Since my days in Junior High School, I was always amazed at how the radio worked, and the amazing people on the air. Being originally from Cleveland, the birthplace of the term “Rock & Roll,” and home of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, I was able to hear many of the great radio personalities.
My screen name and handle is DJBryce, which goes back to the days of my first account with AOL…in the dark ages of 28.8 modems. I dropped AOL many years ago after they stole $1000 out of checking account and wouldn’t give it back. Long story, but AOL sucked then, and it still sucks today.
Some of those that I had the pleasure of hearing before they made it REALLY big where:
Alan Douglas-Late night talk show host on WKYC before ‘Talk Radio” was cool. He died many years ago. [ Video ]
Bill “Smoochie” Gordan-A crazy fun guy that used to kiss all the girls on the radio, hence the name. [ Bio ]
Dr. Bill Randle-The first person to discover Elvis Presley, and one of my college professors at Kent State. “Dollar Bill” played the hits on WRMR-AM in Cleveland right up til he passed away in 2004. [ Bio ]
Big Jack Armstrong -“Your Leeeeeeader!” One of THE best screamin’ DJ’s on WIXY-1260, when A.M. ruled. I got an email from him this year…Big Jack was working at an Oldies station in Greensboro, NC until he passed away a few years ago. [ Bio ]
Don Imus -“Imus in the Morning” Used to be on “The Big 12-20 W-G-A-R” and now has a top rated syndicated morning show on over 100 stations and now on MSNBC. I was on his show once, and actually made HIM laugh…something about Peanut Butter, but I don’t remember the rest. He is still on the air nationwide. [ Website ]
Gary Dee -One of the original “shock jocks”, even before Howard Stern. Claim to fame? Screaming so loud at callers that he had two heart attacks while on the air…I heard one of them…scary stuff! I used to call him all the time and get on the air. [ Bio ]
Ernie Anderson -You know him as the voice of “The Love Boat” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” I know him as the guy that used to host the Friday night movies on WJW-TV 8…his nickname then was “Goulardi.” He used to dress up in a lab coat, fright wig, and sunglasses with one eye piece missing…he would blow stuff up with M-80s, rag on towns like PARMA aka AMRAP (Parma spelled backwords) and do stupid stuff that 12 year old kids love to see. Ernie past away February, 1997 in California…he was one of the greatest radio voice-over men ever…he will be missed. [ Bio ]
All these people, especially Dr. Bill and Big Jack, were major influences in my life. I used to listen to them on my transistor radio under the covers in my bed, with the phone so I could call in and make requests…I still remember the phone number…861-3622…I dialed it a million times…sure wish they had “redial” back then.
As with most radio geeks, I started in the A-V Club at Independence High School, then went to The Defiance College, Defiance, Ohio and worked at the college radio station WDCW-580 AM. One of Americas’ current great radio programmers, Bill Pugh, worked with me. Pugh was Program Director of the legendary WSHE-FM in Miami Florida, then he went to KZON Phoenix and then to Xtra Sports 690 in San Diego. He left to put together the Mighty 1090 in 2003…now he is an artistic painter. While at WDCW, I got to do a news internship at WCWA in Toledo, Ohio. After two years there, I transferred to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio where I became News Director of WKSU-FM and WKSR-AM. While at KSU I got a part-time job at the “real” radio station in Kent, WKNT AM-FM (now WNIR-FM).. It was part-time news and part-time D.J. After graduation I got a full time job there doing Afternoon Drive, Operations Director, News and bathroom cleaner…I did it all! After 6 years there the station changed format to All Talk, so I was out.
I moved to North Carolina where I worked at WEWO AM and WSTS-FM for Don Curtis. Mr. Curtis is now the largest single owner of radio stations in North Carolina, including WPTF, WQDR, Pulse 102, and Radio 96.1 and a whole bunch more…15 in total…many in Raleigh. I worked at “WE-WO” and several other of Curtis’ stations for 10 years then left after they were were sold. From there I moved to the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, NC market (the 79th largest market in the country) as Station Manager & Operation Director for a new station called “Thunder 99.5. WTND” After 2 years and many antenna problems later, the owner changed format and eventually sold the station…it’s now knows as 99X – WXNR. I was Operations Director/Chief Engineer for 6 stations of Beasley Broadcasting…though I admit not knowing a lot about engineering, I had some good teachers…I’ve always been an Operations guy…but since I knew which end of a screwdriver to use, they decided to let me play Engineer. Bad mistake! LOL.
About 15 years ago I moved “uptown” to Raleigh, North Carolina, where I became Operations Director for 680 WPTF, “The Triangle’s News & Information Station.” I did that (and a million other things on the side) until I became Webmaster for the entire Curtis Media Group. I worked with First Internet Media (now MediaSpan until recently when we began converting the sites of the Triton CMS platform, and maintain all 20+ (at last count) of the CMG sites.
In 2003 I decided to try my hand at starting up an on-line radio station. Using a spare computer and some help from a friend Dave Lippard, I came up with RadioCoast.com. I streamed Smooth Jazz and had a full server most of the time. The guys at BMI & ASCAP eventually caught up with me and I ended up shutting the site down. After several years of being off the air, I fired it back up to promote my hobby of preserving the Seeburg 1000. For more details on how it all works, just visit the site.
So that’s my radio career in a nutshell. I hope to some day get into ownership…but the way the FCC has things running now, I’m not holding my breath. Oh, and by the way, a special thanks to the interviewer at the Ohio School of Broadcasting who told me during my high school days that I would never make it in radio…HA HA HA! By the way, email me here if you’d like to take a look at my resume…just in case you are looking for an Operations Director.
UPDATE: In 2013 I began the process of buying a radio station. Was in negotiations to purchase WDUR in Durham, NC. After months of talking, things were about to pop…I was ready to make a proposal and look for an investor. While in a meeting, another, better offer popped up. I’ve been in discussions to purchase a station in Western NC. In January of 2014, Oakie Mountain Broadcasting LLC as formed.