Paul GerardiPaul Gerardi at the JPR console

Broadcaster


“It was amazing, really. That natural phenomenon changed a selfish act into a lifetime desire to be of service to others.”

Paul Gerardi’s broadcasting career began on Sunday September 2st 1979 at the then college radio station WUCF –FM in Orlando Florida. Upon arriving for his first air shift on the campus of the University of Central Florida, Paul noticed that the campus was filled with cars and RV’s. The halls of the building where the radio station was located, were filled with people settling in against the walls with blankets. An evacuation of the towns on the east coast of Florida was in effect due to the impending landfall of Hurricane David, a category 5 storm.

At that time, Paul was a music major at the university. Having written a number of jazz tunes, he had a local band record them, and it was his intention to play one of those tunes on the air once he had a few air shifts under his belt.

Within a half hour of settling in on his first air shift, an Army Sergeant burst through the door of the two room station and enquired loudly if the radio station was licensed to broadcast 24 hours a day. The Manager, Program Director, and the station’s Engineer were there due to the storm, and affirmed that the station could operate around the clock. The Sergeant announced that WUCF would be the official information station for the evacuees and asked if he could immediately do an on-air interview. His request was granted by the staff, and Paul stood up from the control room chair, placed the mic so that it could pick up both he and the Sergeant. Paul proceeded to do his first on-air interview, unscripted, staring into the Sergeant’s eyes.

The four students stayed at the radio station for the next three days, living on sugar and caffeine, and being of service to the evacuees. Once the storm subsided and the college reopened for classes, Paul changed his major to Radio and Television and never looked back. He was also on air during Hurricane Frederic later that year.

Within six months of changing his major, Paul had become Music Director for WUCF-FM and was interning for WORJ-FM, the local underground Album Oriented Rock station that he had grown up listening to and whose staff he later joined as Assistant Music Director and weekend announcer. He was working for the station when John Lennon was killed. WORJ hosted a community event to help with the listener’s grief.

In late September1985, Paul was working at WVOD-FM, a small radio station on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Hurricane Gloria made landfall just south of the station at Cape Hatteras and was moving towards the station’s location. During the heavy rains that accompanied this storm, a knock came at the station’s door from a tall rain coated man. It turned out to be Ross Simpson of the Mutual Broadcasting System, a well-known broadcast news anchor of that era. He asked for our permission to use WVOD as his base of operations. For the rest of the storm Paul helped WVOD’s News Director prepare storm updates that were to be fed to CBS News, alongside of Mr. Simpson, who was sending feeds to Mutual.

Over the last three decades, Paul Gerardi has been a Music Director and on-air announcer for numerous stations, programming music formats as diverse as Album Oriented Rock, Traditional/Contemporaty Country, Adult Contemporary, Smooth/Traditional Jazz, Adult Album Alternative, eclectic Hybrid formats that blend Folk, Rock, Soul, and Jazz, as well as producing (and hosting) Folk Music Radio Programs in Florida and Oregon. He ran a Traffic Reporting company for Metro Networks (now Traffic.com) in Richmond Virginia. He also worked for Metro Networks In Orlando and West Palm Beach Florida, voicing reports from a ground studio as well as reporting live from an aircraft flying over the scenes of accidents.

Paul currently is the morning show host on TheValley106.3FM and can be heard from 6am to 10am over the air in southern Oregon's Rogue Valley, TheValley106.3Fm streams live 24/7 at www.thevalley.fm