Leslie Celebrates 10 Years on the WKDQ Morning Show
Time flies when you are having fun. That is exactly like I feel when it comes to my time at WKDQ as a part of the morning show. September 1, 2019 marked my 10th anniversary. It's hard to believe that is has been that long.
I literally walked in, off of the street, to apply for the afternoon position at WKDQ. I had no appointment, resume or anything. One of my former students, who was going to USI, sent me a text about a job opening at the radio station. I had been working, doing a part time Sunday show, at WRAY in Princeton. (BTW, funny story, I took the place of Liberty, from the My105 Morning Show, when she left the position to move to Florida. Small world. Now we work in studios right next to each other every morning on two of the largest radio stations in the Tristate.) After moving to to Newburgh, after my divorce, I just wanted a full time job doing anything. Radio seemed like it might be a good idea since I DID have some experience in it. Anyway, I drove downtown, walked in the door at WKDQ and ask to speak to Jon Prell.
Jon came to the lobby, probably to see what kind of a person would have the courage and confidence to walk into a radio station and ask for an interview without any kind of appointment. Well, he found me and we walked back to his office. We ended up sitting there laughing and talking for about an hour. Our connection was immediate. At the end of our conversation, he said he would be in touch.
The next day he called me and wanted me to come in for a second interview. He said that it was between me and another person. I was thrilled and nervous, but I was going to go in there and kill this second interview. The job was mine.
After I arrived to his office, he told me that he was NOT going to be offering me the position. He said that although he thought I was very talented and a natural, my voice sound too much like the female WKDQ has on the night show, Lea. He felt that the voices need to be different. I was disappointed yet I understood his reasoning. Jon then, asked me if he could ask me one more question. I told him that was fine, whatever. He asked me, "Do you like country music?" Well, since I had always been a R&B, Pop, Rock fan and had only recently started listening to country because of my job at WRAY, I told him the truth. I said, "No." He then asked me a question that I didn't expect, after all I thought I had just blown my chances of ever getting a job at WKDQ by answering his question the the honest, harsh, truth. He asked me, "Would you like to be my new morning show partner?" WHAT?
He explained he was looking for somebody that would tell the truth, somebody who wouldn't always tell him what he wanted to hear, someone who when he dished it out, would throw it right back. And, that person was me. I have since grown to love country music. My answer to his question would be much different if he asked me the same question today.
It took a little while to actually sit in the chair, across from Jon, even another job in Jackson, TN. But, on September 1, 2009, at 6:00 am, we opened the mics as Jon and Leslie in the Morning and I never looked back. Oh, I'm sure there were times that Jon questioned his decision, you know the be careful what you asked for kinda thing. But, once he stepped onto the roller coaster ride of morning radio with me, he realized I was here to stay. I basically told him to hold on tight because it was going to be a wild ride. He trusted me to open up a part of him that he had been afraid to show. He brought out the best in me and I brought out the best in him.
After he retired, I have since had two more radio husbands. Dave Fields and Ryan O'Bryan both brought different things to the mic, which allowed me to learn so much. These two are two of the best there is in radio and I have been blessed to work with them.
I posted this on National Radio Day, back in August, to thank them, all who have guided me in radio and thank YOU, for the past ten amazing years.
Looking back, it HAS been a wild, fun, creative, incredible and blessed ride. Hope you enjoy some of the best moments as much as I did finding them.
Some of my favorite videos.
There are some videos I only directed and edited, with maybe a small cameo, but these are my faves.
Whether it's ding donging around on the air every morning, supporting local charities, or meeting YOU, Thank you for letting me have all of this fun. :-)
Here's to the next ten. Cheers.