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Back Then…The Unofficial History Of NJ 101.5

Joe Cutter
Matthew White, Townsquare Media

That’s what I am going to call this. It will be ongoing, and I will share with all of you a lot of little stories about some of the “behind-the-scenes” stuff that’s taken place at New Jersey 101.5 over more than two decades.

If you seek scandal or you are waiting for a, “tell all”, forget it! This is just about some of the interesting…sometimes funny… little things that have happened here since the very beginning.

“Let’s start at the very beginning.” Julie Andrews started a song that way, “back then”, so it’s a very good place to start.

I have been reporting and anchoring the news for New Jersey 101.5 since we created this back in early 1990. I arrived in the summer of 1989. I had been unemployed for a few months after being handed my head at a Pennsylvania station in April and I needed a gig, ANY gig. My second child, Julie, had been born, just as I was dismissed from that PA station. Radio can be cruel at times. So I showed up in Ewing in the summer of ’89, in a, “I’ll take anything” mode.

I started in July of ’89, and I pretty much did do everything, mostly on our AM station at the time, WBUD. I dubbed records on to tape cartridges(yes, the radio world was still firmly entrenched in analog recording in those days), I was a part-time DJ, I ran the control board when other programming was on. Hoping to go from part-time to full=time to feed those little mouths at home. And yes, I also anchored newscasts. Back then, we had a guy doing the news on WBUD, Ted Manske, a saint of a man, who never got caught without his sense of humor. Ted has long ago given up the radio biz, but he lives in Trenton and is very active in the community. Our paths cross now and then.

So after hanging around here for about three months, I get a phone call around 7 on Friday evening, October 13th. It’s Jim Gearhart, who back then was WBUD’s program director. Jim said to me, “Joe you have a full-time job, if you want it.” I laughed, because with a newborn and a four-year-old, not taking the job was not an option.

So there it is. How I got my start, back then. Of course, back then, there was no, “New Jersey 101.5″…not yet.

What happens next? There is a lot more to tell. Stay tuned!

You can read all editions of “Back Then…” anytime online.

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