Looking Back at 50 Years of WOBM FM [50 Memories in 50 Days]
Today as you likely know is the 50th anniversary of WOBM-FM (92.7) making its broadcasting debut as the first commercial radio station in Ocean County.
Since I have spent nearly 39 of those years working for four different companies in a variety of roles it’s only natural that today I would reflect back.
I was 23 years old when I started in July of 1979 (Jimmy Carter was President) as the radio station’s first fulltime Sports Director and for the first few months I also had to do a Sunday night news shift which I did not like and was not very good at. During those early years I did detailed morning and afternoon sports reports along with a weekly one hour sports show on Monday night.
My role began to change when Steve Paul became the host of the morning show in the early 80’s. He began working at WOBM in 1970 and was a full-time account executive in addition to on-again, off-again work as a radio host. After my 5:30 a.m. sportscast we would banter back and forth on the air for a couple of minutes and that segment kept getting longer and longer eventually leading to a full hour (5-6am) that was called “Coffee with Kevin.”
Sometime later then General Manager Glenn Jones decided to pair us together and until 1996 we hosted the morning show from 5 a.m. - 9 a.m. It was a wide-open format that featured a little music but plenty of news, information and talk and it was the most fun I ever had in radio.
I have incredibly fond memories of working with Steve who was a natural on air talent. I even called into him live from Point Pleasant Hospital to report on the birth of my son Brandon. He wanted me to take the phone into the delivery room to cut the cord on the air but I stopped short.
We both came off the air in 1996 and I moved into other capacities and have done just about everything: sports, marketing, management, public relations, you name it. While I’m heard here daily on the “Hometown View” most of my time and effort is spent on our Shore Sports Network which is devoted to Jersey Shore high school sports and more.
I’m truly proud to be a part of WOBM and especially the positive impact we have made in the community over these 50 years.
Just about all the major moments in my adult life have happened while working here. I met my wife Jane just five months after I started and my 32 year old son Brandon and 26 year old daughter Alex have only known their father as “the guy from the radio station.”
I’ve received more awards and honors then I could ever imagine, have been blessed to work with those who have become life-long friends and after 39 years I’d like to think I have some gas left in my tank. I don’t expect to celebrate my own personal 50 year anniversary here but you never know what the future might hold.
For now happy 50th WOBM-FM and thanks for letting me be part of so many great memories.