Category Archives: Live Radio

What A Week

I have finally gotten slowed down enough to make a post to the blog. This has been one busy week, and tomorrow promises to be pretty full as well. I’m kinda bummed that I’m not writing here as much as I used to, because this is important to me, but I’ve got to do the stuff that pays (some of) the bills first.

“So what the heck have you been doing?”, I hear you cry.

Well, Aero News every day. Lots of Aero News, and I’m finding that aviation news is a lot like general news … August is slow. Today there was actually quite a bit to write about. The NTSB made recommendations to the FAA on the airspace over the Hudson River following the August 8th mid air. There was actually quite a bit of stuff today, which puts me a bit ahead for tomorrow, which is a good thing.

candidates Monday night was the candidates forum for the First Coast Republican Club. We had a couple of hundred people there, as well as all four candidates for the 8th district senate seat. I was fortunate to be asked to moderate the event for the club, and my hat is off to Scott Wiley and the club leadership. They made my job as a moderator easy, and each of the candidates told me it was the best event of this very short campaign season.

So why am I not posting any pictures of the event? Even my wife didn’t manage to take any pictures of me. So much for respect. If anyone from the FCRC has one they’d like to forward so I can post it here, photo credit is yours.

I know, it was all about the candidates, but I do this kind of thing for part of my living. It’s the shameless self promotion department.

 TIE logo3 Tuesday night was improv at The Comedy Zone, and I have to tell you, we had a rough crowd. For what ever reason, they couldn’t come up with a suggestion that wasn’t just innuendo, they were downright pornographic in some cases. Normally we’d try not to take those suggestions, but when it’s the only thing you get, well you’ve got to give them a scene about something. It was just very, very difficult, and not the kind of night that makes improv fun. When the audience is good, it’s a joy to be on that stage. Tuesday night was not such a night.

JORS Logo Wednesday, Aero News again,and then the Jacksonville Observer Radio Show. Lenny Curry, the County GOP Chair was our guest for the first half hour, and then Congressman Ander Crenshaw joined us for the second half of the show. It was a pleasure to talk with Congressman Crenshaw again, and he had plenty to say on the subject of health care. At the very end of the program I got to dredging for the post-panamax ships coming to the port in a few years, and the status of the nuclear carrier at Mayport. The better news for me is that he remembered me, after not having spoken to him for probably more than a year. We picked up right where we left off, and if we manage to continue this show, I’m going to try to have him on regularly. The phone didn’t work so well on television, but for a radio show, it’s perfect. Of course, I hope he’ll join us in the studio from time to time as well. If you’ve missed any of our shows, you can listen to them online here.

So that’s been my week. Today, there was a lot of stuff to write for Aero-News, and I was finished relatively early. I went over to an Art Graham event, and there’s another one of those tomorrow night. Saturday, it’s dinner at Elaine and Richard Brown’s house. But I’ll make a real effort to write again before Sunday. Somewhere in there, I’ve got laundry to do, a lawn to mow, food to prepare … well, you get the idea.

I was inspired by one of my former colleagues at WJCT, who posted on Facebook that he’s lost 49 pounds in the last 39 weeks. I’ve got about 45 to lose, but have managed to get a good start this week. I’ve been complaining about it for months, and it’s time now to get serious again.

Wish me luck.




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Filed under Beach Living, First Coast Republican Club, Live Radio, Politics, Talk Radio, Thoughts, WBOB

Media Blitz

JORS Logo And I’m not talking about Michael Jackson.  Although the taxpayers of Los Angeles should not be forced to pay for that circus of a memorial service. Whether or not he deserved it is another matter entirely. Only heads of state should get that kind of treatment at taxpayer expense. If you want to throw a big hoo-rah, for what ever reason, throw it yourself.

Of course, I don’t pay taxes in California. Maybe they’ll cool with it, but I digress. And that’s the last an only Michael comment I’m likely to make.

My media blitz was yesterday getting through the first JORS, which will become the Blog’s official shorthand for The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show. A couple of statistics that have come my way.

My furthest away listener (that I know of) was in St. Paul, Minnesota. My friend Beth Talisman, who was actually my boss at C-SPAN a long time ago, tuned in on the interwebs to listen. She’s a staunch liberal, and a very close friend. You may see us banter back and forth on Facebook from time to time. But when we worked together on The Weekly Radio Journal, we really made a damn fine radio program. She’s out of the business entirely now, loving her now-not-so-new nursing career. I’m still hanging on, kind of by my fingernails, but hanging on.

Second was probably my daughter Jenni, who’s in Springfield, Virginia right now. I’m sure she’s never head me on the radio in that kind of format, but I’m thrilled she was listening. Sometimes I think maybe this new-fangled internet thing might come to something after all.

Austin pulled some of the stats after he posted the show online today. 38 plays so far, from either the WBOB site or from The Jacksonville Observer. One more, now, since I went and listened to the first few minutes a while ago, but I promise, only one of those clicks is mine.

I credit a lot of that to some good old fashioned promotion. We did station promos, of course, but didn’t know we were getting the Mayor until after we’d cut the promo. Austin did some guerilla marketing at the Tea Party at the landing, having a couple of people hand out flyers promoting both The Observer and the show. I blasted my Facebook, Outlook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Andie blasted her contact list, and I know Austin promoted it heavily on The Observer site.

All in all, not bad. And thanks to everyone who has sent e-mails either before or since the show. It means a lot to me. You can find a link to the show here if you’d like to listen.

RPDC Logo And speaking of media blitzes, Lenny Curry, chair of the Duval County Republican Party, has been in the middle of one following the Tea Party. A few looney toons showed up carrying signs depicting President Obama as Hitler. Somebody got a notion in their head that the GOP had paid for the event and sanctioned the signs. Neither is true, of course, but some people never seem to let the facts get in the way of a good story. It was picked up by totally unbiased The Huffington Post and from there, MSNBC “talent” Keith Olberman got a hold of it … long story short Olberman wound up naming Curry as “The Worst Person In The World” the other day.

Of course, Olberman didn’t bother to check out who had actually paid for the rally, that there were Republican, Democrats, and Independents in the crowd, or even how to pronounce “Duval”.  “du VAHL”, Olberman intoned. Not “DU vahl” as we say in these parts. Of course, he doesn’t live here, has probably never even slowed down here on his way to Boca, or where ever he might go in Florida.

But more to the point, all those people who are so adamant about condemning Curry and the GOP for what they didn’t do seem to have conveniently forgotten the invectives hurled at President Bush and Vice President Cheney for so many years. Bush was often depicted as a Nazi by the extreme left, and Cheney drew comparisons of Josef Stalin and Darth Vader. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. Do a quick Google image search on “Bush Hitler”. I couldn’t bring myself to post an example. President Bush was called every name in the book, particularly as people became more enthralled by Barack Obama.

Pot … Kettle … Black.

Nah, that’s too easy to forget. Or they think it’s OK.

Now, neither President Obama nor former President Bush deserve to be compared to Adolph Hitler. I had my disagreements with President Bush, and I certainly have some with President Obama, but Hitler? As the now-seemingly articulate guys on ESPN said last season “C’MON, MAN!”

I really hope they bring back that segment.

No matter where you are on the political spectrum, there are going to be people you think are just beyond the pale. But do you condemn an entire political party for the views of a few outliers who may or may not even be welcome? I don’t know any mainstream Republicans who would welcome those who carried the signs with open arms, and Democrats shouldn’t either.

Olberman has the constitutional right to say what ever he wants, to be as outrageous as he thinks he needs to be to draw ratings to make money for the investors at MSNBC. But for everyone who defends Olberman, remember Rush Limbaugh has exactly the same constitutional right. In the end they’re both doing the same thing … using their opinion to draw the largest possible audience so the advertisers on their shows will spend money and they can make big piles of money.

On that score, at least, I think, Limbaugh is winning.

But Lenny Curry the “Worst Person In The World”?

That’s a stretch even for Keith. And if he’d have done the least little bit of legwork, he’d know it too.



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Filed under Live Radio, Local Issues, Local Radio, Politics, Republican Party, Thoughts

First Show Rocked On WBOB

JORS Logo We debuted The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show this afternoon on WBOB, and it exceeded my expectations. The good news is, the people at the station seemed to be really jazzed about it, and it felt soooo damn good to be back on the radio again.

Austin shot a couple of these for me, but took more with his point-n-shoot. We took this just a few minutes before the show got underway. I kind of got the rock star treatment, which I’m not used to, but could. Still, I’m thinking this talk radio thing could be a whole lot of fun.

Mayor Peyton arrived at the studio about a minute before 5:00, but with a 6 minute newscast, that wasn’t much of a big deal. We sat down, rolled the intro, I asked my first question, he spent the first 6 or 7 minutes talking about the budget … and then the phones got going. It’s a good thing we did this first show with “limited commercial interruptions”, because we needed all the time we could get.

The calls were good, mostly. Respectful and well thought out questions, for the most part. There was one guy who kind of rambled and I had to bring him back on track, but only one, and he was towards the end of the show. Otherwise, well, I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Of course, the trick will be sustaining it. We were able to pull out the big guns for the first show, and we’ve got some ideas for shows in the future, but with me having to be in Wisconsin the 4th week of the show, I’ll have to pre-tape something for that last week in July.

DSC_8138Oh … the content. Well, the Mayor defended his proposed property tax millage increase eloquently, I though. Having been on the committee for the JCCI study on the budget which, I think, is giving the Mayor at least some of his political cover for the idea, I’m of an open mind about it. When a caller asked about fees, Mayor Peyton said, and rightly so, that Jacksonville has had the luxury of NOT paying garbage and other fees, while those of us at the beach have just lived with them for some time. One of the callers asked about his recent trip to the Paris Air Show, to which Mayor Peyton replied that for the $3000 it cost the city to send him to Paris, he met with executives of 15 companies that are potential tenants at Cecil Field. Meeting with them individually would have been far more expensive. And so it went. I just to just over half of my prepared questions as well, which isn’t too bad.

But for me, just to be there, in the chair, with a microphone in front of me, a bank of telephones, and a guest I know I can talk to … well … for a guy like me it just doesn’t get much better than that.

This really has some potential. Every project I’m working on right now has potential. I’m guest hosting a cable television show next week for Eric Smith, but that’s a one-shot deal for a start. I guess, in a way, it’s just very gratifying to know that what I’ve been doing for more than half my life wasn’t for nothing. I’ll admit to some butterflies driving to the station today. And there were a couple of times when the show seemed to drag a bit to me, but I don’t think anyone else noticed. The audio will be posted on The Jacksonville Observer site in a couple of days, so if you missed it, check it out there.

And now, as the TAPS guys say on Ghost Hunters as they drive away from whatever haunting they’ve been investigating …

On To The Next.




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Filed under Jacksonville, Live Radio, Local Radio, Talk Radio, Thoughts, Work

Back On The Radio

MicThat’s right boys and girls, he’s back. Back with the opportunity to try something that has really been a dream of long standing. I’m going to host a call-in show, local, live and even get paid to do it.

Beginning Wednesday, July 8th for 13 weeks, I’ll be hosting The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show With Tom Patton on ABC 1320, WBOB. And it’s Drive Time. 5-6 pm.

So I guess I’ve come full circle. Back on AM, and doing talk.

My first real job in radio was at WBIW, a 1000 watt AM station, doing morning drive. Yes, I was the morning DJ. I loved being the morning DJ, but as the show evolved, it became more than just playing records and commercials and hitting the news posts. I got a sidekick, Sandy Zehr, who is now the station manager at WBWB FM in Bloomington, Indiana, or at least he was last time we spoke. He’d never considered radio before I got him into it, and he became the boss. Funny how that works out sometimes.

But I digress.

WBIW The show became far more talk than music. We didn’t really have a way to put callers on the air, and to be honest, we had no direction other than what we came up with ourselves.  At least until we crossed that invisible line and the GM yelled at us. But we had loads of fun. Local guys on a local station, and really the only game in town, and we became minor local celebrities.

As my career matured, I moved on to California, where I was supposed to be doing a call-in show on KTMS in Santa Barbara. But between the time that I took the job and I actually got to California, station management had changed its mind and I wound up doing tech work mid days. BOOORING. Fortunately my wife at the time didn’t like California either, and I got a morning show gig in Central Ohio, still with the same company. There were groups even back then. That gig was a lot of fun as well. Music was just beginning to be released on compact disc, and I convinced the station manager and engineer to buy one. But without a sales background, when the GM retired and someone younger than me was hired to be the new GM, and her job wasn’t at all what she wanted it to be, we loaded up the truck and we moved to old DC. Washington, that is. Bush 41 was on his way to being elected President, and I went to work for VOA. It’s a long story about how that came to be, but it involved some serious networking.

VOA was where I seriously started producing radio and writing. I went from there to C-SPAN to help create a radio program built from C-SPAN Audio. Was their radio guy until they actually bought a station, and gave the plum to someone else. Am I sensing a theme here. Didn’t matter that I was probably really too young for the gig, I got my nose out of joint, and then the bottom fell out of my world.

That’s another long story. One for a book rather than a blog post.

From DC to Atlanta to Jacksonville where I thought I was set. Not so much. If you’ve read the blog at all, you know how that turned out.

JORS LogoBut when Austin Cassidy over at The Jacksonville Observer asked if I was interested in hosting a call-in show for him, I said yes. How could I not?

WBOB has just gotten a daytime boost to 50K watts. We’ll be on during the day, so that’s a good thing. And while the initial contract is only for 13 weeks, Week in Review was a 13 week experiment that ran for nearly 9 years. Not a bad run. I’d be happy to be half as successful with The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show. I hope you’ll tune in on July 8th, and I’ll be there to take your calls …



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Filed under Life, Live Radio, Local Radio, Radio, Talk Radio, Thoughts

Whad ‘ya Know II

wyk-39.jpgIt was a fun show.  Lots of comedy, good music, and a full house.  Michael Feldman packed ’em in at the Florida Theater.  I was able to take 70 or 80 pictures, most of which are up on Flickr.  I got some really interesting shots of the theater as well, which I’ll post tomorrow.

If you’ve never watched a live radio program being produced, I’d very much encourage you to do so.  There’s a skill to producing a live show that’s unlike anything else.  Now, I’m sure Feldman has this down to a science, as he’s done it a time or two.  The crew was extraordinarily professional, and pretty obviously love what they do.


Among the topics for “All the News That Isn’t” … presidential elections … calling Florida “Rudy Giuliani’s still smoking crater”.  The 7 bridges that span the St. Johns River, and the FCAT test.

He was quite taken with the fact that Elvis had played the same stage on a tour back in the ’60’s, even “channeling” Elvis at one point during the show. 


One of the people interviewed was Mark Woods, columnist for the Florida Times-Union.  Mark is a sports-columnist-turned-news-columnist.  He talked about everything from the rivalry between Gator fans and Seminole fans to the recent presidential preference primary.  Glad you were able to be part of the show, Mark.


John Thulin and Jim Paolo were two-thirds of the Whad ‘ya Know trio Saturday.  Clyde Stubblefield was the drummer, and while I didn’t get any good shots of him playing from my seat, there are some of him eating later in the show.


Rebecca Zapen was the local musical talent, shown here with her violin, but she also played a concert soprano ukulele.  She has a couple of CD’s and a website.  I’d recommend checking her out.

So, a good time had by all, at the show and the reception following.  The good news is, I think they’ll be back.


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Filed under Live Radio, Public Radio, Radio