Friday, August 26, 2005
I'm Going Into Radio, Trust Me.
In the 1970's, when I managed Weiner King restaurants in New Jersey, a young fellow came to work for us by the name of John Weber. John was one of those guys who was really nice. Nice almost to a fault. Always polite, the customers loved him. For years, he told me he would one day go into radio broadcasting. He and I got along great. At one time, I thought I would go into radio. I was attending Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) and I dabbled a little bit on the college radio station, WTSR, 91.3 FM. A guy I knew there, Kevin Clemente, had a regular program and I used to stop by after classes and sit in with him in the broadcast booth. Once in a while, he'd let me do the news or weather, so I had a little experience in it. Back then, I had an extensive knowledge of music. I impressed many of my friends and co-workers with my musical expertise, including John Weber. John and others always told me I should go into radio. My voice was certainly pleasant enough for it, but, John's voice was truly designed for at least radio, if not television. Time and time again, he would tell me, "Dave, one day I'm going to be on the radio."
When it came to sports, besides Howard Cosell, back then, I didn't know anyone who knew more about sports than John Weber. Any sport. He would awe you with his list of statistics, where athletes grew up and what schools they attended and just about anything else pertaining to sports. Especially the New York Yankees. Boy, did he know them. It was a national day of mourning when Thurman Munson died in that tragic plane crash. John wasn't quite the happy-go-lucky guy for a while after that.
I haven't talked to nor seen John in over 25 years. Recently, a very close friend of mine, Frank Foran, found his e-mail address and contacted him. In his response, John asked about me and quickly wrote an e-mail. In it, he says, "I've managed to eke out a career in broadcasting and am actually fortunate to work for the most listened to FM talk station in the nation, New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio . I anchor the news on NJ 101.5, do the morning news on WBUD AM in Trenton and WIXM FM in Atlantic City as well as the 12 station Millennium Radio Network of New Jersey radio stations which are completely separate newscasts than the afore mentioned stations. Its all done from our studios in Ewing Township right near The College of NJ which used to be Trenton State. I have one of those weird radio shifts that starts at 4:00 AM, but I am out by 11:00 AM on most days unless there is breaking news at The State House or somewhere."
He is happily married, with two children. What's ironic about it, though, is that I used to sell advertising for a local newspaper, the Hunterdon County Democrat, and he did the same thing for a while. His wife is there now doing the same thing. It's nice to come back into contact with old friends and learn that at some point in life, we led similar lives with regard to some of our jobs, except that he did go into radio and I went into the art field. He did end up doing exactly what he told me he would do. Hot Dog! It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy and I always wish him continued success.
My only advice to John is that, if you ever get tired of the radio booth, why don't you go get a job as the New York Yankees announcer?