A monthly glimpse into Kirt Jacobs’ stories of successful human journeys
Moxie is a hard characteristic to define. But talk show host Kirt Jacobs knows it when he sees it in one of his guests.
“A person has an ‘it factor’ to them,” says Jacobs. “There’s something about them you can’t really describe. There’s an aura about them, and that’s the essence of every guest I’ve had.”
That trait inspired Jacobs to change the direction — and name — of the interview show he created in 2005. The show once known as “Leadership Landscape TV” is now “MoxieTalk with Kirt Jacobs,” a half-hour program available online and on MetroTV, WBNA21 and KET. On “MoxieTalk,” Jacobs sits down one-on-one with a guest and has a conversation about his or her life story.
“I don’t try to make the interview about me, the host,” says Jacobs. “I don’t hone in on something they’ve done. I want to hear her journey or his journey.”
“MoxieTalk” guests include national household names such as U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and local favorites like Elizabeth Kizito, the owner and founder of Kizito Cookies. Every guest on the show has a certain moxie that’s demonstrated through either a single, substantial accomplishment or many years of successes.
Inspiration takes hold with early interviews of Kentucky leaders
The road to “MoxieTalk” began when Jacobs was involved in YPAL (Young Professionals Association of Louisville) and participated in the group’s CityTalks, a series of panel discussions about high-profile and often controversial civic topics, such as the enactment of a smoking ban in bars or the proposal of a new arena in Downtown Louisville.
Jacobs decided to take what he’d learned from that program and pare it down into a more personal setting. Inspired by the intimate conversations on shows like “Inside the Actors Studio” and “Charlie Rose,” Jacobs created “Leadership Landscape TV” in 2005. He sat down with prominent Kentucky leaders one-on-one in a studio to discuss their journeys to success.
A guest roster of nearly 200 and growing
In 2016, Jacobs adopted a new direction for the show when he changed the name to “MoxieTalk.”
The interviews still drive each episode of “MoxieTalk.” Jacobs has interviewed 199 people since he began his show, and he’s open to suggestions for future guests. He looks for interviewees who have “displayed tremendous courage and determination in their field.”
In a departure from his days as host of “Leadership Landscape TV,” Jacobs now has many guests who do not necessarily fit into traditional leadership roles. This includes Patrick Henry Hughes, who made national headlines for participating in the University of Louisville marching band while his father pushed his wheelchair. Jacobs believes that guests like Hughes are just as inspirational as CEOs and executive directors, even though they may not be heads of organizations.
“I don’t want to just interview leaders,” says Jacobs. “I want to interview role models.”
This fits right in line with Jacobs’ mission for the show: to inspire, educate and engage the human spirit one guest at a time.
And while Jacobs has strived to enlighten his audiences, he’s learned a valuable lesson from hearing so many stories of adversity and success.
“Everybody’s got one move they’re really good at,” says Jacobs. “If you hone that one move, you can lead a much happier life, rather than fit yourself into one move that society says is right for you.”
Jacobs would like to eventually grow his guest roster to include people with national prominence alongside Kentuckians. “My goal is to open it up to the world.”
An unexpected theme for every show
Jacobs likes to end all of his interviews with a signature question: How do you want to be remembered? The answer varies, but he said there’s a big theme in how all of his guests respond to the question.
“Guests often reveal a side of themselves that’s a little different from their public persona,” says Jacobs.
Every guest offers the “MoxieTalk” audience something that’s a little unexpected, and this something, or “moxie,” tends to stick with viewers for quite some time.
“MoxieTalk” is now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and you can search for previous episodes by category and watch them on the show’s website: moxietalk.com. Some of the episodes are available as a podcasts that are accessible through the MoxieTalk website. Jacobs plans to make more interviews available as a podcast over time, so stay tuned.
Know of a suitable guest that you feel has Moxie and a story worth sharing? Please e-mail your guest suggestions to: [email protected]