LITTLE EGG HARBOR – Wearing a long Santa hat that draped down to his shoulders and his bright blue 92.7 WOBM sweat shirt, veteran radio personality Shawn Michaels joined his long-time co-host Sue Moll in welcoming in the season to Toms River residents during the recently held Christmas Tree lighting.
The duo are fixtures at that event and Michaels has been a familiar voice on the airwaves making the early morning hours a comfortable pleasure for listeners to begin their day. For a quarter of a century, he’s reminded his shore area audience that there are a lot of positive things going on around them and that they were a part of it.
He’s been in broadcasting for 40 years and he’s not about to slow down. He continues to wake up in the wee hours of the morning ready to begin another day. “I feel that I have been the luckiest guy in radio because I have been able to have this morning show for 25 years to be able to be in my own neighborhood.”
“To be around people not only around the market (audience area) but to be a resident of the market and to have the hours I did, meant that I could go to all of my kids shows. I think a lot of times parents must have thought that I was unemployed because I was at every school function that was going on,” Michaels said.
He added, “things have changed over time especially with the pandemic with people having to work at home but back 25 years ago, there were less dads able to be around in the middle of the day. Now everyone is doing everything. I was able to go with my wife (April) to a lot of my kids’ functions during the day and to be able to enjoy it.”
“I feel I have had the best experience in radio because I’ve been able to be around and do all my family stuff and to be able to have a career all at the same time. Some people have to sacrifice that and I was lucky enough for it to work out for both angles,” Michaels added.
One person who Michaels has spent a lot of time with over the years is Sue Moll, who joined him in the studio 18 years ago.
“I always jokingly say I’ve been to all of Sue’s weddings and we always have a lot of fun because we have lived life together. I was there for her daughter’s birth and she has been there for my kids’ (Erin and Zach) graduations, going to college, and things like that. We celebrate different anniversaries.”
He added, “my wife knows Sue very well. I know Sue’s husband very well. I know all of Sue’s husbands very well and we have fun with each other and we are very close. Even when you think we are having a fight on the air its more of a difference of opinion.”
“We’ve gotten along together for all these years and we’ve spent time not only working but off the air,” Michaels added. “I don’t think you could do a show together for 18 years if you hated each other. If anyone thinks we do then we are doing a good job of theater of the mind on the radio. That is as far from the truth as possible.”
The exception, of course, is when she busts on his Giants and he busts on her Eagles, he added with a laugh.
The radio industry has evolved in the last several decades both in format and technology, Michaels remarked. “In the time I’ve been on radio – which is close to 40 years when you count the college radio experience – the very first broadcast that I was being paid I was actually playing vinyl records which was at a country radio station down in West Virginia. From records we went into CDs and then digital music. Over the course of time, I have become a writer as much as a broadcaster. That is probably the biggest change that I have experienced.
“In the 25 years that I’ve been doing the WOBM morning show, it has always been that nice family good clean fun radio station that gives you information and has fun with you. That has always been a constant with us. Being local, being family and having the same approach that you could trust year after year.” Michaels added.
He said he hopes to be celebrating his 35th anniversary with the show 10 years from now.
He starts his day around 2:30 a.m. when his alarm goes off at his Little Egg Harbor home, “I get the coffee going, I sit down and watch a little news and catch up on what’s going on. Get to the station (in Toms River) by 4 a.m., work on pieces for the show, and by 5 o’clock we are on the air. We do a lot of prep the day before. A lot of things are in place.”
“We like those hours and during the weekends, yes I am up before dawn,” he added. “My wife has gotten used to it too. There is nothing better than a great sunrise.” He credited his family as being his foundation for success.
“I am the longest running morning show host in the history of WOBM. I look forward to doing it for many more years. I feel I actually feel that I have more energy and more get up and go than I do now than I did maybe 45 years ago,” Michaels added.
“My body and mind are as strong as ever. Every day here has its positive love and whether it was something more serious or something silly, Sue and I have something we really look forward to doing every day and going into the holiday season we are looking forward to it even more than ever!”