My first job in radio was at a small, low power AM station in Delaware, Ohio. I will never forget that feeling of sitting behind a control board for the first time knowing that when I touched a button, everyone listening would hear the results of what I did. It was a glorious mix of emotions for my 15 year old soul. Statistically we would have been lucky to have 100 listeners but to me at that time it might as well have been 1 million.
Around that same time my youth group took a trip to our local Christian radio FM station where I ended up volunteering on a regular basis and then while volunteering at the FM station at 16 years of age I got hired on at a high power AM Christian radio station in my area. It covered the entire state of Ohio and I did evenings and weekends there.
So there I was directly involved with two Christian stations and to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement but sadly that incredible feeling was about to be interrupted. Turns out the station manager at the FM station had some personal issues with the AM station and when he learned that I was working there while volunteering for his FM station at the same time, I was branded a traitor and actually banned from returning to the FM station. Now, I know a "ban" sounds extreme but that that is exactly what it was. I was working at Pizza Hut at the time and I will never forget getting a phone call from a friend inside the FM station telling me that the manager said to call me and tell me I showed up again I would be escorted out by the sheriff. My crime? I had taken a part time job at what the FM station manager considered his "main competition". I was shocked.
Over the next couple of years it would come out that the manager at the FM station was knee deep in adultery and embezzlement. In addition he took station money and used it to pay off the husband of one of his mistresses. It was a very ugly situation to say the least and finally a group of Godly men rose up, took control of that FM station and eventually hired me on to be full time staff where I did overnights and eventually afternoon drive. Talk about a big restoration!
About a year later another management change took place and this manager was really in over his head and didn't have the leadership skills to do the job so I gave notice and left for a newer Christian FM station that had just popped up months earlier in our market and quickly found myself doing evenings and producing the morning show there. Again, powerful restoration.
A year later that newer FM station was bought out, went secular and I stepped away from radio for a season. In the mid 90s I went back to radio by getting a job doing afternoons on a secular station in our market. Then I went to that station's sister station and started to do morning drive. Morning drive is THE prime slot on any radio station and in many ways I felt like I had arrived. I was not even 30 and was doing Morning Drive in Columbus, Ohio. Life was good... at least my radio life. Behind the scenes my personal life was a mess at that point but more on that in a different blog entry...
About a year after that the station I was doing Mornings on was bought out. They changed formats and let most of the staff go which is standard in those situations. I was disheartened and stepped back out of radio for another season.
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