Adios, WODS

Very few people know that I went to and graduated from broadcasting school.  Yes, at one time I had aspirations to be a radio personality.  However, with the news today ofBoston’s WODS being no more, I realize why I stopped trying to hit the airwaves. 

I am beyond despondent at the fact that CBS has made this change.  Research may have showed that the “biggest group” of people listening to the radio in Boson prefer contemporary music; however, my generation and the boomers before me are a “big group” of people also and the music that made WODS is what we enjoy hearing.  We will miss it.  It doesn’t leave much choice for us on the radio dial. 

WODS has come full circle.  I remember listening to the station as a teen when the call letters where WHTT and all they played was Michael Jackson and Madonna.  Then I remember when they became WODS and were theREALoldies station, playing just 50’s and 60’s.  Then they dropped the 50’s and just did 60’s and 70’s.  Next they dropped the “oldies” part and started playing 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, which really appealed to me, since I grew up listening to music from the 80’s.  And now this.  It’s like flipping back to WHTT except I’m not 14 any longer and instead of Michael Jackson and Madonna they’ll be playing Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.  If I had a teenager, I’m sure they’d be thrilled.  But I am not. 

I am angry that I more than likely will not be able to turn to 103.3 two weeks before Thanksgiving and hear Christmas music.  Teens don’t listen to as much Christmas music as us old folks.  Now I have to find a station that is going to be playing Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving, 24/7, just as WODS was well known for.  I am just as angry at the fact that there isn’t going to be a “Back to the 80’s” Friday night any longer.  Of course kids born in 1999 have no idea that long before their year of birth, there was the song from Prince. 

What I will miss most about WODS is not the music, but the people entertaining us every day: 

Karen Blake – what can I say about my favorite radio personality that has not already been said?  I’ve been listening to Karen since her days atSTAR93.7, although I know she was on the airwaves long before then.  IronicallySTARwas taken off the airwaves and replaced byMIKE(which no longer exists either) and that’s how Karen ended up at WODS (after briefly not being on the air at all).  That was about seven years ago, I believe.  I remember being home on maternity leave and turning on WODS one afternoon and hearing Karen’s voice.  The station got it right when they put her on during the morning drive, replacing Dale.  And despite what Karen’s mother may say—I remember the bit she played on the radio where her mother was telling her that she needed to get a better job, as she was getting up way too early!—Karen Blake was made for the morning drive.  I remember the brief (thank GOD) stint Bob Lobel had with Karen in the morning shortly after she took over the AM drive.  And then my ultimate radio fantasy dream came true when Chris Zito joined Karen on the airwaves.  It was a match made in Radio Heaven, as far as I was concerned.  You know a deejay is dedicated to their craft when they come in to the station at8:00 p.m.to talk to their listeners about the passing of Michael Jackson.  That was Zito and Karen.  After Zito left the station, Karen was on her own for a while.  Then Karen was reunited for a brief stint with Ralphie Marino, whom she had worked with back atSTAR.  And most recently John Laurenti.  Because of Karen I know of the old dance club “Faces”, and I also know stuff about towns in this state that I never knew before (thanks to “What’s My Town”)!  And who could forget all those quick polls? 

Like I always do every morning I listened to Karen and John today on my way to work.  Karen was right when she said you need to be yourself in radio.  Karen Blake has the kind of personality that makes you feel like your best friend is talking to you.  There are a lot of fakes on the radio airwaves; Karen is not one of them.  She is very real.  Karen, I know WODS is not your last stop on the radio ride.  WODS’ departure is not your good-bye.  It is just your “I’ll-see-you-somewhere-else-down-the-dial”. 

John Laurenti – I don’t know much about John but in reading his bio, I know he’s been in radio for quite a while.  When he came to WODS I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But he and Karen jelled just as well as Karen had jelled with Zito.  They really work well together and I’d love to hear them working together again in the future.

Paula Street– To me Paula will always be synonymous with WODS.  She was the first radio personality I knew of on the station when I began listening to it.  I’ll admit I don’t know too much about Paula and I often am not listening when she is on the air, but I know she did a hell of a job getting listeners through the work day.  I hope to hear Paula on the air somewhere else in the future as well.

JJ Wright – The afternoon drive will never be the same.  I was listening to JJ when I first learned about Michael Jackson’s death.  I looked forward to5:00 pmon Friday so I could hear JJ’ play his bit where the lady says “I’m so excited I just wet my pants”.  And then he would play Loverboy’s “Working For the Weekend”.  What a great way to end the work week, a bit that is truly going to be missed and a radio personality that will be missed as well.  Hopefully we will hear JJ on the radio somewhere down the road once again.

As I write this WODS is in the final 15 minutes of its run.  Twenty-five years is a good run, one that should never have ended.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a high def radio and although the option to hear the music WODS played will be offered via streaming on the web, it will not be the same without the personalities there, nor do I have that option while riding in my car.

So I move on down the dial of the radio, trying to develop a new listener ship with some other radio station.  I’ll probably just be listening to CDs for a while, since those are usually better than anything on the air anyway.  I know someday I’ll turn on the radio to some unknown station and Karen Blake’s lovely voice will greet my ears once again.  Maybe JJ will once again join me on the ride home from work.  Or Paula will liven up the work day.  Until then, farewell WODS—it was nice listening to you.

Where’d WODS dig HIM up?

For the past two days my ears have been tormented by the “auditioning” DJ named Dean Goss who is vying for the open morning show slot alongside Karen Blake.  From research I’ve learned he comes from some station in San Fran and I can’t find anything that has to do with him being on the air since 2008.  I’m sure he was a good on-air personality somewhere else at one time.  But please go back to “somewhere else” and continue being a good on-air personality there.  This guy’s voice is way too “newsy” for WODS and no way does he mix well with Karen.  I feel like I’m listening to Les Nessman…

I’m begging the airwave Gods to PLEASE keep this guy off the air in Boston…for my own sanity and the sanity of others!  Talk about forced laughter.  Even from Karen, whom I can just picture is just rolling her eyes at this guy and how he is trying to be funny.  And I wasn’t too keen on the way he just kept trying to butt into what Karen was saying during her Hollywood report today.  That’s her schtick, man.  Let her do it.  We don’t really care what the hell you think of Kirstie’s outfit or the way she dances.

I never thought I’d be saying this but with having been tortured by this “DJ” for the past two days (and I hope that’s it!), I’d rather just listen to Karen and nobody else.  Karen Blake alone on the air is better than Karen Blake and this guy.  Anymore of this guy this week and I’m turning the dial…Worse yet, if he becomes a permanent fixture, I’m turning it for good…

Zito…Ralphie…where the hell are you?  Shit, I’d take Bob Lobel at this point in time…:)

Back to the old hum-drum on WODS…

Apparently the WODS morning show savior Ralphie has left for greener, full-time pastures in Long Island.  Well, good for him but bad for us!

As much as I admire Karen Blake and feel that she does a great job, she really does need a sidekick.  How many morning radio shows do you know of that only have one host?  And now she’s trying to feed off the two interns to make things interesting.  Well, it’s not working…

Where’s Zito when you need him?

A little Christmas tease…

After months of not listening to WODS, I was curious to see if they were going to do their annual Christmas music thang.  So I went to the web site and saw that they have this HO HO DOUGH promotion going on.  So I tuned in today and whoa!  Ralphie Marino is there in the studio with KB and apparently is now part of the morning show.  Hm…well, he’s no Zito but he’ll do.  I remember him and Karen from the Star 93.7 days (before it went to MIKE–oy!) and they were pretty good on there.  I’m sure they’ll mesh together just fine on WODS.

Now on to the more important things…the Christmas music!  So the HO HO DOUGH thing is the station playing a different version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” every day.  Be a certain caller and win $103.  What a tease!  It’s been a whole year since I’ve heard Springsteen’s version; I heard it today and I’m hungry for more!  All I’m going to get for now is one lousy Christmas song (the same one, different version), every day?

Fingers, eyes and toes are crossed in hopes they start playing all Christmas next week…

Terminal B

Sometimes you hear the most interesting tales on the radio, ones that really make you think.  Sometimes the stories start off so innocently but end up blowing up and hurting others–in an innocent way.

Today Zito told a story about how he was waiting at Logan at Terminal B to pick up a friend.  While he waited he watched as a black Mercedes pulled up in front of him and a well dressed business man got out.  So did a woman who appeared to be his wife.  She gave him a peck good-bye and then left in the Mercedes.  Typical husband/wife good-bye at the airport for a business trip, right?  Not so fast…

Shortly after the Mercedes left Zito  noticed the guy still standing there outside Terminal B.  Along came a VW Beetle and out jumped this other woman who basically wrapped herself around this guy and they both got  in the car and left.

Of course I can understand Zito’s reaction to this “affair in action”.  But he never expected the scorned wife to call up the station.  She said she believed this guy was her husband.  She and Zito began comparing notes on the guy, right down to the scarf the guy was wearing.  The woman declared the scarf was a gift she had given him for Christmas, thanked Zito and KB and hung up. 

There was complete silence in the studio.  Probably the first time those two had nothing to say. 

Well, if Zito hadn’t shed light to the fact of the affair, she would have found out eventually.  She probably even had a feeling about it.  It just doesn’t pay to cheat, people.  Everyone gets hurt and besides, you never know who is watching.

What would you do?

An interesting scenario was talked about today on Oldies 103.3 with Zito and Karen Blake. 

I didn’t catch the story from the start but as I listened I gathered enough to understand that apparently a gentleman had recently been laid off from his job after 20 years.  I’m not sure what he did for a living but apparently his severance package was decent enough for him to want to use half of it and take his wife on a dream European trip.

I guess this guy wanted people’s opinions of what he should do because he himself wasn’t so sure.  So the listeners began calling.  Most everyone said the gesture was certainly sweet and that he must love his wife a lot.  A lot brought up the fact that he didn’t know what would happen in the future and should hold on to the money.  I didn’t get to throw my two cents in while they were talking about it, but I will now.

As the Nike ad says:  “JUST DO IT”.  First of all, you only live once.  Money is money.  You cannot take it with you.  But if you or your wife died tomorrow you would regret it for the rest of your life that you did not take that trip.  You don’t have to go all out on a trip to Europe.  Just budget it. 

Secondly, a trip may be just what you need after working all those years.  You will return with a breath of fresh air in your lungs, a new lease on life.  It will prepare you to take the next step in your life, whether that be retirement or seeking another job somewhere else.  Both you and your wife will be better people for it.

Two analogies/stories to sum this up:  A woman took a cruise and while on the cruise she encountered a very loving, elderly couple.   She struck up a conversation with the couple and learned that this was their first cruise.  They had worked all their lives and were always too busy to take a cruise.  Money had never been an issue.  Just with their lifestyle and raising kids, running here and there and working, the cruise just left their minds.  Until the husband was diagnosed with cancer.  Then they decided to take the cruise before it was too late.  Although they were finally taking their dream trip, unfortunately the man was too sick to fully enjoy it.

My own personal story:  two weeks before I was to marry, my husband-to-be called to tell me that the day before our wedding day he was going to be laid-off.  After working at this place for ten years, this facility was closing down.

You cannot imagine the panic in me as he told me this.  But I knew I couldn’t just tell him the wedding was off simply because he lost his job.  There was a part of me that felt like telling him maybe we should forego the honeymoon to save our money because who knew what the future held for us once we were married. 

We did get married.  We did take our honeymoon.  And you know what?  It all worked out in the end.  We were gone for two weeks and when we returned, my husband had several messages waiting for him on the answering machine from one of his old bosses who wanted him to temporarily work at one of the company’s other facilities.  To us, that was  a Godsend.

Twelve years later we are still together, living much different lives than back then.  We both have much better jobs.  But imagine if we had never taken that honeymoon simply because we thought the money could be used for other things?  We would’ve missed out on two weeks of very fond memories and probably would never have taken an actual honeymoon.

Once money is gone, it’s gone; but memories live forever.

ZITO’S BACK!

What a pleasure to turn on WODS this am to discover what I had been hoping would happen HAS happened–Chris Zito has now landed a gig alongside Karen Blake.  A true radio match made in heaven! 

Ever since Zito’s departure from the other radio station (no names mentioned but it starts with a “W” and ends in an “O” and is located in Worcester…), I’ve been anxiously waiting to see where Zito would end up.  After he left the “other” station I began doing some searching and discovered that Karen was now doing mornings on WODS but had no real partner (no offense Bob Lobel).  After reading further that WODS now had the PD from the “other” station, I kind of started putting the building blocks together and really, truly PRAYED Zito would end up at WODS.  AND HE HAS!  YEAH!

Up until November 6 when WODS began playing all Christmas music, I was still listening to that “other” station.  However, I’ve been strictly listening to WODS since the Christmas music began and I intend to keep listening to them after the Christmas music ends.

Zito, welcome back to the Boston market and it’s GREAT to hear your humor on the airwaves once again!  You and the Blakester are going to be dynamite!  Thanks for making my day!