After more than a decade together, declining Arbitron ratings has caused the break-up of my favorite morning show duo, Shawn and Jeff. A loyal listener since they first started on KWOD in 1993, I made the switch to The Zone with them in 2002, despite my much stronger preference of KWOD’s playlist. For those of you who haven’t listened to The Zone, they’re about three months behind the curve as far as songs go. Before it got sold to a broadcasting corporation, the then-independently-owned KWOD would play a song for months, then The Zone would pick it up and tout it as “brand new!” and play the heck out of it when you were already so sick of it.
For years, Shawn and Jeff provided me with the ideal start to my day — they kept things light, didn’t cause much controversy, and let listeners into their personal lives as they each got married and started their own families. There are morning radio shows on the air whose programming is more cerebral, but I really don’t want to think too hard when making the sleep-wake transition since I have the rest of the day to concern myself with reality.
I can never hear a Police song without also hearing Jeff refer to them as “nature’s most perfect band” and Sting as “nature’s most perfect solo artist.” When I hear of someone wronging someone else, or getting wronged themselves, I automatically think it would be a great “Wiener Wednesday” submission for the Shawn and Jeff show.
Both about my age, I always felt a kinship with them since our musical tastes were so similar, and their references to events in their lifetimes matched up so closely with my experiences. They each adore their wives; both were elated to start families, and they talked about their pets quite a bit too.
To me, they represented the world that I couldn’t find anywhere else on the AM or FM dials. Other stations have news of doom and gloom; talk shows with people yelling at each other; other morning programs that I’d be embarrassed to have on with my mom, boss, or a client in the car with me; or DJs taking phone calls from listeners who can’t even form complete sentences.
So, now my morning will consist of flipping the dial around to the Adam Carolla show, Armstrong & Getty, Mark & Brian, and checking the news at the top and bottom of every hour on KFBK, but it just won’t be the same without my Shawn & Jeff.