Thank You, Berkshire County!
I can't believe how fast time goes by. I also can't believe that I am typing out the following words:
Today is my last day at Live 95.9 and Townsquare Media Berkshire.
Just about five years have come and gone since I walked into the Live 95.9 studio for the first time. The story on how I got here is an interesting one. I moved to Berkshire County in July 2010, truly having no idea where I was going and what I was going to do. I spent the better part of four years grinding, bartending, hosting karaoke shows and trivia nights, DJing weddings, parties, celebrations, etc. all while trying to find my place. Luckily, I met, and am married to, the most supportive woman on the planet who always saw something in me, even though I didn't know what that was a lot of times.
Fast forward to December 2013. I was in Connecticut for a family function and received a phone call asking me, "what would you think about being in radio?" Now, at the time, I had just begun launching my first podcast, "Sports Fan Like Conduct", where myself, and a few of my friends would just rant and rave about sports hoping that anyone in their right minds would actually care. Spoiler alert, early on, they didn't, but it was still fun to scratch that initial broadcasting itch. Anyways, when I heard that question, I was immediately intrigued. About an hour later, I got a phone call from Bryan Slater who began to explain what the position would entail. Bryan's initial concern and remark: "I just want to let you know, this isn't a sports show. You can talk about sports once in a while, but for the most part, we don't talk about sports." I understood.
Of course, my biggest thought was, "how am I even in this position? Why me?" Well, for longtime listeners of Live 95.9, before I arrived, you may have noticed a lot of people come and go - most notably in the morning show hours. It was time to change that, so Slater stepped into that role permanently -- which, quite honestly, is the best thing that has ever happened to Live 95.9 in my opinion -- so there was a need to fill the afternoon time slot. The powers that be had somebody lined up and were just awaiting the final "yes, I'm in." Luckily for me, that person didn't deliver that answer. From there, the rest is history.
When people ask me how I got into radio, my answer is always the same, "It was pure coincidence and being in the right place at the right time." But in the broad scheme of things, I truly believe it was where I was meant to be in my life. I was, and still am, enthralled by the radio business. Some people say it's a dying medium, that radio will be taken out by the Spotifys, Pandoras and podcasts of the world. From where I sit, that couldn't be the furthest thing from the truth. Radio, especially if done while wearing local lenses in your community, will continue to flourish. Sure, musically, we probably have a ways to go. But in terms of being community based and having local talent wave those community flags, there is still so much potential that hasn't even been touched yet.
That potential will be reached here in the Berkshires with the area's flagship radio station for the last five years, Live 95.9.
I want to thank everybody that I have had the pleasure of working with over the last nearly five years. From our Market President Peter Barry, to our creative and hard-working marketing team, to our, now retired, Operations Manager Todd Lee, to our production leader Eric Greene, to my brother Bob, who put the idea of me being in this position into the ears of those who make the decisions (it was awesome to be his colleague for all of these years) to, of course, my fellow colleagues at Live 95.9, Slater & Marjo. Between the three of us, and I can confidently say this, the radio station has never been better, has never sounded better and has never had a tripod-team like this team has had over the last several years. From where Live 95.9 was in early 2014, to where it has gone since then -- from the broadcasting side and, now, the digital side, is truly incredible.
I also want to thank everyone in the Berkshires who have been a part of this ride, whether you listen every day, for just your car rides to and from work, whether you liked me, or even if you didn't, it all drove me to do the best job I possibly could every single day. I especially want to thank those who made our giveaways, contests and events as special as they were -- from Take Home a Highlander broadcasts (which makes the summers extremely exhausting, but phenomenal), to the big shows we brought into the area, to Mall-I-Day Madness, the Mother & Child Look-A-Like Contests, Deck Your Pet and everything else, without you guys and gals -- our incredible listeners -- they wouldn't be possible.
And lastly, but certainly not least, I want to thank my two favorite people, my two best friends in the entire world, my wife Holly and our son Grayson. You guys are the reason that I wake up and work as hard as I do. You two amazing people are the reason that I have the guts and intestinal fortitude to take a big risk like I am taking. You guys are the reason that I am going to do everything in my power to succeed. Without the two of you by my side, none of this is possible. Words can not describe what your belief, confidence and love mean to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
It is a bittersweet moment to hit the "publish" button for the final time on this website. As the afternoon radio host, the host of the Throwback Throwdown and the Managing Editor for this site, along with the other four in our market, it has truly been an honor to be on this ride with all of you. As cliche as this may sound, this is not goodbye. This is more of a "I'll see you later."
Speaking of that, I hope to see you all tonight at my final live broadcast with Live 95.9 as we will say goodbye to 2018 at Ken's Bowl in Pittsfield between 7 and 9 p.m. It will be a lot of fun and it would be amazing to see as many of you as possible tonight.
Thank you, Berkshire County -- for everything -- and I hope 2019 is the best year ever for all of you!