WAVA 10 Year "Death Anniversary" e-Reunion
On October 28, 1983 WAVA began its life as a Top 40 radio station in the nation's capital. On February 12, 1992 at the age of 8 years, 107 days and 6 hours, WAVA died and went to heaven... so to speak. 10 years later those who worked there look back fondly on the experience and on the great people who lived it with them. This web page is for them.
This page includes:
Photos of WAVA alumni that I found on the Internet
Links to WAVA airchecks and other stuff
E-mails I've received from listeners and others about the anniversary
Updates from many WAVA alumni
A clickable alumni e-mail directory
Instructions for WAVA alumni who have not yet participated in the e-Reunion
A closing note from me
Thanks to all who contributed to this page! - Frank Murphy (WAVA from 1984 to 1992)
Photos I found on the Internet:
The Format Change Archive
Reel Top 40 Radio Repository
WAVA voiceover guy Chuck Riley's website
5232 Lee Highway (old WAVA building)
Cheesy Version of "Radio Gaga"
Thanks to Ken Martin and Lee Chambers for their help with the WAVA logo and the background.
Thanks to Ron Rodrigues at Radio & Records, Joel Denver at All Access Music Group, Larry Shannon at RadioDailyNews.com and Dave Hughes at DCRTV.net for the plugs for our WAVA e-Reunion!
Speaking of DCRTV.net, here's something Dave Hughes wrote and posted there in 2001:
August 4, 2001
By Dave Hughes email@example.com
Commentary about Washington DC area radio and television stations and much more.
The biggest blunders in Washington DC area radio, according to me:
1. Around 1990 or so, then cash-strapped Emmis selling contemporary hit WAVA (105.1 FM) to Salem so it could become right-wing talk (and religion).....
2. Flipping contemporary hit WPGC (95.5 FM) to sappy adult contemporary WCLY "Classy 95" back in the early 1980s.....
3. In the early 1980s, killing off one of the greatest full-service adult contemporary stations ever, WASH (97.1 FM), to replace it with a disco-ish "lite" (white) urban format. Eeech.....
4. In 2001, Don & Mike, on WJFK (106.7 FM), who ruled PM drive in DC, surrendering their crown, even before a battle, to out-of-towners Opie And Anthony. Pretty soon we'll have no locally-based radio at all.....
5. In 1999, Chancellor (pre-Clear Channel) killing off a top ten rated adult contemporary WGAY (99.5 FM) for "Jam'n Oldies" that barely lasted two years before being dumped.....
6. Georgetown University, in the late 1970s, giving away progressive rock WGTB (90.1 FM) to the University Of The District Of Columbia to become jazz WDCU (although I did like WDCU, see 7).....
7. The University Of The District Of Columbia selling jazz WDCU (90.1 FM) to C-SPAN in the mid 1990s, to become the oh so dull WCSP.....
8. In 2001, Clear Channel silencing the only nostalgic, big band, standards station in the DC area - WGAY (1260 AM) - for brokered business talk. Proof that a big corporation can be a greedy, penny-pinching, heartless bastard when it wants to be.....
9. The gradual "gutting" of progressive rocker WHFS (99.1 FM) by Infinity over the years. A slow and painful demise - musically and ratings-wise.....
10. The very fact that the DC area has not one single, decent powered non-commercial radio station programmed and staffed by college students.....
(above commentary by Dave Hughes on DCRTV.com)
Some totally unexpected, unsolicited listener mail:
listen, I’m not a WAVA alumnus like you asked for but I used to listen to
WAVA as a listener back when you were around and man I saw this on dcrtv.com
and I had to write you. Man, you need to do something! At a
bar or whatever, just an informal get-together for 30-somethings who were
(sorry to say this, but..) kids who LOVED your
station when it was around and WISH something like it would come back to the
DC area. Z104 was GREAT but now it’s gone L,
and now in it’s place is some contemporary/alternative/whatever-sells-now
thing that ISN’T Top-40 like WAVA and Q**7 was back then. I’m being
totally serious man, I would come if you would just say “Ok, everyone show
up at such-and-such-a-place on some-date and whoever wants-to (DJ’s from
WAVA) will be there.” Man, I would come. I know you used to work
with all these people, but man the listener’s are suffering too!
PLEASE do something for the old listeners of WAVA; a lot of us are still
living here in the DC area and I seriously think that if you threw something
together then a decent crowd would show and we all would have a good time.
I just wanted to tell you this, that’s all.
These days, I'm hosting nights a T-102 in Pottsville, PA. WAVA and D&M were early inspirations... I've already thanked TK on reelradio.com and thru e-mail for the inspiration.
I heard about your WAVA reunion, and even though I never worked there, I sure have fond memories of 1985-1987 and all the fun promotions I did while working with WB... Including the time I put up a tent alongside your road, and worked the Scritti Politti Record, "Perfect Way" and vowed to camp out until Smokey Rivers and Bene added the song.... They did! and I got to go home and sleep in my own bed.
Lots of other great memories, like the Tuesday I got "4 adds"... first time one promo person ever did that at WAVA! That one helped to get me the promotion to national staff at Reprise!
AND ... and great book detailing all the days of WEA just came out on Harper Collins Publishing, by Stan Cornyn, called "Exploding"...its on Amazon.com and lots of other sites, and great reviews by Rolling Stone, etc. Has lots of the old daze haunts and stories in it from that era.
Hope all's well.
I saw your plea on DCRTV for folks from WAVA to get in touch with you and hope they are doing so in droves. Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much it meant to wake up each morning to Don and Mike while you were working behind (and in front) of the scenes. I moved to backwoods Luray, Virginia, at the start of 1988, and was pleased that WAVA's signal somehow crept through the mountains and could be heard loud and clear. It was a dark day when WAVA changed formats, and I remember listening to the Final Hour on the night of Feb. 12. I also remember an offhand comment you made earlier that day, and repeated it -- with credit, I must add -- on DCRTV when the mailbag was alive with talk about the lack of a true CHR in D.C. To wit: Coming out of an Amy Grant song (it might have been "Baby, Baby") you noted that "It'll be an Amy Grant Weekend all weekend here at WAVA" Now THAT was a great line!! My radio adventures were, sadly, limited to part-time work in Luray when my newspaper gig did not get in the way, but I'll always remember the fun of listening to you guys in the late '80s and into the '90s. I've got LOTS of tapes, thankfully. Take care and best wishes.
Hey What's Up Frank? I just wanted to say I miss the old days of WAVA there hasn't been radio in Washington DC like that anymore. No more competition of stations like WAVA and Q107. They had two Top40 stations here Hot99.5fm and Z104 and it was starting to heat up:) But then Z104 flipped it's format to Adult Contemporary. We have a Morning Show here on Hot99.5fm called the Hot Morning Mess with Mark and Kris which is really good.
P.S.: I wanted to know how I could get started in the radio business? After listening to Don and Mike I always wanted to have my own Morning Show. Any tips would be awesome:) Thank you Frank.
an old WAVA fan 4 life, Tariq Malik
Frank... let me know if you find out where Kathi Kolodin is, ok?
Hope all is well. I left R&R a couple of years ago. Moved back to Boston...got re-married. Doing consulting stuff now. Miss DC, but I'm doing some political ad sales for New England Cable News, which gets me down there quite a bit.
Barry J. O'Brien
Hi Frank -
The WAVA site is truly a trip back to a simpler, more honest and "innocent" time in radio, and in Washington, DC. Fewer focus groups, adding records because they were just great songs, and shaking up the market in any way you could. Even though I never worked there, it's a station I can still hear in my mind, and enjoyed competing against. The station was always entertaining and exciting.
When I took a brief hiatus from radio and worked for Atlantic records, WAVA was one of the stations I worked. Working in the record industry was a bit like being a high-class pimp, but it was a thrill getting WAVA to play one of our songs. I always wanted to work for the station, sorry I never took the time to apply. You were all a very tight and talented group. The kind we all wish we'd been a part of.
I heard about your web site from the Don and Mike show on WJFK and I thought I would drop you a line. Mike said he found your web site last night and he was talking about the WAVA e-reunion that was recently held. Its a good thing that you don't get your feelings hurt by Don and Mike. From their tone I wouldn't be expecting cards or flowers from them on Valentine's Day tomorrow. I hope things are going well for you. Well I have to get back to the grindstone and back to bean counting.
Jon "Rock n' Roll" Anthony here. I was doing 10pm-2am, in 1983, on WAVA. After WAVA I went to WZOU-FM in Boston where I did 6-10pm for about a year. I then went to the legendary Q-105 in Tampa Bay to do 7-10pm. After Q-105 I went across the street to the "Power Pig" and did afternoons. I'm still in Tampa. Been married 12 years, have a son 10 years old. I'm currently the Production Director for "93.3 FLZ" & "News Radio 970 WFLA". I also own Jon Anthony Productions and I voice-track, 6-11pm on (Oldies) KLOU-FM, St. Louis.
Jon Anthony/Tampa, FL
I can always mark my first night on the air at WAVA for being the jock announcing that Mike Tyson had just been knocked out by Buster Douglas... February 11(?), 1990. This was before the Internet, so I spent my entire first night having people on the request line tell me I was a LIAR!
After my year at WAVA, and didn't everyone have one, I went on to do nights at 92Pro-FM in Providence, RI. After a stint doing nights in Roanoke at K92 for WAVA alum Ed Chris Munster Taylor, it was on to my first morning gig, signing on the station WBHT, Hot 97 in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton. A great learning experience where I didn't have to worry about an audience to embarrass myself in front of! Plus, I got to implement all of the prep strategies I learned watching Frank produce the D & M show.
After 4 years there, it was on to mornings for 5 years at Z104 in Madison, WI. And now for the past year, I have been the morning guy at Star 102.1 in Knoxville, TN.
My time at WAVA was the best learning experience of my career. I thank Matt Farber and Dave Elliot for the chance, Karl Phillips and David Edgar for making me feel better after spilling Pepsi on the board, Don Geronimo for making fun of me for speaking during a staff meeting and George McFly for racing back into the studio to change the processing half way though my shift, after Matt called the hotline to blame ME! It was a blessing to be on a station one and half miles from the home where I grew up. Hard to believe it's been a decade.
Marc Anthony/Knoxville, TN
My life after WAVA:
Followed Alan Goodman over to WGAY/WRC to be Marketing Director. Well, that's what I get for following him. Wasn't even there for 1 year and off he goes to New York! Anyway, in 1993 I had a beautiful baby boy. He is now 8 going on 18! I left WGAY/WRC and went to WJFK as a sales person. Selling the familiar Don & Mike. Was there for a couple of years and left to go work with your friend and mine... Dennis Reese! Still crazy as ever, but he has matured a little. Dennis and I introduced the Next Generation Network to the DC Market (you may have seen the 27" computer monitors hanging above the cash registers in the 7-Elevens with ads, news, weather, sports). Sold that for 3 years and then like an idiot I went back to WJFK-FM as their New Business Development Manager. Talk about stress! At the end of 2001 I landed at DC101 and I absolutely love it!! Russ and I have been married for 12 years now and live in Loudoun County.
Are we going to have an actual reunion?
Shandelle Barton/South Riding, VA
Gene "Bean" Baxter
Hey WAVA friends and family!
I was Flash Phillips (Thanks, T.K.) from 1985 - 1988. I have continued to fail upward ever since. After stops in Phoenix (afternoons, KZZP) and San Francisco (Music Director, KXXX), I teamed up with another dude to form the Kevin & Bean show and start in the morning on KROQ, Los Angeles. That was in January 1990 and we are still on and still doing well. My wife Donna and I moved to Seattle in June 1999 and I started doing my half of the show from home. Sweet!
Looking forward to hearing from any and all of you that care to drop a note.
Gene "Bean" Baxter/Seattle, WA
I left WAVA the beginning of 1987 and later that year went over to direct the format switch of Classy 95 back to WPGC. After that, I went on to do mornings and program in Charlotte at Kiss 102, then on to mornings at KS-104 in Denver for 2 years. I did a year of Oldies at WFBC in Greenville, SC before going to do mornings at KTFM in San Antonio. Spent 2 years in mornings at WTRG in Raleigh and ended up here at Mix 100.7 WLEV in Allentown, PA working for Citadel in the morning and have been here for about a year and a half.
WAVA is without doubt the best, most well rounded staff I have ever been on. I originally did middays, but was moved to PM drive when Don Geronimo was moved to mornings. I listen to the old tapes from time to time and am still thrilled to have been part of such a great radio station. I give a lot of the credit to Smokey Rivers, who after all was the PD the first time we blew past Alan Burns and Q-107.
All the best to you and all the other WAVA alumni!!!!
PS: pick a good photo of me ya bastard!!! LOL!!!! My web site is www.beachmaniac.com.
Mike Beach/Allentown, PA
After WAVA I enjoyed my payoff for a while. Went to Detroit to get my old station ready for sale. Went to Chicago for about 8 months to change formats from The Blaze to Rock 103 for Ginsburg. Consulted with Alan Burns and traveled the world. Literally.
Came to Tampa over six years ago to work with the former owner of my Detroit station. Was sold to Clear Channel then to Cox. Now, Director of Operations for Cox Tampa 2 over 1025 Tampa Bays Real Classic Rock Station and Tampa Bays New Rock Alternative 97X as well as advisor for other Cox stations.
It's sunny and warm and 77 today.
Have a good one.
Chuck Beck/Tampa, FL
I left WAVA after I had Kate, my first child. For some reason, jumping to bars doing beer promotions just wasn't high on my list. She is now 17 and my youngest daughter is 13. Bill and I have been married for 21 years--I say no more.
I've managed to work in sales and marketing for the past 10 years, mostly part-time while my children were young. I now am the director of marketing for Governing magazine, a monthly publication that has 86,000 subscriber in the state and local market. I manage promotions for the advertising department--not that far removed from what I did for WAVA 17 years ago. It's come full circle. Hope all is well.
Denise Benoit/Alexandria, VA
Great hearing from you, Frank! After WAVA, I went to Philadelphia where I did afternoon drive at WEGX and then WIOQ. When the six figure pm-drive salaries began to disappear, I decided to get into morning radio. In late 1993 through most of 1994, I was the am drive host at KGGI Riverside/San Bernardino. That gig was cool, but having separated from my wife in Philly, I was anxious to get back to Pennsylvania to be near my two kids. In late 1994, I accepted the morning show host position at top 40 WLAN/Lancaster, PA...where I stayed from 1994-2000. It was quite a success, and very fun. But I became a victim of Clear Channel's many budget cuts in late 2000. Thats OK, as after only a few weeks of unemployment, I landed on my feet as morning host at WIOV/Lancaster. (country...but who cares?) That is where I am now, still in radio, and a very big fish in a little, stress free pond. Perhaps after my kids (now 15 and 12) graduate from high school, I may venture back out to the majors as the best afternoon drive man in the nation. (www.cadillac-jack.com)
Thanks for remembering me, Frank. I always thought you were great, and a major reason for Don & Mike's success. Best Wishes to you, too. And PLEASE, say hello to David for me, OK?
Brett Dumler/Chicago, IL
After WAVA I joined B94 Pittsburgh for what I thought would be a short stint. (Everybody said that Pittsburgh was a Pitt!... It wasn't). I ended up staying for 8 and a half years. I was promoted to APD/Afternoons and then PD. I met my wife Cindy in Pittsburgh and we've been married 6 years. We have two daughters, Ashley (almost 3) and Courtney (just over a year).
In September of 2000 I decided it was time to make a move and I rejoined Emmis as program director of WNOU RadioNOW 93.1 at the Emmis corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. (My GM calls me Boomerang because I came back to Emmis.) In less than 2 years, RadioNOW has become the number one hit music station in INDY, knocking a heritage CHR out of the format!
David Edgar/Indianapolis, IN
Janet (From Another Planet) Elliott
They say time flies when you are having fun... or when you are spitting out children! After God took over WAVA, I went back to work at Metro Traffic, started doing on-air reports for the Fox Morning News and other radio stations. Found myself unattached in 1993, but met a great guy in November of that same year and married on St. Patrick's Day of 1994. Yes, his name is Jim Elliott, no, not that Jim Elliott. We now have 3 children... Jack, Delaney and Shea. In 1996 I went to work at Z104 in DC, co-hosting the morning show. I stayed there until January of 2001, when the Mormon Gods struck, and I was unceremoniously dumped. I am now looking for a great part-time gig. Still think of those WAVA days as the best of times and the end of an era in radio. Hope all of you are doing fantastically well. Kisses!
Janet Elliott/Centreville, VA
Karl (Phillips) Fippinger
Fun all morning, music all day...MusicPower 105 - WAVA (and the summer's hottest hits). The phrase that pays is as much a part of my memory today as it was back in 1990 when I rushed in to do a Saturday afternoon weekend shift on the same day as my college graduation.
Like many of you I have fond memories of the 50,000 watt music machine, YDE, Big-Al you're Wave-uh pal, D&M, Fraaaaaannnnnk, Diana, Matt Farber jumping up and down excited by his latest creative idea, the mystery man and woman, 6 Mazda Miatas with six ways to win them, Halloween Bash at Union Station and New Year's at the Hard Rock. A great deal has changed since my days at WAVA, but the memories endure.
I still keep in touch with good friends David Edgar (who was even crazy enough to let me do a shift on B94 during his tour of duty there) and Chris "Learjet" Leary (who is so "Hollywood" now that I practically have to call his agent before speaking with him). Learjet got me hooked up with 96-TIC FM prior to his departure which gave me (a hometown boy from the Hartford area) a shot to do some weekend shifts on the CHR I grew up listening to!
I'm reminded of Wave-uh days gone by on a daily basis by many of you including D&M, Loooooo and Big Don (doin' the Beltway Boooog-A-Loo) as I still have the good fortune to be able to tune them in on the metro Washington radio dial. Even ran into former engineer Fee Lee at the Fairfax Home Depot over Christmas...and yes, he's still the same old Fee! He just got laid-off from Westwood One and is on his way to work for a consulting firm.
The legend of "Danger Boy" is still alive and well amongst old WAVA fans. Local radiophiles still remind me of the time D&M had me abducted by the linebacking corps of the Washington Redskins and subsequently dunked in the team whirlpool. Danger Boy running through live shots of network morning shows in New Madrid, Missouri is also an enduring memory.
My wife Kim and I met at the old Champions Restaurant and Sports Bar in Falls Church...of course while David Edgar, Learjet and a cast of thousands all ran enormous tabs against Gary Roz's trade dollars. Thanks G-Roz!!!! Kim and I married in 1994 and reside in Fairfax with a 3-year old yellow Labrador named Chief and our 7-year old Himalayan cat named Crystal. No kids yet, but one never knows!
I think back on my WAVA experiences, lessons, memories and friendships each time I see the old tower and building in Arlington. I'm proud to say that WAVA was a part of my life and I miss those of you I had the opportunity to work with.
All the best...
(AKA - Karl Phillips, Karl the Prizeman, Karl the Henchman and Danger Boy )
Karl Fippinger/Fairfax, VA
Great talking to you Frank!!! Here's my info: "Captain" Dave Fogel (Left because I hated being a "Captain"...) I left WAVA in May 1989 for afternoons in Detroit... I left Motown in December 1996 for afternoons in Chicago (www.wtmx.com)... Still here and loving the Windy City!!! Wife, two kids and a cat...
Dave Fogel/Chicago, IL
see Greg Ryan
If you worked at WAVA full time you may not remember me but I worked summers in the promotions department with Michele Snyder, Shandelle Barton, Charlie Broyhill, Brendan Hurley and others. I drove the van around to concerts and such. After WAVA I graduated college and went to work at WTEM where I did promotions as well as being the board op on the Tony Kornhieser show. From there I moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to pursue a career in sitcom writing. I got my first job in 1994 writing for a show called "On Our Own". After that I wrote on a show called "Family Matters" for two years. In 1995 I created a show that was ironically "Built to Last" for NBC that was canceled after three episodes. From there I went to a show called 'Getting Personal" on Fox and then to animated show called, "Family Guy." Two years ago I created a show called, "yes, dear" that is on CBS Monday nights at 8:30. We've been picked up for our third season and things are going great.
More importantly, I've been married five years and have two children. Camden is four and Nathan is two. We all live in Los Angeles and get back to D.C. two or three times a year to see family.
I've been able to keep in touch with some people that worked at WAVA, but would love to hear from anyone I haven't talked to.
Greg Garcia/Los Angeles, CA
I will have been at WTEM for 10 years as of next month. I'm now in charge of Traffic for WTEM, WWRC and WTNT and let me tell you that Talk is way different from a Music format. I actually have to work now. I now have 3 grandsons (hard for me believe) and the oldest is starting middle school this year. He was just a baby when we were "escorted from the building." I bought my first house 3 years ago and I'm just trying to be a mature, responsible adult. Yeah... right!
Robbye Gomez/Rockville, MD
After WAVA I took several months to travel throughout the Far East... Bali, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, etc... at the beginning of the Gulf War. Do you know how many Muslims live in that far off place? When the Muslims in Malaysia, and Indonesia decided to volunteer to fight America I decided it was time for a Hot Pastrami sandwich on New York rye bread.
I took a job as president of Ackerly Radio, which the old man promptly sold for multi-millions. It was time for another Hot Pastrami sandwich. Followed by VP of WGAY/WRC... a year later to New York as VP of Z100.
Months later I married a gift, an angel Diane... still my angel and mother of three children Sarah-7, Sam-5, Jessica-3... no more... we're done... the third one the consequence of a cheap bottle of white wine... no more white wine... no more kids... maybe some red wine. Yes... I'll be 73 when the last one leaves for college. Jon, my oldest-28, living in LA, doing very well selling Medical supplies... a great son.
Two years later Z100 sold to the Disney family Trust... a former promotion guy at one of the stations married Disney's daughter and took over the company. A year later he and I realized that the only thing we ever agreed upon was my departure date.
A couple of Pastrami sandwiches later I bought 14 stations in small markets in Western Kansas... I owned a small piece. It's good that most of you have driven on I-70 through Kansas. Had you stopped for a while you would have readily recognized that western Kansas should qualify as a third world country eligible for World Bank funding. A memorable experience: I owned 3 stations in Dodge City (my largest city) yea... the Dodge City where they have the real boot hill. Each year they have a major rodeo -- 25,000 attend. I am invited and accept the opportunity to ride in on top of a stage coach with a big cowboy hat, etc... tipping the hat to the public as they announce Alan Goodman owner of the radio stations, etc. Imagine this partially fat, bald headed, Jewish guy from New York, sitting on top of a real stage coach waiving his ten gallon hat. Man... would my parents have been proud. Two years later the investors sell the stations. I move to Columbus Ohio for Saga Communications (a great company -- one of the few left along with Emmis) as President of WSNY/WVKO for almost 4 years.
Seeing all of your names and up-to-date info made me think of the closing credits from Animal House. Somehow we all (except the jerks) moved on to successful, interesting lives. My memories of WAVA... at least the ones that I remember were that they were the best. Unfortunately, given the state of the industry, they probably can't be duplicated. It was a rare time in which a great group of very talented people built a product that gave great joy to many... both listeners and fellow workers... at least it was for me... Big Al your Radio Pal.
Alan Goodman/Columbus, OH
Diane Fries Goodman
Diane Goodman/Columbus, OH
I worked at WAVA part-time from 1984-1989... at the same time I was doing morning news at B104/Baltimore. After WAVA and B104, I did afternoon news at W-LITE. After W-LITE, it was back to Baltimore for P/T work at then-Variety 104.3 (they should just retire the frequency out of respect for what was once on it) and WQSR. Then, morning news at Oldies 100 from '93-95. After Oldies 100, correspondent/anchor at NBC Radio/Mutual Broadcasting System from '95 til the networks died in 1998. While there, I invested heavily in a home studio with ISDN. In '97 I started anchoring at WTOP part-time. 98-99 I was Washington bureau chief/PM anchor for public-funded World Radio, anchoring out of my house. I also started my voiceover business (www.seanhall.com) around that time. When World Radio died, I worked 4-5 days a week at WTOP and stepped up the freelance work. In 2000, I spent some time anchoring at CBS/MarketWatch radio. Nowadays, I'm anchoring at WTOP four days a week and working out of my house the rest of the time. I probably make more money in my underwear than fully clothed. It's a lifestyle I hope to keep for a long time.
I truly enjoyed my time at WAVA. It was a great place to work.
Sean Hall/Arlington, VA
September 1990: After the embarrassment and devastation of being fired from The Don and Mike Show, I quickly landed on my feet and got a job as a part time receptionist at WETA-FM. At the time I was depressed, but later realized it was the best thing that ever happened in my radio career! I went on to become a production assistant and then producer of 5 or 6 different shows at WETA-FM. From there I produced a 5 part series on classical music and arts in Europe. My series was called ON HOLIDAY and was funded by the European Union and aired on Public Radio International. It won some awards.
From there I went to National Public Radio and produced "Performance Today", "Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon", and "All Things Considered". One piece I produced was on comedian Jon Stewart's book. In it he had a piece making fun of Larry King. I thought it would be funny to have Mike O'Meara read the part of Larry King (his impression was great!) I remember asking if he remembered me and I asked how he was. He said he had no idea who I was and he was very busy! Still as pleasant as ever after all these years! In short, a year and a half ago, I hung up my radio producer hat and bought a horse farm in Middleburg, Virginia (www.foxchasefarm.net). I'm now on the board of directors for the Washington International Horse Show, and enjoying life on the farm! Recently my farm was named in the latest book on Middleburg, called "THE MIDDLEBURG MYSTIQUE".
Maureen Hanley/Middleburg, VA
After leaving WAVA as a glorified part-timer, Michele Snyder hired me as the promotions coordinator at Sports Talk 570, WTEM. I was promoted to promotion manager a year later and then promoted to promotions director of our sister FM station, Oldies 100, WBIG in 1995. After 1.5 years there, I moved to New York to take on the role of national director of the Achievement In Radio Awards. I am very proud of my accomplishments in this job, having increased the number of programs around the country from 3 when I arrived to 15 when I left and increasing the net revenue from $165,000 when I arrived to over a half million dollars when I left a year and a half later.
I was coaxed into coming back to DC to become the Marketing Director for Oldies 100. In 2001, the company offered me similar responsibilities for a second radio station, WASH FM. I am also handling several cluster projects including oversight and management of the largest project we have ever taken on in the Washington/Baltimore area called the Rock 'n' Sports Experience, an interactive rock & roll and sports expo next weekend at the DC convention center.
In addition to my professional responsibilities, I'm now in my third semester of graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, trying to get my masters degree in marketing. Whether I actually finish or not, is still up in the air!
All the best!
Brendan Hurley/Rockville, MD
Thanks for writing to me buddy. In the last 10 years I have been at B 96 Chicago where I did nights, Alice 106 Denver where I did afternoons, then B 98.7 Salt Lake City where I did mornings, Mix 102.9 Dallas where I did mornings and had a great show till CC came in and yanked us. We began in 14th place and were in 5th 25-54 and 3rd 18-34 when they yanked us. The four people beating us all had 15 years or more in the city with Ron Chapman having been there for 32 years. I then came up here to Minneapolis to do mornings for CC again at their new Classic Hits station which they decided to do more music in the mornings at just 6 months ago. I have some exciting prospects and expect to be working again very soon. Thanks buddy. Hope all is well and tell David I said hi. (www.alankabel.com)
Alan Kabel/Minneapolis, MN
Although I wasn't actually at 105 CAPITAL RADIO when it went g-d, I'll still send you my paragraph:
The last 10 years of Loo's Life included getting married to a nice Jewish girl from Noo Jersey, having 2 wonderful children and staying employed in my hometown of Washington DC. In 2000, I left HOT AC MIX 107.3 after doing PM drive there for 10 years. I "crossed the street" and joined AC 97.1 WASH-FM for afternoons and am having a blast working on one of the 2 sticks I always dreamt of working at when I was a kid...the other was WPGC (alumni 1980-84).
I can be reached at www.washfm.com. Hope all of my old WAVE-UH pals are alive and well. Now, Chip, crank up that reverb will ya?
Loo Katz/North Potomac, MD
I've been the regional manager of promotion for Elektra Records/Warner Music Group for the past 12 years living in Cleveland, Ohio. Married to Karen for 22 years with three kids, Steve who is 19 and a Sophomore at the University of Toledo, Jackie who is a senior at Brecksville High, and Katie who is 14 and a soccer star with the Internationals. Their team has won the Washington Area Girls Soccer Tournament two out of the last three years! This has taken me back to DC every fall and has made me marvel at the explosive growth since my days at WAVA back in 1983-1987. Oakton, Virginia, were I lived, is no longer a bedroom community but a huge population center. My personal life is getting better every day as my faith in Jesus Christ continues to not only sustain me but bless me daily.
Tom Kent/Cleveland, OH
I don't know if part-timers count on this reunion, but since I have remained in the "business", I sure would like to know where everybody from the glory days of WAVA ended up!
After I graduated from George Mason University, I worked at WAVA, part-time, Sundays from 6am-12noon, from July 1985 to December of 1987. (Thanks for getting me the job, Frank!) I did a little fill-in work toward the end of my days at WAVA and also helped out during really big promotions like parades or the Potomac River Festival. I left WAVA for my first full-time job in radio, at WRAR-FM in Tappahannock, VA, which I began in January of 1988. I ended up staying at WRAR for 14 years(!), first as the midday announcer and eventually ending up as the Program Director/Music Director/Promotion Director and as a member of the morning show. In July of 2001, I finally left WRAR, and joined WINC-FM in Winchester, VA, as the evening announcer (7pm-mid). In November, I was promoted to Assistant PD/Music Director. That's it, in a nutshell.
Anyway, I'm more interested in finding out what has happened to my radio heroes from WAVA! Thanks!
Paula Kidwell/Winchester, VA
Well after almost 10 years @ WGMS, here I am at 1801 Rockville Pike as the Sales Manager for WASH-FM. I've been here 14 months. Life is good. I had my first grandson last December and am enjoying it tremendously. I took up golf about 8 years ago... as if radio sales wasn't aggravating enough. Good to hear from you.
Loretta Lage/Rockville, MD
I worked at WAVA from 1990 - 1992, as a phone jammer and a board op. After WAVA died, I did 7 - midnight at Z104 in Frederick, Maryland. I worked there for a year, then I decided to go to college. While I in college, I worked part time at K92 in Roanoke with Chris Taylor and later at Q99 in Roanoke. When I graduated, I was working part-time at 3 stations at the same time: Q94 in Richmond, I was working with Big Don at WINX in Rockville, and I was doing news production at WTOP in Washington. For the past couple of years, I have been working for a couple of start up telecom companies in the DC area. I also do some voice tracking work at WKHZ in Ocean City, Maryland.
Dan Lane/Centreville, VA
O.K. there Frank... Here it goes...
From WAVA I went up to Hartford CT. to do afternoons. Just about 11 months into that gig, 96TICFM hired a consultant named Gary Wall who expressed that he didn't appreciate my work on the air. The night guy Jo Mama was gunning for my gig as well. That didn't help matters.
Probably about a month before I was gonna get canned, I got a call from Jeff Wyatt to do nights at KIIS in L.A. I actually really dug the staff at TIC but I wasn't gonna stick around to get canned. Besides, KIIS-FM! Holy crap!
I did nights at KIIS for a while. Meanwhile, I picked up a little gig for Fox Kids to do a radio countdown show in '94. That gig has changed over the past 7 1/2 years.
KIIS asked Wyatt to exit then the staff soon followed. I then got a gig doing country in L.A. The P.D. called me out of nowhere. I did it until that P.D. was asked to leave... and again, I soon followed.
In '99, The radio countdown show sprouted into a TV countdown show that aired on Fox Family Channel for about two years (that was fun).
A few P.D.s later, KIIS hired me back in '99 for part time. My agent (that sounds goofy) but my agent sent my demo to various places in L.A. where I had lots of auditions. I had a few double call backs on some game show stuff, but nothin' stuck. He also sent my demo (www.chrisleary.net) to the WWF in Stamford CT. At the time, I didn't know they still had wrestling, however I auditioned and they hired me in July '01 to host secondary on camera shows and some secondary color commentary stuff as well. It's not an easy life for me here because it's so different from what I used to do, but the company is really good and I'm hoping to become a solid figure here in the future... or at least until they get a consultant.
By the way, the radio countdown is still going. We just got picked up by Fox Broadcasting and now we operate our offices on the Fox lot in L.A. We still use Dees' studio at KIIS and I use an ISDN out of my house here in Stamford.
And to this date, I still haven't tried to get Burl Ives to sing anything Christmassy. How's that, big guy?
Chris Leary/Stamford, CT
After WAVA died, I went back to working my full time job at Westwood One. I helped maintain the facilities at Crystal City, VA up to March of 2001. It was decided that that facility would be closed and functions it formerly performed would be done up in New York by CBS radio. We dismantled the entire network operation in Virginia and tossed most of it into the dumpster. I was the last one out and turned the lights out for the last time in Crystal City.
I was unemployed for the most of 2001 and did odd jobs in the local broadcasting industry. In January of 2002 I started a new position as a broadcasting consultant in a local broadcast engineering firm "Denny & Associates."
Fee Lee/Centreville, VA
Aloha! Here I am in sunny, beautiful Hawaii. If you think your market is strange, you ain't seen nothing! I truly FEEL like the whitest man in America (thanks Bean), considering that 66% of the population here are Pacific Islanders.
After leaving WAVA I headed for the sunshine of LA and KLSX. That lasted 9 months before I got tired of producing promos for a Classic Rock... just not my style. From there, on to Tampa, Florida and Q105 for the Q105/Power Pig early 1990s battle. Nothing, not even the Power 105 / Q107 / B106.7 competition could have prepared me for that!! Very nasty stuff (but wasn't that Jacor's style?) My stay in Tampa included stints at Q105, MOR Music TV (think the illegitimate offspring of VH1 and the Home Shopping network), Mix 96 (with former Q105 air talent, Mason Dixon), the format flip of Mix to Modern AC Star 95.7 and running into WAVA alumni Jon "Rock'n Roll" Anthony. While at Mix 96, I was promoted to Assistant PD along with my production duties.
In December of 2000, I left Tampa to Program KUCD / Star 101.9 in Honolulu, Hawaii... 9 months later, management decided I wasn't what they were looking for. Still haven't quite figured out what they expected, but I'm still in Hawaii, now working for Mediabase. Yes, I play name that tune all day long! It's a cool gig... no egos to deal with, but I do miss the excitement of radio. If you know of any PD / APD / MD gigs, click on my résumé and let me know... I just might put away the surfboard and head back to the mainland!
Ken Martin/Honolulu, HI
Wow! 10 years!... Man!... Hi guys... George McFly here... man..... I miss all of you... the past 10 years..........let's see... well... I've been in Chicago, L.A., Denver, Chicago, D.C. for 4 months at Z-104, Chicago again, and the last job I had was at B-96 in Minneapolis doing mornings. I got fired for the first time in my career last March ,and have been out of work since. I want to tell you all how much you meant to me, and still mean to me after all these years! The experience at WAVA was something I'll always remember... Man, what a great radio station that was! The heritage, the sound, and the most talented bunch of crazy people I ever had the privilege to work with!
The bit that stands out the most in my mind is the rap I did for Don, Mike, and Frank for the morning show over the intro of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire"... Good times... many great memories! The past year I've been dealing with some personal issues, and this year I had many trials, tribulations, and challenges, but God is good, and I'm coming back stronger than ever!... Spiritually, emotionally, and lets not forget... physically! I'm 235 pounds, bigger than a house, and I'm still bench pressing small trucks! Yes, things are looking up! And Don, on a personal note, it took a long time to sink in, and even longer for me to apply, but I finally understand what you've been trying to instill in me for all these years, and I thank you for all your kind words and support over the years... especially the past few which have been rough for me... Thank you Frank, for never forgetting me... Thank you everyone, for the great memories! WAVA ! What a radio station!
George McFly/Minneapolis, MN
After making KHKS-FM the #2 station in Dallas, as PD, I left to pursue my voice-over career (www.jjmckay.com). I also got married while at KHKS, to Melinda, we have a 2 year old little girl, Madison Nicole McKay. Also I have 3 internet ONLY radio stations: www.hotcountryhits.com; www.hothitradio.com and www.killeroldies.fm
JJ McKay/Lewisville, TX
see Chris Taylor
5 days after WAVA went under, I moved to L.A. (actually Burbank) to work for Jay Thomas at KPWR (a hip hop station!). Jere, Meaghan & Frankie moved to California 10 months later when we finally sold our Dale City "mansion." After Jay Thomas left radio, I found a job working at KROQ for Kevin & Bean from 1993 to 1996. I segued from there to the syndicated Mark & Brian show at KLOS from 1996 to 1999. I jumped at the chance when a former KLOS PD offered me the opportunity to be on the air as co-host of the morning show at KLYY. Perhaps I should have looked before I leaped, because that station went Spanish by Christmas '99 and I just went. I was at home minding my own business when the dot com revolution came calling and I got a job hosting my own talk show at an Internet radio station. You can guess how that turned out. Meanwhile, I am fortunate to have a couple of great morning show consulting clients that keep me "in the game."
Our kids have spent more time in California than they did in Virginia. Meaghan is 16 and a high school sophomore. Frankie is 12 and in sixth grade. We make an effort to appreciate all that Southern California has to offer.
I've spent the last few months building my website, applying for morning show openings around the country and doing the consulting I mentioned. So while you're here, please click around, look at some photos and read my bio or résumé or holiday newsletter or even my tribute to marshmallows. If you have time, please read the note at the end of the column, too. Thanks for keeping in touch and thanks for participating in the WAVA e-reunion!
Frank Murphy/Burbank, CA
Greetings from the former Pee Wee of the Morning Zoo! Hard to believe ten years have gone by, blah blah blah. After the zoo I went to B-104 in Baltimore only to run into WAVA's Sean Hall. Then back to DC and PGC in between a poor attempt at stand-up and a morning show in Maine. Then back to DC for talk radio with Morton Downey Jr. and Alan Goodman. Lotta smoke in that room! Even did a talk show on the new WAVA and heard that renovations found some Playboys stashed over the ceiling tiles of the old engineer's office . eeeeeeee I'm loving the news life now at Z104!
John Nolan/Arlington, VA
Big Don O'Brien
Hey Frank! It's Big Don O'Brien. Hard to believe it's been 10 years. As you know at the time I was doing afternoons at WAVA, I was also doing mornings at WYST (now 92Q) and weekend weather at WMAR TV in Baltimore. Alan Goodman was kind enough to send a limo for me everyday but I had to give up something and kept the morning gig. About a year after that WYST became Urban 92Q and I just didn't fit in for some reason yo. I was fired! (shocker!) I did mornings on talker WCBM for a few weeks and was fired! Continued to do weather for WMAR TV and went to OC to do afternoons on OC104 during the week. I also did Good Morning Delmarva on WMDT TV for a short while but I was fired! I also was a TV pitchman for a Ford dealership but after a few years I was fired! I worked briefly at The Coast in OC but decided to move back to Baltimore to concentrate on my TV career. 1 week before I was to move back I was fired! I began doing weekend fill in work for WQSR radio in Baltimore and the weekend version of Good Morning Washington on WJLA TV in DC. I did weather and feature reporting for about 4 years there until I was fired! My friend Bill Parris asked me to program WINX which had just turned to CHR. I did that until Mega bought it and I was fired! I continued working for WQSR. I am now doing a night time request show and loving it. So far I haven't been fired!
In the middle of all this I met my fiancé we are raising her nine year old together. My daughter got married and made me a grandfather! (just call me pop pop Don) I hope all is well with you and your family. I still think of you whenever a B-List celebrity dies!
That's enough of my rambling...please stay in touch. Those were fun years at a great radio station!
Big Don O'Brien/Baltimore, MD
see Gene Baxter
left WAVA in January 1991 for the birth of my first child. I visited often
and remained very attached to the station and the people up until the end.
Since then, communication with old WAVA friends and the music of the WAVA era
help me to keep the memory alive. I have spent the last eleven years
raising my children - Jessica (11), Sam (7) and Danny (5). They provide me
with the greatest joy and the greatest challenges imaginable. In addition
to soccer, drama, scouts, karate, scraped knees and runny noses, I now
devote much of my time to DogHouse Media, the video post production facility
that Steve and I opened in May 2000. Steve does the editing and I do
whatever I can in between carpools, doctors appointments and volunteering.
I am learning the video business, as that appears to be my future. Radio
is now simply what entertains me as I drive from place to place. My four
years at WAVA left me with many fond memories -- some of which I will share with
my kids and many that I will not. It was one of the most hilarious,
frustrating, enlightening, and insane experiences of my life. I miss you
Susan Raider Kobren/Clarksville, MD
(Fred Flanzer), PD at WAVA 1984-86
Past ten years:
OM, WMC AM/FM, Memphis, TN 1991-93
OM, KYKY/KEZK, St. Louis, MO 1993-Present
My kids, Natalie and Jason, have grown up in St. Louis. Natalie is a freshman at The University of Kansas, while Jason is a sophomore at Marquette High School in suburban STL. He's in a band, Split, and they've recorded their first CD live in our garage. What a trip!
Cindy, my wife of 21 years, is a marketing rep for Phillips/Van Heusen, the shirt company, and services the St. Louis and Kansas City markets.
Radio is and always will be a trip! It's worth getting up for every day.
Smokey Rivers/St. Louis, MO
Nice reunion you've got going here, Frank!
Where's the bar?
Me? Well, once God took over WAVA and fired everyone except me, I quit and "contract" engineered for the new owners for a few weeks. THAT was an eye opener. But I was just killing time before I ran off to Russia to become the GM of the first US-Russian joint venture commercial FM radio station in Moscow. I already had the gig lined up while we were in the lame duck session during WAVA's last days.
I pretty much built it myself in spite of the &(@^%*$ ownership and @#%&*#. We went on the air with a live broadcast from McDonalds. Quite American, no? I got interviewed by CNN, BBC, InterTASS, etc. It was my fifteen minutes. Not bad for an engineer, in my estimation. I quit the day after the station went live to minimize my risk of being implicated with ^#* @#*^ who *@#(%(!@ in ^%$^$% which &^!(@** and *(^#*$#!@ which would have &$(@&#)% actually the US partners' *&%^&%$ who &^&*@#% the truth.
When I got back to the US I tried to get an import/export thing going with Russia. I made a lot of calls, did a few trips, represented a couple of US investors with potential projects in Russia, had some fun, made very lttle money, got boned when I tried to buy a small station in central PA, then decided to change careers.
And we decided to move. Ida and I moved back to Rochester where I quickly got a job in an IT network group at Rochester Tel. When they found out about my technical broadcast experience, I was placed in charge of their new internal video conference network. Then Rochester Tel became Frontier. Then it was bought by Global Crossing. Yes, THAT Global Crossing. If it wasn't for Enron, we would've been the front page story as far as bankruptcies go. Thanks, Enron! I have to watch my health now because I'll have to work until I'm 86 as I my 401k Chernobyl'ed along with Global Crossing. But I'm having fun nevertheless surviving the turmoil while managing over 70 worldwide videoconfence sites, producing corporate streaming media, developing AV facilities and shooting/editing video. So I went from editing 1/4" tape on a splicing block to editing video on an Avid. Go figure.
During all that, Ida and I had two boys, Alex in '95 and Victor in '97. (pix at http://www.frontiernet.net/~nrozanov ) They are GREAT kids. Frank, you need to know that Ida and I used our memories of your fine kids as guidelines for how to raise ours. Thanks!
What I remember most about the WAVA days were all fun:
I finally sold the grey Jeep I had down in DC. To
a neighbor. It still brings back memories of Radio Arlington when I see it.
All the best to all the graduates of WAVA U.
PS I guess the rumors about Alan and Diane were true...
1991-1995: WBMX-FM, Boston, American Radio Systems, GSM
1996-2000: VP Operations, Connoisseur Communications Partners, sold 40 station group in 10 markets to Cumulus Media 10/00.
2001- present: President/COO Maverick Media LLC, currently owns and operates 11 stations in 3 markets, Santa Rosa, CA., Honolulu, HI, Big Island of Hawaii.
Gary S. Rozynek/Westport, CT
Bud, bud, BUDDAY!
After being unceremoniously bounced from WAVA minutes after the Emmis takeover (thanks, Mark), I took part in an experiment to revive the "WEAM Team" of sorts doing PM drive on WMZQ-AM and doing swing at the "Classy-95" incarnation of WPGC. Both formats were doomed. I also landed a swing gig at B104 in Baltimore for a couple years and did a year at WGRX with a simultaneous five year stint at VOA Europe.
While at B104, I began to do their Arbitron diary analysis. I started to do work for all Scripps-Howard stations, started working freelance for other research companies and hung out my Consultant shingle in 1988. Since then I have done projects for over 100 stations in as many markets (see www.jrruss.com).
In 1991, I left Laurel, MD and returned to Philly where I married the Joanne lady I met at a "Top FM-106 switch party" in 1983. (The party was not as kinky as it sounds!) In honor of the many trips across Lee Highway to the 7-11, our "after I do" song was Dire Strait's "Walk of Life". It seemed appropriate at the time. I also continued to commute to VOA in DC each weekend until 1992.
I made enough from consulting to pursue my first love, cars, and bought an auto dealership which I operated until this year when I sold the business and accepted the Wholesale Manager position at the 5th largest Dodge dealer in the USA. There, I control a 175 unit, $3 million inventory. When asked what I do, I reply that "I'm a mutt...I chase cars all day."
I miss being on the air but also know the business isn't what it was just ten short years ago. The radio business is now truly the business of radio. At least in the car biz you know the other guy is out to make a buck on you and as a friend said: "...the dishonesty is more honest." Since leaving WAVA, I have really only kept in close touch with Chris Montgomery and Mike Beach. However, I sometimes pull out those tapes and think "Damn, that was a prety good sounding station!"
Is that more than a paragraph? Oh well, I always had a problem with being "on & gone". Hi to anybody who cares and to those who don't...well...bite me.
Keep rockin, ockin',
JR Russ/Philadelphia, PA
Well let's see what has happened to "Joe Freakin' Friday" over the last 10 years. When the WAVA plug got pulled, I first tried to reapply with the new owners even vowing to change my name to Joe "Good Friday". They rejected that idea. So, it was pt work in DC/Balt. at Thunder Country in Manassas, Mix 107.3, where I became....Greg Ryan, and then Variety 104.3. Moved to Charlotte, NC in 92 for Morning Drive on WAQQ 95.1. They sold out and I moved to the hills outside of Charlotte to be a PD/Morning Man on a new country station, KICKS 103.3, WKVS, in Sept. 93. Became GM/PD/Morning Show in Feb 94. Stayed there for 7 years then became GM at Clear Channel's WSIC/WFMX in Statesville, NC in July 2000. Closer to the Charlotte Metro, but still a non metro station.
The time in DC my wife (Karen) and I brought with us Ryan (my son), when we left we added to the family, (Kate) was born in Reston, VA. Now the perfect nuclear family of 4 resides in a small community in the foothills of Western NC. The only bad part of being a GM now is I miss my on-air work. It was fun, more than I thought I'd miss if I left being on the air. The good part is access to some great minds... plus stock options.
It must have been the time clock in my body going off because recently I pulled out my video copy of the farewell to WAVA tape. It brought back alot of memories. I hope you guys are doing well.
Sandy, I'll never forget you letting me shack up with you and Bob those months back then. I miss you guys very much. Thanks.
Greg Ryan/Statesville, NC
Tina (Medina) Scott
I can remember WAVA like it was yesterday. "Power 105 WAVA... you're caller 1-2-3-4-5... WAVA, caller 6-7-8-9-10... hey Greg do that W-W-W thing... please?" I loved being a "phone-jammer." Since then, I've been doing the radio thing and it's been great. After WAVA, I was brought aboard WGMS-AM to board op for boring classical station 570AM, then another format switch to "THE TEAM"... SportsRadio 570AM. I was hired to board op for the Jean Fugette & Ira Mellmen Show and then later for Tony Kornheiser (Washington Post) and James Brown (NFL on FOX). In 1995, I sampled an on-air shift (7pm-12m) in Mechanicsville MD... STAR 98.3FM! I was really bad... so I turned towards promotions and months after fell into radio ad sales. Since 1995, I have been in radio ad sales and happily married to Randy Scott, WAVA's Assistant Engineer!
Tina Medina Scott/Rockville, MD
Hi Former WAVA survivors. I’m not sure I’m worthy of such an elite group. but here’s my 10 year synopsis.
I was Assistant Producer for the Don and Mike Show from 1986-1990. I left WAVA in 1990 and spent 1 year producing the Glenn Beck show at the now defunct B-104 in Baltimore. After they blew us out for budget reasons, (Or was it a format change, I get the 2 confused) I took up with Don and Mike again, this time at WJFK. I was with them from 1991 to 1996 as Executive Producer.
Next I spent 2 years as the Program Director at the now defunct (there’s a pattern here) WWRC-AM. Evergreen did a frequency swap with WTEM and changed the talk format to Business Radio, so I was moved down the hall as Production Director for sister station WGAY and what was now the new Business Radio 570.
During the time at WGAY, I married the world’s greatest guy, bought a house four months later... then was fired the next day! Funny how that happens!
By then my husband had knocked me up, and I didn’t really want to commit to a new job, so I just did a lot of voice work, overnight traffic shifts, and various gigs as an independent producer and remote engineer.
After the baby came I went back to work, this time at WorldSpace (an international digital broadcasting company in DC) as Program Manager of their 2 original spoken word channels. This was by far the coolest job ever. Not to mention the facilities were out of this world! Then in early 2000 my husband was transferred to Chicago, where we live now with our 2 year old son Michael and 2 month old daughter Samia (Mia.)
Since moving to Chicago I have made a lot of great contacts. I still manage to crank out a good deal of voice work and am looking forward to my next radio adventure as soon as my daughter grows up a bit.
Hope all of you are doing well, looking forward to hearing all about everyone’s life over the last decade. Thanks to Frank for getting this all together. Love to hear from any of you….
Diana Silman Pagnotta/Chicago, IL
After WAVA closed down (I still remember every second of those last few days)... I went to work for WTEM-AM sports radio in D.C. -- and the new home of the Washington Redskins (for three years at least). Then when my daughter Jenny got kicked out of the JCC daycare for biting... the psychiatrist they sent her to said I should quit working full time. Soooo -- I was hired by WTOP part time as Marketing Director. I was pretty happy there... until my husband got a job in Florida. So we headed to Miami where we basked in the sun for three years. We actually owned a minor league hockey team while we were there! Then we got a great opportunity in Chicago, where I have my own PR and special events business. I actually do some non-profit work!!
Some WAVA memories: Al Goodman chain
smoking and talking to his broker on the phone while I (who was six month
pregnant) napped on his couch... Mary Rankin... Sitting in Chuck Beck's office
brainstorming for another weekend promotional idea... Monster Bash with Katrina
and the Waves... the WAVA Fantasy Beach Weekend... Mary Rankin... George McFly's
I would love to hear from all my old friends!
Michele Snyder/Chicago, IL
Mark St. John
I have been consulting with Guy
Zapoleon since 1994, and prior to that was VP/Programming for the Dittman
Group (Birmingham, Mobile, Memphis). Look forward to the page -- hope all
is well with you.
Mark St. John/Birmingham, AL
I worked one of the last weekend shifts at WAVA and was doing overnights (part-time) at the time. I then went to WRVQ, Q94 Richmond to do Nights/MD/APD. Left to sign on Clear Channel CHR KQAR, Q100 in Little Rock (PD), was Program Director of WSSX, 95SX, Charleston, SC and WQEN/WQEN 103.7 The Q in Birmingham, AL and am now PD at WRVQ, Q94 Richmond, VA.
Billy Surf/Richmond, VA
Max (Bob) Sweeten
Hi Frank, Good to hear from you. [Publicist] Alan Rommelfanger keeps me updated on your whereabouts from time to time.
I've been living here in Charlotte since 1988 where I worked for the now defunct Kiss-102 as production director and later program director. I've spent the last 8 & 1/2 years as the director of the Bob and Sheri show now heard in over 60 markets across the country. I have a side career as an actor getting bit parts and appeared in national commercials for Aamco, Ford and the TV spokesman for Sear Pest Control (exciting huh?). I cherished those part-time overnight shifts at WAVA and enjoyed my time there.
Bob "Max" Sweeten/Charlotte, NC
hey home boy! how are you? hope you and the family are well. thanks for the email. i look forward to hearing what everyone is up to. I have been in Memphis as Operations Manager for a small company, Flinn Broadcasting for the last 4 1/2 years. I am also the guardian of a 17 year old. We connected through the Big Brother program when he was 13. His mom gave me guardianship a year ago. He is a great kid and now has the radio bug. He has worked at my station for the last couple years on air, running Casey Kasem, and handing out bumper stickers. I think that's how most of us did it.
Before Memphis I was working with Chuck Beck in Tampa at 102.5 The Point and prior to that I spent 3 years in Roanoke Va. programming K-92. I am still very close with Dennis DeYoung because of the "show me the way" mix. He and I speak about every other week. Styx may have fired him...but he is still going strong, about to go on a solo tour. Yes i'm still a geek about it.
It seems like forever since WAVA. I still very much miss those days. Anything else you want to know, just shoot me an email.
all the best
Chris "Ed Munster" Taylor/Memphis, TN
I got up in the middle-of-the-night to let out my 10-year-old 170 pound English Mastiff Tori and received your e-mail about WAVA's 10 year going away anniversary. I hope you and everybody is doing well! For the past four years I've been the front half of the Greg and Bo morning show here at Alice 106 in Denver. I work for Emmis and guess what? After bleeding us for the past year-and-a-half they're selling this property too! Wild.
I also spent six years in rainy Seattle doing afternoons at KPLZ, then mornings at KMPS. I'm still a radio gypsy, but I love Denver. I ran a marathon last year, play lots of golf, and added a basset hound and a girlfriend named Anne to my life. She just wore the WAVA long-sleved "LISTEN" t-shirt to bed two nights ago (the girlfriend, not the dog). Thanks for remembering me, hello to everyone. I miss you guys.
Greg Thunder/Denver, CO
Desiree (Oravec) Toler
Hi It's Desiree - I was one of the crazy fools that entered the contest "Lets find a receptionist." I wasn't hired for that position but I did qualify for the Admin/Office Mgr. Position. Not sure of my title I was just excited to work at WAVA. I was there from '90-'92 I believe. In the past 10 years I've changed my hair color a few times (it's now red), I got married (to Doug) and I had a little girl (named McKenna… she's now 5). I'm currently working at AOL (absolutely love) and I live a few blocks from Shandelle in South Riding (what a small world)... Some highlights of the good 'ole days… Did you ever realize that we didn't really go to work but rather 'Summer Camp'? Where else could you have water fights in the middle of the day or volunteer to take out the WAVA Posse jeeps to pass out free merchandise or dress up in all black to be the mystery person at the Janet Jackson concert? My short time at WAVA was awesome and I wouldn't have changed it for anything. Hope all is well with everyone... I'm online all day, drop me an email to catch up!
Desiree Oravec Toler/South Riding, VA
After WAVA, radio hasn't quite been the same, for better and for worse. Went to WMZQ and did mornings in the country format, and Bob (husband) found out that friends he'd had for years were country fans and he never knew it! IBM had other plans for us, and told Bob that he could either work in White Plains, NY or Atlanta, GA. That was 1994, and the decision was a no-brainer. We moved here, Bob with a job and me with hopes. Took a while to break into the Atlanta market, which is very under-radio-ed, so I did part time/vacation relief at a light rock station and then at a country station. Ended up full-time at light rock Peach 94.9 and I've been here for 5 years or so. I'm doing afternoon drive and loving it, and even liking most of the music. :-D
Personally, it's been an interesting decade. Moving to Atlanta was almost like coming home, as both of my brothers and my Dad live in the area. Mom passed away from breast cancer about 4 years ago, and it was good to be close enough to visit a lot beforehand and comfort Dad afterwards. Bob is into golf, and we live in a golf community where he's made lots and lots of great gambling/drinking/golfing friends, and I'm still into the dogs...we have 4 and they're all spoiled rotten. Bruce is still hanging in there, (that's the dog we named after Shadow Smith, aka Bruce Bisson) his daughter Chapin is hopefully pregnant right now, and her kids, Billy and Bonnie, are growing up and making me proud in the show ring. At the advanced age of 43, I have taken up hiking, because there's a Working Pack Dog title available and I want it on my three younger dogs. So...a bit better shape, but just as nutso over the dogs.
And every now and then, we pop in the WAVA video and smile...
Sandy Weaver/Atlanta, GA
"Hey, I just found out about this!"
If you worked at WAVA while it was a CHR station, you are invited to participate in this e-Reunion. E-mail a paragraph that describes what you did at WAVA and what you've done since it passed away to Frank Murphy. Don't send your photo, but do include the link to a photo of yourself on a non-porn website if you have one.
Clickable E-mail Directory:
|Jon "Rock'N Roll" Anthony||Dan Lane|
|Marc Anthony||Chris Leary (Learjet)|
|Shandelle Barton||Fee Lee|
|Gene "Bean" Baxter (Flash Phillips)||Ken Martin|
|Mike Beach||George McFly|
|Chuck Beck||JJ McKay|
|Denise Benoit||John Nolan|
|Cadillac Jack||Big Don O'Brien|
|Brett Dumler||Susan Raider|
|David Edgar||Smokey Rivers|
|Janet (From Another Planet) Elliott||Nick Rozanov|
|Matt Farber||Gary Rozynek|
|Karl Fippinger (Phillips)||J.R. Russ|
|"Cap'n" Dave Fogel||Greg Ryan (Joe Friday)|
|Greg Garcia||Dave Schreiber|
|Robbye Gomez||Tina (Medina) Scott|
|Alan Goodman||Diana Silman|
|Sean Hall||Michele Snyder|
|Maureen Hanley||Mark St. John|
|Brendan Hurley||Billy Surf|
|Alan Kabel||Max (Bob) Sweeten|
|Loo Katz||Chris Taylor (Ed Munster)|
|Paula Kidwell||Greg Thunder|
|(TK) Tom Kent||Desiree (Oravec) Toler|
|Loretta Lage||Sandy Weaver|
A Closing Note
Well, there you have it. The WAVA e-Reunion. What do you think? It surprised me to realize how much WAVA still means to me after all these years. I'll always be indebted to Denise Benoit for hiring me as her intern in May, 1984. And to Smokey Rivers and David Haines for putting me on the air to read the snow closing announcements in January, 1985. And to Alan Goodman and Loo Katz for hiring me as Assistant Promotion Director in February, 1985. And to Don & Mike for hiring me as their producer in November, 1986. And to Chuck Beck for letting me host the morning show for the last 6 months of the format in 1991 and '92.
When I first started working at WAVA, the station had only been CHR for just over 6 months. The original lineup was still on the air: JJ McKay & David Haines, Marty Dempsey, Mark Mitchell, TK Tom Kent, Jon Rock'N Roll Anthony and Liz Ryan. I remember hiring my college friends to wear animal costumes at Metro stations to promote the arrival of Charlie & Harrigan and the "Capital Morning Zoo." I remember Don Geronimo getting in trouble with Smokey at the "Rally in the Alley" for taking a live mic into a port-a-john on what I think was his first day on the job. I remember when Smokey needed a guy with a great voice to produce promos that Gene "Bean" Baxter and I independently both suggested Mike O'Meara. I remember going to Don's afternoon remotes every Friday. I remember working with Bean on "The 25th Hour" to fill an hour of time at the end of Daylight Saving Time in October, 1985. I remember riding elephants and riding in the Weinermobile. I remember trying to keep a straight face while interviewing some old guy at the Tower of London as Don & Mike tried to crack me up. I remember Larry King coming in the day before his heart attack and I remember Charles Fleischer and Bobcat Goldthwait on the air at the same time. I remember Sheila Nolan's brave battle against ALS. I especially remember the people who worked with us in the morning: Kim Anderson, Janet from Another Planet, David Haines, Dave Schreiber, Diana Silman, Maureen Hanley, Ken Martin, Karl Phillips and more.
The idea for this e-Reunion came from Sandy Weaver one week ago (2/4/02). In that time I tried to reach as many of you as I could. There are still so many people who I tried to find but couldn't like Kathi Kolodin, Marie Rokowski, Vida Flores, Mary Rankin, Dave Elliott, Jim Elliott, Bill Kunkel, Kim Anderson, Rusty Ford, Matt Farber, Margaret Hardy and more. I found some e-mail addresses on the Internet but haven't heard back from David Haines, Chip Fetrow, Charlie & Harrigan, Brian Bridgman, Randy Bongarten, Patty Steele and Marty Dempsey. I tried to find an e-mail address for Don & Mike through the WJFK website, but could not. (I haven't had any contact with them since I went to work for Mark & Brian in 1996.) Shandelle Barton was kind enough to forward my e-mail request to their producer, Charlie Broyhill (the artist formerly known as Billy the Man Slave).
As I'm writing this, I've just finished building the page you see above. Now it's your turn to do something. Send an e-mail to someone you haven't heard from in 10 years. Tell them what they meant to you. Don't let another ten years go by before you say "hi."
Thanks for reading all the way down to the bottom. May the future bring you much peace, joy and happiness!
Burbank, CA - February 11, 2002