11 great moments from the NJ 101.5 morning show ‘caught on tape’
During a commercial break a couple weeks ago, our New Jersey 101.5 morning show team started watching some old videos on Youtube. On the one hand, it feels a little weird to have most of our working life cataloged and broadcast on the internet for all the world to see. On the other hand, it is wonderful to watch together and reminisce about some of our favorite memories.
Did you know our core morning team — Bill, Eric, me, Bob, Jill, Kathy, and Kristen — combine for over 150 years of broadcasting experience? We've been all together for the past six years, but it feels like a lifetime.
Sometimes our workplace — the New Jersey 101.5 studio — feels like a full-fledged reality show. Or maybe an episode of the Office. (Of course, the same can be said for every job in the media industry I have ever had.) We work hard and we play hard. And hopefully our real chemistry comes through the microphone — because our friendships are so close and so important.
In no particular order, here is a brief list of 11 outstanding video moments from the New Jersey 101.5 morning show over the years. (Why not a Top 10? Because at Townsquare Media, we turn it up to 11!)
I have to begin by paying tribute to the good ol' days. For years, the New Jersey 101.5 morning show was broadcast on Comcast's CN-8 cable channel. This clip from August 2001 features legends Jim Gearhart and Alan Kasper, along with fresh-faced Eric Scott, Bob Williams, and Jill Myra. Classic!
A professional makeup artist from Six Flags turned Bill Spadea into a deranged clown, live on the air. And then he drove all over the state reminding everyone to vote "no" on ballot question two, which dealt with dedicating NJ's gas tax to the Transportation Trust Fund. Because of course he did.
One day, Spadea came to work and told us "President Trump may call in to the show today." And then he did. When Producer Kristen answered the phone at 8:50 a.m., it was him.
When we first met Jax, the 18 year old singer-songwriter (and East Brunswick native) was deep in her run on the 14th season of American Idol. We loved her incredible voice and her spunky personality. (And her dad John always brought us donuts too!) Jax holds the distinction of being one of the few to make me crack up in the middle of weathercast. (Making funny faces, as I recall.) Jax's success since her NJ101.5 has been so exciting to watch — surviving thyroid cancer, releasing a series of successful pop singles, building a huge TikTok following, and even performing in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
We always love visits from our friends at Six Flags Great Adventure. Especially when they bring cuddly creatures from their Wild Safari Park along. Well, the only other creature who made me "break" during a weathercast was Bailey, an 11 week old European brown bear. She was hungry. And then tried to climb and claw Bill Spadea. Cuteness overload.
Bill Spadea fully admits his opinions can be very polarizing — you either love them or you hate them. And sometimes, New Jerseyans really hate him. As demonstrated in this "super-special extra-huge breaking alert". Joining the hot trend at the time, news anchor extraordinaire Eric Scott used his booming, dulcet voice to catch Spadea's reactions to some real "mean tweets" from listeners. #EmbraceTheHate
Bob Gets a Kidney
When our friend and coworker Bob Williams needed a kidney, and stranger Kim stepped up to save his life, we had to follow the saga and tell the incredibly touching story on the radio.
Eric Apologizes to Bob
Both on-air and off-air, Eric and Bob have a special friendship, having worked together for so many years. So when Bob's beloved New York Mets made the World Series in 2015, after Eric bet they never would, he made good publicly with an apology and a cake.
One year, Bill decided he wanted a live band for the last morning show before the Christmas holiday. So Bob Williams volunteered a bunch of us to fit the bill, as I picked up my trumpet for the first time in about a decade. Many wrong notes were played, much frivolity was had, and the B.S. House Band was born.
In the early days of Bill Spadea's morning show tenure, he became a student of stand-up comedy. And his mainstay — really his only joke for a while there — was the classic muffin joke. Luckily, his original delivery is immortalized forever on Youtube.
I offer this video as a tribute to the irreplaceable and fearless Producer Kristen. Because Spadea's brilliant idea for an early morning "Meatloaf Day" celebration happened within her first two weeks of employment at New Jersey 101.5, and she facilitated the madness like a champ. Almost all of the meatloafs offered for judging that day were delicious ... but we really needed some mashed potatoes to go with them.
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