Saturday, February 26, 2011

Places I've Lived #6 - Dayton, Ohio

The final stop in the semi-regular Places I've Lived series finds me living in Dayton, Ohio. I moved here from Celina to attend Wright State University as a Geography major. After a couple of years figuring out that learning remote sensing and spatial analysis were going to be beyond my mental capabilities, I switched majors to Communications and started volunteering at the campus radio station. In 1993 my girlfriend at the time saw an ad in the paper looking for air talent at a new local radio station. I mailed in an audition tape, got an interview and somehow managed to land the night jock position at Dayton's first Alternative station "94-5 X-Rock" WZJX.

What had I gotten myself into?! I had no business working with actual radio professionals when my entire résumé consisted of doing a 3 hour weekly show on a 10-watt college station for a couple years. Oh well, too late to turn back now. I successfully faked my way through the nightly 7 pm-1 am time slot and did some minor production and promotions work all while going to school full time. Being the early '90s, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots were on heavy rotation as well as a little Aerosmith and Queen at the start to lure in listeners from the more mainstream WTUE.
After awhile word got out that the station was being sold. Already?! We had only been on the air a few months and barely had our first ratings book come out (which we did quite well in if I remember correctly.) They flipped to Oldies and predictably fired the staff. I spent one of my last shifts spinning about 40 different versions of "Louie Louie" which was their idea of a clever stunt to introduce "Dayton's Oldies" WDOL (W-Dull?)

My old business card. I took my middle name and added an S because my actual last name doesn't sound too good when said out loud. In fact it's often mistaken for someone coughing.

94.5 has since been gobbled up by Clear Channel Communications and is now CHR "Channel 94-5" WDKF. WZJX was licensed to Englewood, Ohio.

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