Today’s “Awesome Facebook Friend Of The Day” is the closest thing to a legend that you’re going to find in this series. Who else can say they worked between Don Imus and Howard Stern on legendary New York radio station WNBC? Who else can say that when they left, management had to bring in Soupy Sales to replace them? No one but Frank Reed, that’s who.
By the late 1980s AM radio had all but abandoned music formats, unable to compete with the higher audio quality of FM. But in the greater New York City area there were still a few AM stations that were doing well (compared with the rest of the country) playing music. And there were two AM stations that played contemporary Christian music; 970 AM WWDJ, which was licensed to Hackensack, NJ and covered much of New York City, and 540 AM WLIX, licensed to Bay Shore, NY and covering Long Island, parts of the city and south Jersey. Frank was doing mornings at WWDJ and I did mornings at WLIX.
The stations partnered on a number of events and Frank and I shared the stage as MC at concerts at places like Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Nassau Coliseum. And we saw each other every year in Nashville at the yearly Christian radio gathering, GMA (Gospel Music Association) week. By the mid ’90s both of our stations had been sold and changed formats. Frank landed in Dallas and I eventually wound up in Atlanta.
Somewhere around 2000 we had the afternoon on-air shift open up and I approached Frank about doing it long distance. Frank faithfully provided us with a stellar show, until the company he worked for bought a station in Atlanta and “asked” him to quit doing afternoons for us, since we had become the competition. Frank felt terrible about it, but we both knew it was part of the business.
We’ve remained friends through the years. During my time with the cable network Gospel Music Channel, we covered the Celebrate Freedom festival hosted by Frank’s Dallas station a couple of times. Frank and I managed to get away for dinner a few times. It was great catching up with him.
Frank is one of the best communicators I’ve ever heard. And he’s one of the most humble men I know. It’s a pleasure to call him friend.