A Dedication to a Mentor and Friend
I began my radio career as a scared college kid in 1971 and the only experience I had in radio was listening to it. I was attending a college at the time in NJ and they were starting a radio station. I joined and was put on the planning committee. That whole year I spent attending planning meetings and categorizing music in the Library. I later transferred to William Paterson University where I immediately joined the college radio station WPSC. This was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I did a weekly show and met some friends who became part of my radio family. We are still in touch today!
I didn't really learn about commercial radio programming and structure until I got my first job at a station in Sussex County,NJ WSUS. It wasn't until I got my second job at WIXL-FM, a country station also in Sussex County, NJ that I began to evolve as a personality and began to really learn structure and discipline. I attribute this to one person. Irish John Kiernan, the corporate Program Director and Chief Engineer and WIXL/WNNJ. I was never blessed with a deep, resonant voice and may be funny when with friends but never on the air. When I first went on the air, at WIXL, John liked my dedication, enthusiasm and execution of the format. He also provided advice on how to improve my delivery and worked with me to bring out the best in this kid with the New York accent. He quickly advised me that I don't have to be funny. He gave me pointers on song intros and outros, using imaging and jingles, saying something in a very short period of time. John could also be tough and critical but it was always done in a caring and constructive way. He built my confidence instead of stripping it down.
I must also add that John became a great friend whom I socialized with regularly. He was someone that I could really talk to about radio and any other matters. We had our own opinions on so many subjects and most times, we agreed on everything. I always felt that we were "in sync" with each other.
Irish John Kiernan was a great mentor and friend. Unfortunately we lost John a number of years ago but his memory lives on every time I open the mike to speak on Edgewater Gold Radio. His methods are ingrained in my brain and his friendship is ingrained in my soul.