Saying goodbye to Jim Gearhart
Perhaps you've heard the news. Jim's not coming back.
Jim Gearhart was the heart of New Jersey 101.5 from the beginning and for the last quarter century held the morning show here. From the station's inception to landing firmly, indelibly on the map with the Florio tax revolt to the quieter Whitman years, the shock of 9/11, the parade of governors through the 2000's and the Corzine anger, right up to the rise and fall of Governor Christie, Jim was there every morning taking your calls and trying to make some sense of it all.
For those who don't know, several months ago, Jim took a very bad fall resulting in grievous injuries. For the sake of the gentleman's privacy, I'm not going to detail them. Suffice it to say, for a man Jim's age who has always been tough as nails and in possession of a razor sharp wit, this battle to recover from those injuries is still ongoing and I'm sure he more than anyone can rise to its challenge. He has decided for the good of all involved it was time to step aside and concentrate on getting better. Bill Spadea, who's been filling in for Jim the past few months, has been announced as the permanent morning host of the station. I wish Bill all the best and hope you will too.
What I will miss the most about Jim is no matter what was going on, he found the irony and humor in almost everything. His wry style made a political conversation something more and was always able to unleash his genius sarcasm on those who deserved it most. He's scary smart, well read, an enemy of unnecessary political correctness, a patriot and a friend to most.
It was an honor to have worked with him for five and a half years in the 90's and again the last four. I will miss him greatly. I wish him nothing but the best in his recovery. I hope he'll stop by the station from time to time. After all, it's his.