When legendary broadcaster Jim Gearhart was asked to return to New Jersey 101.5 for a new podcast, he was glad to step up. He only had one question: "What the heck is a podcast?"

Jim's been in business for decades, and spent 25 years at the fore of New Jersey 101.5's lineup as the station's morning host. He was a pioneer in New Jersey radio — helping to define our format and leading some of the most important discussions on Garden State politics and policy found anywhere.

Returning to the New Jersey 101.5 studio Wednesday to discuss his new podcast with Judi Franco, Jim marveled at how much interaction and feedback these days comes not through the phone, but through a screen — how eager New Jerseyans are to get online and make themselves heard. Even since just 2015, when Jim left the station after suffering a traumatic head injury, online participation has blossomed.

This week, we noticed plenty of it — hundreds and hundreds of comments celebrating Jim's return.

Now, fully recovered, he's returned to New Jersey 101.5 for a weekly podcast, "The Jim Gearhart Show." You can get it on iTunes and on Google Play.

Here are just some of our favorite comments.

Jim Gearhart (Louis C. Hochman / Townsquare Media)
Jim Gearhart (Louis C. Hochman / Townsquare Media)

Liz Klosowski:  This is great news! Truly missed Jim Gearhart on NJ 101.5 and am looking forward to listening to him again. I was just thinking of him this morning and how much I missed hearing his voice! Now I just have to figure out how to connect on podcast — whatever that is.

Coleen Campbell: It is so awesome hearing your voice again. ... God how I missed your logic! Welcome back! :)

Steve Hanneken: I listened to Jim when I drove from Bergen County to lower Monmouth and upper Ocean County in 1996-7. I had been dumped from my job and the first one I could find was that far away. The morning banter provided me a respite from the troubles in my own life and I shall be forever grateful for that. Welcome back, Jim.

Anita Davis: I teared up hearing this!!! I am so happy you are well!! I have missed your commentary and wisdom!!!

Carole Hansen Weidmuller: Great news!!! I've really missed Jim — listened to him on 101.5 for 20 years driving to work and while at home. Wondered so many times as to how he's doing. Glad to see he's back and fully recuperated ... great man!!!!

Risa Irrera:  God must have been standing there to catch him as he fell. Thank goodness. Welcome back and please stay healthy. Only 1 finger of scotch, if it is allowed, my friend.

Nancy Stober:  It actually brought me to tears. So triumphant.

Michelle Bevan:  I've been a 101.5 listener since the station was just a 1-year-old baby. Jim, every morning, driving to work. All I can say is YIPPEE! Welcome back, Jim!! (Now to figure out what the heck a podcast is.)

Budngerri D'agostino: This is the best news ever. You have really been missed, Jim, and we are so very happy you will be joining our daily lives again.

Elizabeth Meyer: So great to hear (and see) Jim again! He looks wonderful and is sharper than ever! God bless, and I will be sure to sign up for the podcast!

Mary Jane Somosky: Welcome back, Jim! It doesn't matter what spot or what time, alone or with another host — you were MISSED and I'm SO HAPPY you're back and hopefully back to stay

Day Janie: When my husband told me Jim was back and will be on podcasts I was so excited!!! Hardly a day went by when my husband came home after a hard day's work that he didn't tell me a Gerhart story. We are huge fans and missed him terribly. Great to hear your voice Jim!!

On Twitter:

Jim's already three episodes in and planning to record lots more. Get the podcast now!

— Townsquare Media staff

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