Our Reach, Our Audience: Back Then…The Unofficial History of NJ 101.5
I have been with New Jersey 101.5 from its very early days. I have watched us grow into the New Jersey powerhouse that we are today, with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of listeners all over New Jersey. But our reach and the extent of our audience has never ceased to astonish me.
Here is just one small example: One Saturday morning back then, I think it may have been in the mid-90’s, I was working a Saturday morning shift in the newsroom. I get a call from a man whose son was in the hospital. I do not want to get too specific here, but let me say it was one of New Jersey’s larger medical facilities. Anyway, the man on the phone tells me his little boy is seriously ill and he needs blood donations. But the problem, as the man explained it, was that his boy had some rare blood type that was hard to find.
He asked me if we could put out a request on our newscasts for donors of this rare blood type? So I started making the announcement on my news broadcasts on that Saturday morning back then. I gave out the phone number for the hospital, if anyone listening has this blood type and wants to help a little boy?
Well, to make a long story short, after about two hours of broadcasting this appeal two or three times, The phone in the newsroom goes off again. This time, it is the hospital. They have a problem. It seems our broadcast appeal for donors of this rare type was met with such an overwhelming response that the hospital phone lines were jammed!
The father also called back to thank me. Sure I was glad that I was able to play some small part in helping this family.
But what amazed me is this: we sit here in these little rooms and speak daily to an inanimate object hanging in front of our face. We never get to see the vast majority of our audience out there. Sure, we have ratings services that measure that audience, but sometimes it is hard to actually feel the size and strength of numbers of you, our many and loyal listenders.
On this occasion, I was able to get a feel for the power and size of that audience. It never ceases to amaze me!