It’s been an eventful 12 months for all of us. Those of us at The JOY FM (Atlanta branch especially) know that full well.
We began the year as J93.3. Sheila and Mike were on the air in the morning, followed by Jayar, Steve Swanson and Paige Long. Rob Langer did weekends and I was doing the occasional fill in. In early February Mike accepted a position at another radio station and Sheila and I were paired for the third time in our careers in the morning.
In March the radio station was sold by Provident Broadcasting (a wholly owned subsidiary of Watkins Associated Industries) to Radio Training Network (RTN), a not-for-profit company that has stations in Florida (The JOY FM network), the Carolinas (The His Radio network), Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri. The founder of Watkins Associated Industries was pivotal in the start up of Radio Training Network and J93.3 (WVFJ) had a long relationship with the network. Now being owned by RTN made J93.3 a not-for-profit station. That meant the station could accept donations and use volunteers, something that previously we were not able to do. Beginning in May the license for J93.3 was converted from commercial to non-commercial which changes some of what we’re able to say in announcements thanking business community partners for their support. It also opens up a number of opportunities for us to expand the coverage of the station’s signal.
The Long Good-Bye
By June of 2011 Sheila Richards was feeling much worse. For those of you new to this blog and/or The JOY FM, Sheila had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer several years ago. She had actually beaten it twice before, having undergone surgery, chemo and radiation and being declared cancer free, only to have it recur. Her treatments had continued through 2011, which meant that she was not on the air with me several days a week while she underwent chemo. In June the effort it took to get up and into the studio by 5:30 AM was more than she could manage on many days. So she came in a little late, if at all. Friday, July 1 was her last day on the air, though we didn’t know it at the time.
|Sheila Richards on her last morning show.|
JOY Comes To The ATL
I held down the morning show slot solo, with occasional help from Kelsey (who also happens to be my daughter) through Thanksgiving.
|Kelsey in one of her many roles|
|Bill Martin, Carmen Brown, Dave Cruse of The Morning Cruise|
|Prevenings with Jerry Williams & Shannon Steele|