Tim Slats found radio at an early age. Or rather, the radio found him. But at age 37, a legendary talent invested the time and attention to unlock his potential. That’s his Legacy story.
My parents gave me a hand-me-down radio. I immediately turned it to WABC and Heard Ron Lundy say, “Hello Love”.
I held that radio with both hands and said,
This sounds like a great way to make a living.
I was 6.
When I was 12, Barry Von Furstenberg was a local jock on WBRW-AM in my hometown of Somerville, NJ. He would let me screw around in one of the production rooms while he was on the air. The radio bug had bitten me. Hard.
But that was nothing compared to meeting John Lanigan.
Enter John Lanigan
Later, I got a job in radio. John Lanigan, the legendary morning guy of 41 years on WMJI/Cleveland showed up at one of my early remotes at 3:30 in the afternoon. I’ll never forget it. I recognized him, of course. So I got the courage to ask:
Hey, you wanna mess around on air or are you incognito?
He said he was incognito, but he stuck around to watch. Three and a half hours later, it’s 7 pm and my show is over. John waves me over and buys me a drink. He told me:
You’re gonna do mornings.
I told him I tried and had bombed twice before in Atlanta & Orlando. John asked what I did. I told him. And he said:
Okay, here’s what you did wrong. Do you have a minute?
I listened for the next three and a half hours as Lanigan gave me the keys to the kingdom. Step-by-step, hour-by-hour, day-by-day.
I was 37.
24 years later, I’m going on 20 years in Cleveland and 11 years doing mornings on WNCX.
I will be forever grateful to my parents, Barry Von Furstenberg, and especially John Lanigan for helping me along the way. And to you too, Tracy. You interviewed me for a job in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1983!
Slats is humble about his time in Florida. His impact was greater than he gives himself credit for. It was great hearing Slats on the radio. He may have “bombed” doing mornings in Orlando, but listeners I’ve talked to in my 50 years in Central Florida radio, Slats was a household name and one of the legends of the vintage rock powerhouse, WDIZ-FM and, later WHTQ-FM (Q-96). You always remember those you competed against.