Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Old People Radio

I'm a huge talk radio fan. And being from the Philadelphia area where the genre's heyday is firmly in the past buried under a tombstone marked "WWDB," good talk radio is sometimes hard to find. One such place, until very recently, used to News Jersey 101.5 FM headquartered in Trenton, which for all intents and purposes is basically Philadelphia.

For many years the stars and major highlight of their talk line-up was the afternoon drive time team of Craig Carton and Ray Rossi, the Jersey Guys (pictured above). They could have easily been shuffled into a Howard Stern or an Opie & Anthony category except for their active attitude toward happenings in New Jersey. They were not just entertaining and funny, they were politically and socially active as well.

The duo had a good camaraderie, if you could call it that. Ray was older, more sensible, and a radio veteran. Craig on the other hand was a cutting edge shock-jock type whose grasp of pop culture was unrivalled. Where normally such a mix would be like oil and water, here it worked.

Now Craig has unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) have left NJ 101.5 to replace Don Imus at WFAN in New York. NJ 101.5 has decided to retool the Jersey Guys show and replace carton with someone named Casey Bartholomew. The show is now described thus: "Casey Bartholomew and Ray Rossi: The best thing Jersey has to offer...next to the tomato. A couple of 'Good Fellas' in a Jersey state of mind. Gen-X meets the Baby Boomer. They call it like it is, no holds barred. Find out why the most listened to FM Talk Show in the country is on New Jersey 101.5."

"Gen-X meets the Baby Boomer," eh? Doesn't that imply a younger or younger-ish slant? Maybe. Maybe not. My first exposure to Casey had him mentioning his age, and growing up fantasizing about Rebecca DeMornay in Risky Business. I thought, okay, he's my age. Not quite.

The topic of that hour was Elvis and other dead singers. This is not a usual Jersey Guys topic, this is something more suited to the frivolous Frick and Frack show that runs at noontime. Fluff, nothing but fluff. The Jersey Guys that I know tackle stuff like illegal immigrants and corrupt state troopers.

Casey Bartholomew after taking the prerequisite calls about Elvis, commenting on how much he liked and respected him, he took a call from a caller who discussed Kurt Cobain. Casey confronted the caller questioning what was so great about Cobain, referring to the legend as a loser.

This is a Gen-X-er??? Whether you liked Kurt Cobain or not, it can't be denied that the man changed the entire landscape of music in the early 1990s. This idiot wouldn't even acknowledge that. As a matter of fact, he came off sounding a lot more like a Dominic Quinn or that old man Gearhart idiot NJ 101.5 has given mornings to than anyone even close to my age. And this is a representative of Generation X?

Well, that's it for me and NJ 101.5 I think. I hate the old man in the morning, I have to be in the mood for the fluff at noon, and I just can't stand Michele Pilenza, a lifestyle and relationship host that apparently thinks only good-looking people should be able to date (I swear, she's said it more than once!), I think I'm officially an ex-listener. Which is a shame, because I actually do like the overnight guy Tommy G., too bad WYSP has better talk programming on at the same time.

Bye bye, News Jersey. Hope you get enough old people listening to keep your ratings now.

1 comment:

  1. The Jersey Guys were always hit or miss for me. Can't say I'll miss them much.

    Punch and Judy, or whatever their name is in the noontime slot, are INCREDIBLY annoying. Worst radio ever.

    I'll stick with WFAN and NPR, thanks. :)