limits! (Editor’s note: It re-airs on Sunday nights at 6pm ET on Stars as well.)
Are you ever shocked by what a listener call in and says? Are there ‘rules’? Since this is Sirius, that means anything can happen, yes?
No rules. In some ways I’m always shocked, and yet I’ve never been shocked. We all are crazy in some way!
67-70 pounds depending on the morning!
Tell me about that process… how do you feel now, and was it easier or harder to tackle that being a public person?
I did not think about the public perception of me while losing weight…I just focused on doing it. And I don’t think I realized how different I was starting to look until some listeners saw me on a webcam and commented. I think the stress of maintaining my weight loss is harder knowing that I am being watched – although in a way that’s helpful because it keeps me working hard! Weight issues are a curious thing because we cannot hide/deny our physicalities. People see us whether we’re fat or thin…and always make determinations about how we should be. It is nice that my listeners are supportive of my efforts at this point… And I am always forthcoming about how my struggle never ends (as I eat chocolate Twizzlers now while typing because I can’t seem to find something healthy!)
So this explains “Tales from the Treadmill” – which is you, staying healthy and distracted while you exercise!
I do a lot of video blogging from my treadmill. I answer listeners/viewers questions while exercising. Sometimes I even livestream from my treadmill. Keeps me exercising longer!
When you see yourself in old clips or photos – what comes to mind?
I was fat!!!!!
Okay, then! Do you do New Year resolutions? What are yours?
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions really but I’ll challenge myself to not be so damn neurotic.
Um, okay, you know THAT begs a follow up – how are you neurotic? You seem completely normal when I see you. (Then again we’re both wearing headphones and talking on the radio when I see you.) Fess up… how are you crazy?
I’m a ruminator! I start thinking about something and cannot stop. I will focus on whether or not my kids are ok. Or if I’m making the right business decision… or should I call this person or not call. Did I say the wrong thing? Did I do the wrong thing? I will sometimes ruminate/dwell on past experiences that can’t be changed.
I will be neurotic about my weight – weigh myself almost every day and feel insane over slight fluctuations. I will ruminate over things I cannot change in the immediate future or about things I cannot control. I tend to look too far into the future rather than paying attention to the present!
So in other words, you’re like a lot of us! 😉 But I could potentially accuse you of being a chronic tweeter! You are a TREMENDOUSLY connected woman – I see you tweeting at all hours! How much sleep do you get? Is that blackberry/iPhone on a chain connected to you? Is it always nearby? Talk to me about social networking and how it’s played a role in your show.
I do not sleep restfully. And I do tend to be over-connected.
Social media is terrific because it keeps a dialogue going between me and the listener/viewer. I love that. I like catering to their needs… As a personality/entertainer/helper. It fuels me. I love to help people feel better. And the interaction makes me feel im not alone… So it benefits all of us!
But I definitely overuse my devices… I could work on that.
You’ve done a lot of interviews… If you could BANISH ONE QUESTION from ever being asked of you again – the one question that you’re simply tired of answering – what would it be and why?
Ugh. I’m tired of discussing my break up with my former cohost/coauthor Alexis Stewart. People want some crazy story but there isn’t one…
Where can people ‘find’ you online – and what else should people know?
I just want people to check out my show and my site, JustJenny.com. I love to connect. I think we can all learn from each other, and life becomes a little less painful when we laugh through the struggle. I like to remind people of that, and be reminded when I forget to see the humor. There is always humor!
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