What Happened At Channel 8: The Chaz And AJ Interview

This is the first time I’ve discussed this publicly (and probably the last).

Friday morning I visited Chaz and AJ at WPLR. Their first on-air question had to do with the circumstances of my leaving Channel 8. This is the first time I’ve discussed this publicly (and probably the last).

So many of you are curious I thought I’d post it.

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Radio Daze Part One: Chaz And AJ

This morning was the first time I’ve opened up about what happened at Channel 8. Cathartic! My chest has been cleared.

With my new FoxCT career beginning Monday I thought it would be fun to make the radio rounds today. First stop WPLR and the Chaz and AJ Show.

I’ve known Chaz for around twenty years. He’s always been exceptionally nice to me.

This morning was the first time I’ve opened up about what happened at Channel 8. Cathartic! My chest has been cleared.

The best part of the show was Helaine’s appearance. She was hysterical! Her timing is impeccable. The podcast isn’t up yet, but it will be interesting to hear (or possibly embarrassing to me… who knows).

This afternoon I drive to Connecticut Pubic Radio to sit in with Colin McEnroe and a panel of folks much smarter and more intellectually adept than I.

Helaine Hears The World’s Best Knock Knock Joke

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Knock knock.

Who’s there?


O.J. who?

OK, you’re on the jury.

(thanks to WPLR’s Chaz and AJ whose broadcast this was lifted from)

Together Again, For The First Time

I have been on the radio many times since coming to Connecticut. It comes with the territory and I enjoy it.

It’s been pretty well established here, I’ll always have one foot in radio – even though it’s been over 25 years since I worked professionally there.

Monday morning at 8:00 AM, I take the plunge again, but this time it’s very different. On the occasion of our 24th wedding anniversary, Helaine will join me live on WPLR. This is the first time Helaine has appeared publicly anywhere! I know she’s currently having nightmares about it.

Some of this started when my friend Bob spent a few days with us last October. He heard us verbally sparring and thought it might be entertaining on-the-air. Now we get to see if he was right.

Will she talk about how I used to refer to her as my ‘friend,’ or maybe how I negotiated our engagement? Helaine is fast, witty, and knows every skeleton in my stuffed to the gills closet! She can fillet me like a carp. On radio, that can be a lot of fun.

If you’re up, join us Monday morning at 8:00 EST on WPLR, 99.1 FM. They do stream on the Internet. You can try this or go to their homepage and link from there.

Busy Day On The Radio

Our station’s promotion department was wondering, would I be able to go to WPLR and be on the radio with Chaz and AJ… and, oh – can you be there by 7:00 AM?

I so wanted to say “no,” but decided it was better to be a team player. Seven in the morning is early for lots of people, but I normally don’t wake up until the crack of noon. This would be way before my normal waking time.

I got home and went to sleep ‘early’ last night – around 1:00 AM. By 3:30, my body said, “nice nap” and I was awake. A little time on the couch, on my side and I was back to sleep until the alarm went off at 6:00 AM.

If you normally wake up that time of day, I do not envy you.

I hit the road by 6:30 and stopped at Starbucks before getting on the parkway. Memo to Starbucks: You are not Dunkin’ Donuts. I’m sure you’re nice people, good to your parents, but your coffee is too strong. Above and beyond that, I don’t want to have to say “grande” to get a medium&#185.

WPLR is located in a nice mid-rise office building in a quiet area in Milford. They are owned by Cox and share space with Star 99.9 and WYBC (though much of WYBC’s programming is syndicated and doesn’t originate in Connecticut).

The studios are very nice and modern. AJ and Chaz sat on opposite sides of the console with Chaz ‘driving.’ Billy Winn, who had come downstairs to let me in, was at a corner of the desk.

I’ve known Chaz for years since I used to go on his show over the phone when he did nights there. We sat and schmoozed for about an hour. I thought it went pretty well. During a break Helaine called to tell me if I wanted to sound hip, I’d need to stop making references to people who were famous forty years ago.

Why is she always right?

As is always the case when I’m in a studio, I became enamored with the freedom to speak your mind on the radio – especially morning radio. It’s not that I said anything profound or controversial. It’s just that I could say anything with little forethought.

When my hour was up, I took off the headphones, said goodbye and began to make my way out of the building. It was then I decided to see if I could have a “Bob Hope moment.”

Back in the Johnny Carson Tonight Show era, every once in a while, right in the middle of an interview, the band would begin to play “Thanks for the Memories” and Bob Hope would stroll out to the set. It wasn’t planned. Johnny never knew. If Bob was in the neighborhood, he had carte blanche to walk right in.

I walked into the Star 99.9 studio.

The morning show with john Harper and Randye Kaye was in progress. There was no “Thanks for the Memories,” but without missing a beat John started talking to me (even before Randye realized I was in the studio) and we were off to the races. I probably stayed for 15-20 minutes.

I’ll admit it. I’m still a sucker for radio. Heck, I would have walked into WYBC if not for the fact that Tom Joyner’s show comes from Chicago.

&#185 – Forcing me to speak your language also goes to the rootin’ tootin’ folks at Denny’s. Sorry.

Back on the Radio

When I was a teenager in high school I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up – I wanted to be a disk jockey. And sure enough, when I got myself tossed from college (or the ‘accelerated dismissal program’ as I like to call it), radio is where I went.

It was a reasonably good career working at some of the classic stations of the AM radio era, being program director of what was known as an ‘underground station,’ and doing mornings in Philadelphia. I miss it all the time. Any time I run into a radio person here in Connecticut I offer to do some fill-in work.

They smile, but seldom call. I’ve done a few talk shows on WTIC and it was like a fix to an addict.

Today I had the opportunity to be on the radio and in a situation I had never experienced before. I was one of three guests on a Sunday morning public affairs show which was taped for Star 99.9 and WPLR.

This all has to do with my involvement in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I have been their celebrity spokesperson for 11 years – though I’m not sure what that job actually entails. JDRF is a wonderful organization. I feel touched every time I do something on their behalf. And, their Walk to Cure is coming up in early October.

The program was taped at the Cox Broadcasting studios in Milford. It was the most corporate radio facility I had ever been in. Everything was neat and clean. The equipment looked like it was all working. There were no slovenly disk jockeys yelling at the top of their voices!

It seemed too sterile to really be radio.

The station’s lunch room seemed sanitary, as if you could eat there. How is this possibly radio? Certainly it is not radio as I knew it, where your clothing choices were always promotional t-shirts and jeans.

Every time I write about it, I wonder why I miss radio so much… and when I’ll be back on?