Monday, January 19, 2009

From Inauguration To Inauguration: Four Years At Y107

January 21, 1985 was my first day at work at Y107 radio in Long Branch, New Jersey. The two things I remember about that day was that it was the beginning of Ronald Reagan's second term of office (the inauguration being moved from Sunday to Monday), and that the general manager sent everyone home early that day because there was no heat in the building.

January 19, 1989 - twenty years ago today - was my last day of work at Y107 radio in Long Branch, New Jersey. The station's new ownership had brought a security guard into the station shortly after midnight the next day, shut off the transmitter, and asked the only employee working at the time, "TJ The DJ", to leave the premises. This was in response to a plea by our afternoon disk jockey (who I think was still Willobee at the time) to have hordes of people come to the station on Friday morning and protest possible format changes being installed by the new ownership. We sat at a seashore bar - specially opened in the offseason to serve employees who wanted to drink to excess, myself included - and watched George H.W. Bush take the oath of office. My Y107 tenure lasted exactly four years, with all but two station employees being hired after me. At 27, I was one of the grizzled old vets.

What happened in between would make for one hell of a book, as Y107 was perhaps the most fun I ever had when I worked in broadcasting - and at the same time, made for some of the most stressful moments of my life. I value the experiences I had, and in the days to come, I will be sharing with you examples of the work I did while at Y107 as an air personality. Yes, I did save one aircheck tape. I may have others which are actually right now in Robair's possession, as he has the majority of my cassettes.


Matt Ward said...

I was one of those folks that passed through Y-107 during your rather lengthy tenure (yes, four years WAS lengthy for THAT place!) at 156 Broadway. I came on board in October of '85 and got out before the forced exodus, leaving in July, '88. Those were wonderful, crazy, scary, thrilling, amazing times. I have many treasured memories and look forward to reading more of yours.
Matt Ward

Dave Mackey said...

Matt Ward was a jack of all trades at the station, and we did share some on air time together, working as news and sports respectively on John Ford's morning show. Matt has been a traffic reporter on 1010 WINS for the last 20 years or so (sorry if I've aged you, Matt), and he's also on NJ101.5 as "Tom Rivers". Thanks for commenting, Matt!