As the Jeffersons sang, “we’re movin’ on up!” Starting this Monday (1/10), my Real Oldies show will be heard weekdays from 3p-7p on iHeartRadio. Starting next Monday (1/17), my Big Classic Hits and Cool Oldies shows will also make the switch to afternoons. It’s been a lot of fun entertaining “after hours,” but now it’s time to shake up the workday!
For those who have lost track (and I TOTALLY get that – sometimes even *I* do!), I’m also on iHeart 80s from 3p-7p. My Lite Rock and Soft Rock shows will remain in evenings from 7p-12a.
If you’re listening to those formats on the iHeart app, times are Eastern. If you’re listening to any of my affiliate stations across the country, use their local time zones.
Nice vote of confidence from the “corner-office” types at iHeart! I thank them for their support…and I thank YOU for listening all these years. Means more than you know!
Since we last chatted, much has happened. I took some time off to relax after 104.3 K-Hits went bye-bye. Then I joined Big 95.5 for a couple weekend shows. You know…to ease my way back into things. I’m starting to think maybe I’m a curse because that station went off the air Labor Day weekend of 2020. Soooooo what’s the deal now? I get that question all the time since I’m no longer on the air in Chicago.
Here’s the deal: I am still working for iHeartRadio (owners of the former Big 95.5). Why do I “heart” them? Because they pay me!!! And they feel strongly enough about my show to air it on almost 50 stations nationwide. That’s a pretty nice vote of confidence.
I hope you’ve downloaded the iHeartRadio app. Nobody seems to own a radio anymore! Everyone listens online. And it just so happens that’s the easiest way to hear my shows. Yes, “shows” plural. I currently do five every weekday. Those five then get sent to dozens of stations as mentioned above. Sure, you can listen to each of those stations individually, but I’m not going to list them all here. Who has the time? If you want to know where I am on-air across America, shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to share that info with you.
It’s much easier to check out the five different formats where I can be heard weeknights from 7p-12a Eastern! Save these and listen often 🙂
I also just relocated from the South Loop to the <gasp> BURBS! As much as I love the city, this move just made sense. I get over twice the space for half the price. And since I now work from home, it doesn’t matter where I am! Though, as I’ve told you before, it will continue to be right here in Chicagoland. Can’t get rid of me that easily! Once I have the new studio fully decorated, maybe I’ll post a video. Is that a promise or a threat?
Thank you – as always – for listening. I’m forever grateful.
One of the most exciting days of my career was Monday, December 14, 1998. Just two days prior, I loaded up my car with a few weeks’ worth of clothes and put Pittsburgh in my rearview. I was driving to my brand new job in Chicago! I’ll never forget the very first time I was behind the wheel on the Dan Ryan, watching the skyline of my soon-to-be favorite city rapidly approach. I still get those tingles when I see it today.
A month earlier, a brand new radio station signed-on called 92.7 Kiss-FM. This was the first true top 40 station here in the seven years since Hot 94.7 signed-off. (B96 may have called themselves “top 40” through the 1990’s, but it always favored dance/rhythmic music, ignoring most rock-leaning songs). Kiss-FM was going to do it right. Our slogan was “All The Hits, One Station.” How true that was. Finally, you didn’t have to listen to three different stations to hear them!
The big promotional kickoff for Kiss-FM was “10,000 songs, then $10,000!” The station would be commercial-free until that 10,000th song played. At that point, they would open the phones and give $10,000 to the 92nd caller. Nobody was sure exactly how long it would take to play those 10,000 songs. So, the brand new airstaff was hired and brought to town a few days early:
George McFly (mornings) Harry Legg (middays) Chris Shebel (early afternoons) Shark (late afternoons) Jeffrey T. Mason (evenings)
***George wasn’t here for the launch, but would arrive soon after. We brought Luis “2-Live” Lopez on for overnights a month or so later. Bill LaTour eventually replaced Chris Shebel on air when Chris focused exclusively on his role as program director. And last, but not least, Melissa Forman made her Chicago radio debut as George’s morning co-host about 5 months into the format.***
While waiting for that 10,000th song, I was listening at an Extended Stay America in Des Plaines. (At this point, the Kiss-FM studios were still in Arlington Heights with an impending move downtown soon.) Eventually, it became pretty clear everything would culminate on Monday. We just weren’t sure what time. Whoever was scheduled to be on the air at that point would be the very first DJ heard on Kiss-FM. That turned out to be me 🙂
I can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s been TWENTY years since this adrenaline rush began! While I’ve made so many friends throughout my career, I’ve never worked with a finer group of people than at 92.7 Kiss-FM…and eventually our sister station, The 80s Channel 103.1 WXXY.
Chris Shebel put together a video for our 1999 company Christmas party. It shows the good, the bad, and the ugly from our first year on the air. I’ll let YOU decide which is which.
Enjoy! And thank you so very much for being part of this story…just on the opposite side of the speakers.
As I have said on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I am SO grateful for the last four-and-a-half years you’ve listened to my show on (the now-former) 104.3 K-Hits! Sadly, that era has come to an end.
Hey, I’ve been doing this radio thing since 1990. November 23rd to be exact. So, I’m about to celebrate 27 years behind the microphone! The reality is losing my job to a format change has become “old hat.”
Listeners and friends have been extremely kind to reach out and ask if I’m OK. The answer is “YES!” These things don’t bring me down. In fact, it’s the nature of this business I chose. You know the old saying: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” I know how this game plays out! With very few exceptions in my career, the experience has been worth the end result – whatever that may have been.
Nearly 15 years ago, I was in a similar predicament when the company that owned Energy 92-7 & 5 folded. I wanted desperately to stay on the radio here in Chicago. So, I stuck around. Eventually, the severance ran out. Then, the unemployment ran out. Finally, my savings and patience ran out. I had to find work elsewhere. That’s when I took a job doing mornings in Indianapolis.
I told myself it was only temporary…until something opened up in Chicago. I would only be three hours down the road and could just come back home. While the job DID turn out to be “temporary” (it lasted only one year), my next stop wasn’t Chicago. Nor was the next one…nor the following one…nor another four for that matter! It took TEN years for me to find the right opportunity in my favorite city on Earth. That, of course, was at 104.3 K-Hits.
I will NOT repeat this a second time! I have zero intention of leaving Chicago again. The key difference this time is that I’m 100% willing to walk away from radio. If no opportunities present themselves here in a timely manner, I’m “hanging up the headphones” as they say. I’ve finally reached the point where quality of life trumps passion. I love this city so much, I’ll sacrifice a nearly 30 year career to stay.
This decision was not made hastily. I’ve had to pack my things, move to a new city, and basically uproot my life TWELVE times! While that was fun as a teenager in the early ’90s, the whole experience lost its luster many years ago. There won’t be a 13th time.
Sooooooo, you will either hear me on the radio soon…or find me packing boxes at Amazon! If it’s the latter, please subscribe to Amazon Prime. See? I’m already on the job! A.B.C. Always. Be. Closing.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. JeffreyT.com was EXTREMELY outdated! I built the website in 1999 and, with very few exceptions, it has looked pretty much the same for all of those 16 years. That elephant was probably still using Netscape Navigator 😉
A change was way overdue for a variety of reasons.
It was designed on Microsoft Front Page 2000, a program that is now obsolete.
Once platforms like Facebook and Twitter became popular, I pretty much gave this website the cold shoulder and cheated with those social media hussies! It needed some love.
Change – for whatever reason – is GOOD.
So, that change is finally here. Take a look at the brand new JeffreyT.com!
While I’m sure at some point you’ve heard me on the radio (why else would you have Googled me?), you may not have heard my side project. Let’s change that!
It’s called – shockingly – Jeffro Radio. Even more shockingly, the one thing NOT on Jeffro Radio…is Jeffro! However, it is 100% created and programmed by me.
Jeffro Radio plays “Hits of the 80s, 90s, 2K + Today.” This isn’t the same old list of 250 over-researched songs like you hear on terrestrial or even satellite radio. These are ALL the hits. Some you’ll remember, others you’ve forgotten…but you’ll be able to sing along with every one!
Jeffro Radio also features an hourly Beatles Breakthrough and Snuggle Track. Complementing the package are jingles from JAM Creative Productions and TM Studios along with classic 1980s style audio processing. It’s truly an exciting listening experience!
Thank you for listening…a lot. Since moving from evenings to middays in 2014, ratings at 104.3 K-Hits have skyrocketed! The midday show is consistently top 3 in Chicago. On more than one occasion, it’s actually been ranked #1!
There have been a number of accomplishments through my radio career for which I am extremely proud. Becoming a program director at age 18 and launching brand new CHR Mix 99.3 in Harrisburg, PA was my first big one. Building, imaging, signing on and programming The 80s Channel 103.1 WXXY here in Chicago back in 1999 was another. Bringing 94.5 KOOL-FM back to #1 in Phoenix was way up there as well. Though, none of those compare to being on top in Chicago.
I can’t accurately describe my excitement, pride…and, most importantly, GRATITUDE. I’ve been madly in love with this city, its radio scene, and all of its listeners since my very first day here in 1998. Chicago is different than any other radio market in America. It’s more “special.” So, again, THANK YOU!!!
Also, a HUGE thanks to Chicago media reporter and critic Robert Feder for his extremely kind articles on both my promotion and ratings. Believe me, Mr. Feder hasn’t always painted a pretty picture of my work. Need I remind you of this?
That being said, he tells it like it is! So, I know I’m doing well when he gives a flattering review.
Onward and upward! Let’s have some fun on the radio…Sunday through Friday 10am-2pm. I’d LOVE to hear from you! 312-729-1043.