Everyone Radio Person Should Have A Great Mentor
The picture is of the WIXL - FM studio in the 80's. Irish John was the one person who gave me the most guidance and encouragement in this business. He believed in strict structure, consistency, enthusiasm and balance in radio formats. One of his motto's while on air was"if you don't have anything to say, then don't say it!" He also believed in always letting the audience know what station they were listening to and what it does. i follow his advice and programming beliefs to this day.
One time when Tammy Wynette was playing at a venue is Sussex County, NJ, I was supposed to cut to our Program Director twice an hours who was on site where Tammy was performing. He was supposed to just promote the concert that's it. I went to cut to him and he put Tammy on the air to talk to me live! --WHAT A FREAKEN MESS! I wasn't prepared and the banter back and forth sounded like a train wreck to say the least! The DJ from our AM station in the other studio came running in and told me that Irish John was speeding up the driveway! My heart sank. I knew I would be fired. John walked in, looked at me and I asked "am I fired?" He said "nope and gave me a can of coke. He said I believe you need this right now. He did tell me that when he heard the "horror on the air," he almost drove his van off the road. He proceeded to tell me that he knew that I wasn't the one who initiated the live interview and he knew just how awful I was feeling at the time. He emphasized the reason why we never put any talent live on the air without preparation. He told me that it was a learning experience and that it's done and over with never to be heard again. He told me to have fun doing the rest of my show and that I sounded great!
John was very strong in is radio passion and beliefs. He passed some years ago but his radio methodology lives on. He was also a good friend whom I miss very much!