@theacetjshow – a sad day for Charlotte

This post really has nothing to do with technology or security, but it has to do with something that means a lot to me.  It is about my morning radio show, the Ace and Tj Show, that I have been listening to every morning since I was in high school.  When I was in high school, I worked a before school job at a daycare.  Every morning the kids wanted to listen to the same station before school, and I was up for anything that would appease the natives at six in the morning.  I have a very clear recollection of the first time I heard Ace and Tj on their very first morning in Charlotte.  It was the two of them and “the girl” that remained from the other show, Terry Blake.  Those first few mornings were hilarious as they tried on Charlotte and we tried them out as our new morning show.

After high school there was work and college and I proudly remained one of the original eleven listeners.  Eventually you feel like you know these people because you know their lives.  Unlike many radio personalities they really shared all aspects of their lives with you on the radio.  It made you feel like family.  As part of the radio family we were there with them through the births of their children, happy times for the Queen city, and during times of great crisis.  As I got older the radio family matured along with me.  There were new affiliates brought in and the cast went through several changes some good and some bad.  Even through the changes I never gave up on them because they never gave up on Charlotte.

I know a lot of people are out there thinking I have lost my mind, but as someone who does a lot of driving I have spent at least an hour a day listening to Ace and Tj since the day they came on the air in our region.  When terrible tragedies have struck our region and even our nation Ace and Tj have been there to respond.  When September 11 happened they stayed on the air all the next day taking donation and raising support for our brothers and sisters in New York and Washington.  When hurricane Katrina ripped though the gulf coast they filled tractor trailers with water and supplies that the people there needed.  Even a few weeks ago when Tornados ripped through the south they were there and even went to the site of the tornados to visit with those affected and raise awareness and money to help the victims.  There has been more than one time that I have had to pull over to the side of the road to cry along with them.

They do so many wonderful things for our community.  Every year they take the Grin Kids, a charity they have started to help chronically ill or handicapped kids, to Disney and broadcast from down there.  Hearing those children and their families on the radio is like nothing else.  My wife and I attend their events to support this cause and fully believe their hearts are in the right place.  Each Christmas they take applications and then go and totally change several needy families’ Christmas with their Breaking and Entering Christmas project.  I know that I can’t listen to those shows live and just have to download them when I get to work.  It breaks my heart to hear how people are suffering right in our own back yards.

I guess I better get to the point of this post.  Over the weekend I saw on Facebook and Twitter that the plug had been pulled on them and they would only be available via streaming for the foreseeable future.  My heart sank.  I instantly wondered how some other station could have lured them away from Charlotte.  Ace and Tj really seemed to love it here and I just couldn’t image they would leave us, then on Sunday the Charlotte Observer posted an article that said they could not reach an agreement with the station and would be broadcasting form a rented space to their affiliates and via the web to those of us in the Charlotte market.  This made me feel a lot better but it still saddens me that 95.1 can’t see past dollar signs and see the intrinsic value that this family of broadcasters brings to its station.  I just hope when their non-compete is up in six months that they can find a new home in the Charlotte market so I can hear them again on my ride to work instead of having to download the show at night and listen to it on a 24 hour delay on my iPod. It just isn’t the same.

So for the next few months they will be sorely missed but the radio family out will keep listening however we can, on the web, their upstart cult (just kidding), twitter, facebook and at Charity Case shows.  It is getting late here so until later…



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