One Year At FM 101.9

And the journey to get here

February 6, 2019

Alllrigghtttt. Here we go. I didn't write a blog yesterday because (insert excuse here)...but now time to get a-writin!

So, big deal James. Wow, you've kept a job for a whole year. Who cares, right? A lot of people spend years working for the same company...but those people don't work in radio.

I've been up and down the east coast and even over to Mississippi for this God forsaken passion I call the radio industry. I fell in love with it at 14-years-old when I stumbled upon a show based out of Orlando...The Drew Garabo Show. I loved it. I would call, write on their message boards (I'm old), and even got to come up to the studio. The first time I visited, Drew asked me to come in and get behind the mic live on the air. What I remember most was what happened after we left the radio station. My dad and I stopped to get gas and they had the radio station that I was just on blaring. I looked at my dad and said, "Wow, they heard everything we just talked about!" And my dad said, "No Shi*!"

I was hooked.

My Dad helped me start an internet radio station out of my bedroom. It was pretty much two Radio Shack microphones and a small mixer plugged into a computer. This was back during loud-ass dial-up modem times, so it wasn't the most reliable, but it got the job done and I was able to build a fan base consisting of my dad and 3 other people...on a good day. Thanks Dad! Soon the real radio journey would begin and I would start getting paid (very little).

From a part-time job at my local hometown station, then to Melbourne, up to North Carolina, back down to Florida, up to Virginia, back down to Florida, a couple years in Mississippi, and here I am today. Yea, I moved...like...a lot. Sometimes it sucked, sometimes it was so incredible I couldn't believe I was actually living my dream.

So why is one year at a radio station so important to me?

I worked at a group of stations in Virginia for close to seven years. I loved it. I felt like it was family. At almost the seven year mark, I was let go. It hurt. I was in love with that station, and we were doing incredible things, changing the landscape of music, breaking a lot of songs that would eventually become hits, and throwing some amazing concerts big and small. Well...at about 6 1/2 years in, I was called into the owner's office and terminated.

Awesome.

After I was fired, a station in the same city hired me. My new boss had about 26 personalities, and 27 of them were awful. He started firing people left and right, which is always good for morale. At about the 10 month mark I was one of the casualties.

Awesome.

As I type this I'm thinking to myself, "Am I sharing too much?" But isn't that what this whole blog thing is about? I'm going to stop questioning myself and just keep on writing.

After being let go for the second time in Virginia, and being denied unemployment...

Awesome.

I was running out of money while trying to find another radio job...all while trying to keep myself sane.This is where things start to get better.

Orlando called me for the first time, and oddly enough it was for a job at 101.9. This was my chance to be back home working with names that I had known and grew up with while also being close to some family and friends. The people here were changing my life, and getting me back on track after my previous boss, Satan.

Then the budget cuts happened, and 11 months in...I was let go.

I'm literally laughing right now.

I wasn't sad about being let go that time. I mean, I was...but it wasn't a bad sadness. I wasn't angry at the people I worked with. I was the complete opposite. It's hard for me to put into words how much these people changed my life. I remember telling people that I didn't know if I would be able to take a job anywhere else because I didn't think I would be able to find a place with people as great as they were in Orlando.

I was wrong. Turns out there are really great people in Mississippi...and a lot of Waffle Houses.

The first call I got from the managers out of Mississippi was a prank call. At that point I was pretty much sold. These guys were hilarious, smart, and down to earth. It's in Mississippi where my streak of getting fired before the year mark began, and after 2 years was asked to come back home to Orlando. (Insert Daughtry I'MMM GOINnNN Homeee!)

This is the part of my writing where I feel the "who cares" part of my brain jump in, and I get an urge to delete everything. There are a lot of issues from Satan (that one boss) that my therapist was helping me work on before she broke up with me.

I am both grateful and lucky to be working here with the people who got me back on track just a few years back (poetry). So, thank you for reading this, thank you for listening, and if my boss is reading this...thank you for not firing me yet.

Here's to another year!

-James