*UPDATE* - Click here to see Jason Fry's "Heeding Digital Music's Call" article, in which Jason references one of our test shows from early 2001. This article is from 2003 so the links to the songs and our show are no longer available, but I might be able to get a clip of our show up soon!
With all the recent Gettysburg trip, adoption ordeal, Halloween and baby stuff going on, it just hit me this morning that it’s been just over five years since two major events happened in my life. The first was the closing on my first ever house, which happened on 11/1/00. But, while buying my first house was certainly a big deal, it’s what happened in the minutes PRECEDING the house closing that was incredible. Imagine the scene. I’m sitting at the title agency waiting for what was about to become the biggest event in my life at that time. I’m finally moving out of the Chambersburg row house I lived in for the last 12 years and am about to become a home owner in the neighborhood I just about grew up in. So as I’m waiting for all the parties to arrive, I get a call on my cell phone from Wall Street Journal Radio.
Now, at the time, I was the supervisor at the News Help Desk for Dow Jones. We were just recently moved from the South Brunswick campus to Manhattan (across the street from the then-standing World Trade Center). Being the “News” help desk, we pretty much handled anything WSJ related and anything based out of NYC.
But I was on vacation this week, having taken a week off to handle all the “new house” related duties. I was curious as to the nature of the call but, being management, I was a trooper and answered it. It turns out the person from WSJ Radio wasn’t calling to complain or report a problem, but to ask me if I was interested in co-hosting a tech show for WSJ Radio. Now, if I had gotten a communications degree in college and maybe worked in radio, this wouldn’t have shocked me. But given my current resume, I would have had an equal chance of sitting on a park bench feeding pigeons while someone came up to me and asked me if I wanted to do weather reports for Channel 10 News.
So, uh, yeah. I said yes.
Why me? During a couple of my PR visits to the WSJ Radio department, I managed to hit it off pretty well with their boss. She had some questions about PCs and I answered her questions the best I could. Apparently, she liked my delivery and style and, unbeknownst to me, considered me as a potential co-host on a “help desk” show they were pondering. She had mentioned it to me in passing before but, being my typical oblivious self, never thought I was a candidate.
Anyway, the show was a project in the making and was going to be shopped around to XM and Sirius, who where the players in the brand-spanking-new satellite radio industry. The decided format was going to be a “tech talk” type of show where we would talk about current events, neat gadgets and offer our perspective on them. I would be co-hosting the show with WSJ.com tech editor Jason Fry (who is currently the man behind WSJ.com’s “Real Time” column, one half of the WSJ.com “Daily Fix” column and 0.5 of the madcap duo behind the “Faith and Fear in Flushing” Mets blog). That and the dude went to Yale. Compared to my 2-year degree at Mercer County Community College (aka MC³), the talent drop-off was destined to be enormous. Co-host my ass, I was about to pull a Tonto to his Lone Ranger, with him rescuing me from the rowdy locals every week. But despite his lengthy resume and credentials we managed to hit it off pretty well. He liked the Simpsons, Star Wars, and sports. God, did he love sports. Everything was going to be oooookay. Coming soon: Jace and Doobie behind the mic