I started in radio as a high school football announcer for the Rutherford High Rams in Panama City, Fla. I got the job because the program director was forced to do the games next to a part time dj named A.D. Whitehurst. I was the color announcer. I had played in high school but blew my knee out and went to Gulf Coast Jr. College.
The school had no football team so I figured I wouldn’t have to hear of my former team mates exploits at the next level. But chance to be announcer, was too good to be true… I’m sure we were awful, and no audio of those days exists, but A.D. had a Corvette and I got ten bucks a game plus gas and meals… heaven!
I was always jealous of the big voice announcers with the quintessential rock jock delivery. I never had that talent. So I started making fun of my lack of talent, the singers, the callers, the other jocks in whatever town I was in. And there were a lot of towns, Panama City, Pensacola, Knoxville, Nashville, Jacksonville, and Charlotte. My early career was like an old Southern Airlines schedule.
Along the way I became a ratings winner in most markets which led me to moving from wild child nights, as Jay ‘the baby’ Thomas, The Mouth of The South, The Scorpion , and The Prince Of Darkness, into the coveted morning drive slot. I became a music director who had no ear for music, but loved the free dinners and plane tickets the record guys gave me and then became program director who’s biggest claim to fame is that I found and hired The Greaseman in Jacksonville.
When New York called I was making six figures in Charlotte, NC and was part owner of the station. I was in a crumbling marriage and the owners all but told me that one day the stations would be mine… but I needed to know what it was like at the Big Show. So, for less money and freshly divorced, I went to 99X fm in NYC. I couldn’t believe there was so little competition. Imus was in the market but he was either drunk or drugged out and ended up in Cleveland. So I just went nuts… Charlie Steiner of ESPN, Yankees, and Dodger announcer fame was my newsman.
Howard has mentioned that he used to listen to me back then when he was an upstart in Long Island. Radio in New York allowed me to become a stand-up comic at the Improv and I starting acting off Broadway. Radio, comedy, and theatre. Then Hollywood called and I left so I could one day be introduced as a star of Radio, Television, Theatre, and Film… maybe not a star but I did all of them at one time or another, sometimes all at the same time.
So now I finally have a show that I can impart all of the stories that I’ve learned, heard, or stolen over the years. SiriusXM is so freeing as an outlet it’s hard to believe that I get to say whatever is on my mind daily and thankfully have had the training to get it out in a somewhat professional way. It’s the show I always wanted to do.