Transitions in life can sometimes be toughest for those sitting on the sidelines watching the evolution. With my impending departure from the airwaves of WSJM's Moody in the Morning show at the conclusion of the show on Friday, March 1st, 2019, the transition is underway for the "new kid" to take the reins. Believe me when I tell you "new kid" is a decided misnomer.
The "new kid" taking my place at the cockpit-like controls in the WSJM Studios is anything but a newbie. For the past two-and-a-half years he's been my cohort on the Moody in the Morning Show (with Ray Gustafson at the Anchor Desk.) He is -- in fact -- Ray Gustafson, and there's nothing remotely "rookie" about him.
First of all, he comes to the lead position with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications. While many are astounded that I have been on the air here for 46-years next week, Ray has worked in radio for more than 37 years, himself. He has experience in multiple radio formats including our own News/Talk. He has also hosted morning shows in Lincoln, Nebraska...Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota...and Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. If he was really going to be respectful and innovative, he would have called it Lincoln/Omaha or some such thing to go with all the other couplets including here in St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, where he currently bears the titles of Production Director and Morning Co-Host.
The old saw is that "those who can, do...and those who can't, teach." Ray's got you covered on all fronts. He can do radio and will be here every morning to host the show at FM 94.9...but he has a deep background in teaching the art of broadcast for two years on the high school level and, impressively, more than 16 years on the collegiate level. (As and educator, you'd think he would have been more open to facing my "Pop Quiz" sessions every Monday and Wednesday on the radio, rather than sweating buckets hoping for a series of lucky guesses!)
There's something else that Ray was really good at, too. Clearly. He has six children and three grandchildren on his branch of the Gustafson Family Tree.
Ray has been getting up at oh-dark-thirty for many years to prep his makeup for the Facebook Live post of "Here's what's coming up on the Moody in the Morning Show" podcast, and now...as I step back to a semi-retired role as explained in the link below...he is tanned (Ok, not really...) rested, excited and ready to "Take the Lead," on WSJM.
Please be kind to him, (though even I would have to admit I wasn't particularly kind to him) and welcome him into our morning routine. You'll still hear my voice on Moody on the Market segments and as a commercial spokesman for key clients who have asked me to do that, so it won't be a complete change.
Thank you for 46 wonderful years...and that leaves Ray only 43 1/2 more to go to match my record. Best of luck Raymond!
Here's the link to my own swan song, in case you missed it: