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Back On The Radio!

Tom PattonBeginning on 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 - from 5pm to 6pm.

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.

stationThe 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 intangible, 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. That wasn’t why I got into the business. 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. 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. I 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 column.

micFrom DC to Atlanta to Jacksonville where I thought I was set. Not so much. If you’ve read my personal blog “Life’s A Beach” at all, you know how that turned out.

So when Austin Cassidy here 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…

1 Responses »

  1. Welcome to WBOB home of the local talk!

    Lenny and I will be listening and wish you great luck.

    Cindy Graves
    Duval Republican State Committeewoman
    Co-Host
    What's the Buzz? ABC 1320 WBOB
    Thursdays 5-6