My weekend was fantastic and had me traveling quite a little bit. Friday, I took a field trip adventure into the city. This ended up being a beautiful spring day in New York City, which is just what the doctor ordered after the snowy March we've had. I enjoyed time getting to play as a tourist, going through Times Square and Central Park. Contrary to what we see on our local tv news outlets, I do not feel that phone battery charging stations really are everywhere, by the way!
In many industries, mentors are imperative to your success. Radio is definitely an example of this. I've had the luxury to work with and learn from some of the best Programmers/Coaches/Mentors my industry has. My formative career years in Boston helped me work with several of the very best. I'm still great friends with and continue to learn from my mentors all the time. From age 12 on, I knew that radio was my dream career. I was fascinated by the magic and fun sound coming through my stereo speakers. Friday, my dear friend and iHeartRadio leader Jon Zellner took me to a wonderful lunch at Redeye Grill in the city. (The filet mignon was amazing!) Jon and I have shared many close mutual friends from Boston radio stations and several other cities. From 2004 on, I always watched his strategies closely knowing he was one of the top Program Directors in our industry. I would always tap into my radio station buddies for insights on his styles and philosophies. One of my best friends in radio taught me just over 5 years ago that to gain opportunities in becoming a Program Director running radio stations, and then growing/advancing your career, you need not just mentors - but also champions. You need champions to be your champions. My wonderful friend and mentor Jon, has been exactly that for me, and I'm very lucky. My bosses and now great friends for life, Chuck, Gary, Coop, and Jon helped me land my dream job --- Program Director / Afternoon DJ --- 1st ever day here in Jersey being my 32nd birthday.
This weekend I've been able to reflect on so many amazing memories we have had here in Sussex County. Morning shows for Program Directors in radio, are like Franchise Quarterbacks in The National Football League. Head coaches aren't going to have great careers without being good leaders to great quarterbacks, and radio is the same way with morning shows and their Program Directors. When our very own 102.3 WSUS morning guy Steve Andrews was inducted into The New Jersey Broadcaster's Association Hall Of Fame this past November, and then quoted/thanked me during his H.O.F. speech, it was one of the greatest moments in my life. I'll never forget that.
From the city, back to Sussex County. Our radio stations learned just over 3 years ago that many kids in Sussex County go hungry on weekends. While schools have programs to help them during weekdays, weekends are a major challenge. We decided to start "Backpack Snacks For Kids," and this one has been our most successful one yet! Steve Andrews loves grocery shopping and stores, whereas I always get lost. Remember, I'm just now learning how to cook --- thanks to an enormous amount of courage and patience from Awesome Girlfriend Megan. Steve Andrews compared how I do at cooking and making basic snacks that most can do --- and I cannot. We did a hilarious Facebook Live video, and you can see it by clicking here. It's quite humbling when people comment and ask "are you just playing dumb to be funny?" and your answer is "I WISH!" This video is hilarious, one of my favorite videos Andrews and I have ever done.