RADIO AIRCHECK - 1996-2008 15:00 - 25 YEARS OF RADIO CONDENSED INTO 15 MINUTES!
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I am now hosting internet radio shows three
times a week, featuring indie bands of all types,
Listen to my indie radio show, "The Spotlight" on
SongCastRadio.com! New shows begin streaming
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and remain in the archive
My Radio history:
I found myself on
the air, in the summer of 1986, a few weeks after graduation from High School,
at John Carroll University's WUJC (now WJCU).
My progressive metal program, "Metalmorphosis," would run until 1994. I stayed on the air at WUJC even while working on the air at WONE and WAKR.
Saturday nights were an amazing time on college radio, in the mid 80s. I interviewed hundreds of national and local artists, broadcast full-length
concerts and began my radio career with eight years of amazing memories. Metalmprphosis would run from 1986-1994 and again in 2000.
I still make it down there, every few years, to do a fill in, or sit in with my good friend Bill Peters. In 1994, took "Metalmorphosis" with me when
I moved to Savannah, Georgia, to begin working on rock station WZAT.
- 1992 aircheck
- My first solo shift!
1986 - Retrospective
Part One - Retrospective
Part Two - Joe's WUJC
I would stay in Savannah for around five years, moving to Woodstock, Vermont in the middle, for the better part of one year. More on that later!
While in Savannah, I had more freedom than I have ever had on commercial radio. The PD was asleep at the wheel and too busy snorting things to worry about the station!
I was Music Director, and I played a lot of deep cuts, special programs, and live artist performances. The place sucked and I soon left for greener pastures,
across town at WIXV (I-95) My first time on the air was with their morning show, beginning a war with WZAT that was both comical and good for WIXV's ratings.
AUDIO - 1994 aircheck - WIXV
AUDIO - 1996 aircheck
It was during my time at WIXV that I experienced my most memorable and scariest radio briadcast.
While doing overnights at WIXV, Hurricane Fran swept through the area early in September of 1996. The eye of the storm was projected
to hit ground about 50 miles from where I lived and maybe 40 miles from WIXV! I began packing and getting ready days before.
A mandatory evacuation was put in place on Tybee Island, where I lived. This meant that once I left the island,
I was not allowed back, until the "authorities" said so. WIXV was on Wilimngton Island, a barrier island 10 miles away from Tybee.
I packed my car completely full with all my belongings. I built these huge 2-3 foot structures out of milk crates, elevating anything
and everything I could off the floor of my Tybee condo.
It was scary driving past the National Guard, over the bridge, and off the island. I didn't know what I would return to. I didn't know what was
going to happen. All lanes were one way. Out. Away from the Ocean. The storm was getting close. Before leaving Tybee, I drove down to the
beach. The water was already across the parking lot and into the ground floors of the nearby bars. It was a scary sight.
I should have kept driving away from the ocean and into Savannah, or beyond, but instead decided to do my overnight shift on WIXV. It was a very stupid
thing to do, looking back on it. I was young, dumb, and thought it would be fun. Someone gave me a bottle of cheap burbon and I brought it into the station with me.
I was told I could leave at any time, if I began to feel unsafe. The old building where WIXV was located was a run down shack, with a huge gravel parking lot.
I settled in, poured a tall glass of straight burbon on the rocks, turned up the EAS feed, hit the weather channel, and prepared for the storm.
It was amazing how the phones lit up that night. I think I was the only live DJ on the air that night, in the area. Some other stations had been knocked off the air, but
somehow WIXV survived. I was the sole person out there with the rooftop partiers, those who stayed and were riding out the storm, and those who
were fleeing. Through the night the phones rang off the hook.
As the night progressed, the storm picked up pace. Rocks and debris were slamming into the building.
The low drone of the wind and rain and the surge of energy was steady and never ending. After a few really large crashes into the building, I
thought about leaving. It was maybe 3:30am? I went to the front door and could not see one foot past the door. Dirt, dust, rocks, chunks of branches,
and anything else not tied down was flying through the air. The wall of rain was immense. I started to feel completely helpless.
I could never have made it the twenty feet to my car. I couldn't even see my car. I was in a run down shack, in the middle of the night, half drunk.
Even though the station phone was still working, who could make it anywhere in this storm, if I needed help? Continued loud crashes against
the building made me retreat back to the on air studio, away from the doors and windows, thinking something would certainly smash it's way through.
My heart was racing, as I, continued plotting the hurricane's course and relaying weather information over the air. I was playing Rock You Like A Hurricane,
drinking heavily, and talking to three drunks, who anchored themselves onto their rooftops and snaked out a phone and cord through the upstairs window. The eye of
the hurricane was projected to hit land very, very close to where I was. I was scared shitless. Around 4:30-5am, the updated course of the storm began to change.
The storm began slowy shifting north, sweeping up and a bit away from me. The storms, while still heavy and very scary, began to weaken. Winds peaked at 120
miles an hour and were reported as over 100 miles an hour where I was at.
been pushed 50-75 feet away from where I had parked it and was in a grassy area, on a slight downward slope. Witht he extra hundreds of pounds of
my belongings crammed in the car, I am lucky it didn't tip over. The body on my Toyota Tercel was riddled with dents and chips, but no windows were broken.
I was able to get in and, after getting stuck a few times in the grass and mud, rock the car out of the grass and away from the radio station. I could have easily been hurt, or killed,
when Fran was ripping into the shack where I was broadcasting. I still feel stupid thinking about what a poor choice it was to go on the air that night. I made it back
home to Tybee Island, later that evening.
I found myself living in the village of Woodstock, Vermont. Population 900. I would arrive at the broadcast facility around 4am and begin ski and snow reports on
stations across the country. I had around 40-50 stations. Some would get a live feed early in the morning and I would record an afternoon feed at the end of my shift.
All in all, I did around 100 broadcasts a day in about 20-30 states. After a few months, I was itching to get out of the barren lands of Woodstock, so I agreed to
travel and represent the company at Ski Resorts all across New England. I was given a brand new company Jeep, a credit card,
and began my journey. My travels took me through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusettes, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio.
I would arrive at a ski resort, get a room on the resort (usually one of the best rooms on the site), do my broadcasts from the suite, and then hit
the mountain and ski as long as I wanted. I had so much fun during the several months I was on the road, meeting new people, partying like
crazy, and skiing the best places in the east. My favorite mountains were Killington, Smugglers' Notch, and Stratton in Vermont, Sugarloaf and
Sunday River in Maine, and Sunapee in New Hampshire. Even though I am not an atlletic person, I learned to ski fairly easy and found it to be
great fun. Leading up to my road trip, I began skiing on a small mountain in Woodstock called Suicide Six. Despite the name, it was a small
mountain with maybe 6 trails. One trail that circled down the mountain was called the Easy Mile. This was where I learned. After a few weekends,
I was ready for a trip to Killington. I loved that place and made it there often. The mountain bars and lodges were out of this world.
After the winter sports season was over, I returned to Savannah and was back on the air at WIXV, now doing mid-days. A PD from a cross town country
station had always contacted me from time to time, asking me to work for his station. I am not a fan of country and used to just laugh him off. After I returned
to WIXV, he asked me to dinner .He told me he would double my salary if I left WIXV and went to his country station. I was stunned.
I began to think of it as a challenge and wanted the cash, so I accepted. Doing country was different and at times, bizarre. I had a good time at WCHY and
the experience doing the format helped me to grow as a broadcaster. However things began to end badly for the station and WCHY left the airwaves for good
not long after I left.
AUDIO - 1997 aircheck
Living in the Savannah was great, but the music scene sucked. I thrive working in the rock scene. I found myself going to Jacksonville, Atlanta, or Columbia to see shows.
In the beginning of 1997 I didn't have a huge desire to continue working as a country radio DJ, so I began looking for other options. When offered a chance
to return to Cleveland and work at classic rock powerhouse WNCX, I packed up everything I owned and said goodbye to Savannah. I arrived back in Ohio in 1997.
Working on WNCX was where I really think I was my best. I took to the station easily and really started to feel confident as a broadcaster. It was an amazing
feeling to finally "make it" to a big Cleveland station, in my hometown. I was having a blast. I was soon offered a full time position, doing overnights. Many people
would scoff at overnights, but I loved it. As a child, some of my favorite DJS were third shifters. The vibe late at night is different. It is more exciting. Plus, I had my
days free! In one year, I took the overnight ratings, for our target demo, Males 25-54, from a 2.9 to a 10.7. I was #1 in Cleveland, with our target demo!!!!
I was beating Art Bell's Coast To Coast AM! I considered that a huge accomplishment.
AUDIO - 2000 aircheck
Shortly after the ratings book came out that declared me to be #1, I was asked to come to the station to discuss signing a five year contract. I was on
top of the world, thinking my place at WNCX would be cemented for at least 5 more years. The contract sucked, wages were laughable, and I would not sign. I was
released and replaced with voice tracking. "Thanks for taking us to #1, now get out."
I then found myself doing the 7pm-Mid shift at WRQK (Rock 107) in Canton. It was a chance to work with my friend Keith Hamilton, who I have known since I was about 16 years old.
The PD at the time Garrett Hart, was a great guy, who gave me a lot of freedom to play what I wanted. I also did a lot of interviews with bands like Queensryche, Def
Leppard, Blue October, etc., and hosted a Sunday night program called "Local Licks," which featured local and regional rock and metal bands. I again
took the ratings to #1, for the station's target demo of Males 25-54 and was having a great time on the air there, until Clear Channel moved in. I had been very vocal
against Clear Channel, since they began playing a large part in the destruction of the radio business. The day Cheap Channel took over WRQK, I lwas released. A few weeks
later, the ratings came out. I was #1, with the highest ratings of my time there.
AUDIO - 2005 aircheck
After a few months "on the beach," I resurfaced as the Promotions Director of WDJQ (Q92) in Canton, Ohio, in 2007. I had a chance to work with another long-time friend Pat
DeLuca and his monster morning show. They had a THIRTY share and dominated Canton morning radio. Even tbough I was working my first radio job that didn't involve
doing my own shift, I was on the air a lot with The DeLuca Show and we created some great radio together. Unfortunately, the General Manager
of the station was a complete and total trainwreck. I had never before worked with such an inept, morally and ethically bankrupt individual. After the morning
show refused to re-sign his pathetic and insulting attempt at a contract, they were told not to return. When they left, the station died. The listeners were leaving in droves.
The one really good show at the station, the driver of the entire day's ratings, was gone. The life was sucked out of that place. I quit a few months later.
AUDIO: "The DeLuca Show"
2008 Prank Calls - 3 Pranks 2008
Removing My Pad - Ouch.
9/11 Truth - An Hour with Steven Jones - Examine the facts and learn the truth...
Prank calls for prizes:
Prank Call - Pimple Massage
Prank Call - Rosary Jumprope
The DeLuca Show is now thriving on it's own network Tune in at THERADIOSUCKS.COM
The first ratings book that came out, after the departure of The DeLuca Show and myself, and Q92 lost half it's audience.
In all persons age 12+, they went from #2 to #8. The GM sued his former morning show saying they violated their non-compete. He lost.
This was the biggest ratings drop I have ever seen, for ANY station, in 25 years of working in radio. Listeners couldn't run away fast enough from that
sinking station and it's clueless General Manager. He repeatedly said that the talent had little to do with the success of his radio station, somehow
thinking his inept ass was responsible for anything other than treating his staff like garbage and playing solitare and mine sweeper in his office.
Given the sad and pathetic state of commerical radio, I no longer have the desire to have anything to do with it. Even the few local owners in the Northeast
Ohio area have turned into the same uncaring monsters that dwell in the Cheap Channel offices. One classic rock station, owned locally, bought another
station and fired most of the staff, right before Christmas! Now, that's class! Commercial radio, in 2012, sucks. It has been stripped of it's creativity,
it's ability to identify with the listener, it's ability to promote and generate interest in new music, and is now devoid of any life and personality.
Voice tracking and automation is everywhere, what little talent that is left has been devalued, morale at most stations is horrible, and the business is dying.
Commercial radio is becoming a dinosaur, soon to go to the way of VHF and UHF TV. There was hope that many of the failing stations owned by te big companies such as
Cheap Channel and Cumulus would be sold back into private hands and that radio could possibly revert back into something great. So far, that hasn't happened
and these big companies continue to destroy and devalue the medium. Listeners continue to jump off the sinking ship.
R.I.P Commercial Radio. See the top of this page for information on my current radio project, The Spotlight," heard on SongCastRadio.com
© 1986-2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios
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