Growing up on Long Island I was a kid obsessed with the radio and the DJ’s on the radio. I would call in for contests, meet the DJ’s at remotes and in a time before email, write hand written fan letters.
My best friend’s father was a former ABC TV employee and arranged for my first radio station tour.. 95.5 WPLJ. As we entered the studio Kim Ashley .At the time Kim was also doing on camera work for MTV. She welcomed us warmly. I was overwhelmed by all the buttons and lights and at 14 years old had no clue what I was looking at. The audio board then began to flash. She explained that those were the “idiot” lights; her cue that the song was ending. I was hooked. I wanted to be an idiot.
Mojo Radio was an incarnation of WPLJ. I sent in my local radio station t shirts in exchange for a new MOJO shirt! I am not sure I ever took it off.
Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill were constantly on my radio. Driving to summer camp with my mom in laughter and tears when the gentleman on the phone scam got stuck in the Craftmatic adjustable bed.
Artist Joshua Kadison was a morning show regular. I won a contest to see him perform a private recording studio. I had no interest in him; however, it was a chance to see Scott Todd Naomi and Joe. My Dad had a long day at work, but I needed a legal guardian to attend. Knowing it was a dream to see these air personalities he agreed. A late night in New York City but worth every second.
Once I began my radio career a good friend of mine who was a board operator for Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity at WABC (PLJ’s sister station) invited me to visit. He had also done some on air shifts at WPLJ and gave me the tour. We stopped at the office of Scott Shannon. It was a dimly lit and covered in carts and cassettes. I was introduced to Scott and felt as I was meeting the pope. He asked me “Are you a professional pronounsticator?” I answered “I try to be”. Not making the impression I wanted, out of nerves, we left. But I met the legend.
I continued my radio career, in the Hudson Valley with a few trips to some Boston radio stations and an entree into the NYC market and the now defunct AMP Radio for then operator CBS. I missed the energy and thrill of being on the air in NYC so the hunt was on.
In August of 2018 WPLJ APD Mike Allan invited me to do an audition shift at WPLJ. Filled with all types of déjà vu emotions I entered the studios high above Madison Square Garden not on a tour but as a “pronounsticator” on the microphone. I was hired and have been on the air since.
WPLJ is an institution. It means a lot to many depending on when you found it in your life. Rock on PLJ, Power 95, Mojo Radio or No Rap No Hard Stuff and No Sleepy Elevator Music.
The history and legend are not lost on me. Albeit short I am so proud to be part of the current air staff and future alumni. Thank you WPLJ