Twenty Years

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  • Posted by: Dom Testa|
  • 1/25/2013 |
  • 10:00 am
Twenty Years

On my birthday in 1992 I was part of a massive downsizing - which means I was fired - with almost forty other people from a Denver radio station. A dozen of us went to a nearby establishment to cheer ourselves up and to talk about our next moves. I distinctly remember telling people, “I won’t be doing radio again.”

A little over four months later I accepted an invitation to host the morning show on what was then called Majic 100 in Denver. I was thirty-one years old.

Today, January 25, 2013, marks my twentieth anniversary hosting the show.

That means I’ve spent about forty percent of my life at this radio station, getting up at 4:15 each weekday morning to inform and (I hope) entertain. In the broadcast industry you’re usually lucky to stay in the same place for two years, so I’ve essentially lived nine lives at 100.3 in Denver.

To put it in perspective: during a book signing this past December I met a mom and daughter who talked about how they’d listened to me since the girl was in preschool; in May she’ll become a college graduate.

On that first show I tried a feature called The Mindbender, and it seemed to go over pretty well. Today it’s an iconic part of the Denver radio landscape; entire generations have been raised on it, and two Mindbender books have become bestsellers. With the wink of an eye I call it “the most popular radio contest in the world,” but I honestly think it might be.

The first team I worked with consisted of Nancy Richards in the news room (I still make her husband’s enchilada recipe) and Lee Ann Nye as the producer. Lee Ann, in fact, was the person who recommended me for the job. I owe her so much, and I’m happy that we’re still in touch today.

The radio station has had seven different owners in those twenty years, and four different locations. I’ve had (I think) ten program directors, more than ten general managers, and well over a hundred sales associates who have come and gone. On the show I’ve worked with (to name just a few) Dave Ward, Rockin' Ron Harrell, Matt the producer, Chuck Clark, Jo Myers, Ray Zoller, Greg Moody, Kris McLaughlin, Gregg Cassidy, Milo, Josh, Allison, Maggie, Tizzy, Emily, and more than two dozen other producers, news people, and traffic reporters.

I give special thanks to people like Little Jen, who gave her all - and her unique laugh - to the show for seven years; to Jeremy, who has been such a dedicated and talented team member for eight years; and to my friend and “work wife” Jane, who has been a blast to team with for almost fourteen of those years. I’ve been very, very lucky.

Mostly I want to thank the countless listeners through the years. We’ve laughed together over the most ridiculous things - my belly button falling out, the talking bird, tossing rodents, the unfortunate fire hydrant that I took out with my truck - and together experienced more than our share of sad moments: Oklahoma City, Columbine, Sept 11th, the Aurora shootings. We’ve been together for all of them.

Listeners have been there with me during some intense highs and lows in my personal life, from The Girl in The Green MX6 to the death of my father. When I started in January of ’93 my son was twelve. Today he’s 32, and the executive director of my non-profit foundation. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

And listeners have called, written, emailed, and spoken to me in person at hundreds of events. More than five thousand people have come through the studio during Live Audience Friday shows. Thousands have purchased my various books, from the Galahad series of young adult books to the Mindbender volumes. Again, I’m so thankful.

I don’t actually recall that first show twenty years ago, and sadly there’s no tape of it. But the funny thing is, I still clearly recall the afternoon four months before that, when I sat outside on a restaurant patio with a dozen or so of my co-workers after we’d been sourly dismissed from a fun radio station. I still remember telling people that I would become a full-time writer, and would never again get behind a radio microphone. I think we all toasted to that thought.

And now I have to look back and shake my head. Hosting the morning show at Mix 100 in Denver (along with its various other names over the years) has been such a crucial and fulfilling part of my life that I can’t imagine what my world would’ve been like without it, and without all of you who’ve been involved.

I’ll say it again: I’m a lucky guy. Thank you for allowing me into your home, your car, your office, and your family, for so long. I’ve truly enjoyed the ride.

 

16 Responses to "Twenty Years"
  • Marcia Bischof January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    I am, in turn, a very lucky listener, book buyer/reader, bender of minds and down right appreciative gal for all these years you have spent at MIX. Listening since 1982, I have seen all the changes you wrote about and remember all the good times they were for me. I have enjoyed every book signing I have attended, probably about six by now. I hope you do realize how much a part of people's lives radio personalities can be. The simple joys of waking up every morning and hearing your and Jane's voices is heartwarming. Thank you for all the great years, and I look forward to many, many more!
  • Michael January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    Dom, It has been a pleasure to be a listener to you as you have sat in the Mix100 radio station. I still remember the fun time of being on your LAF Show. When you all where still in downtown. I've also enjoyed being a part of several of your book signing's. It has been a treat and I will enjoy spending more time at those events.
  • Lori Senske January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    Dom, we are really the lucky ones. I've listened to your show for about 15 years. I love the mindbender contest, and some of the past segments like boys against girls, and lovecourt. But, it's the times inbetween some of those segments that are sometimes the funniest. I just wanted to say thank you for always being there in the morning to brighten the day. I look forward to getting in my car and listening to the Dom and Jane show. Thank you for all the entertainment. I love your show..
  • Dawn January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    I just wanted to say I've enjoyed listening to you all these years, I stopped this morning and had to think, where was I was 20 years ago. I have raised 3 boys listening to you, and I still catch myself calling it magic 100. I've meet you a few times at LAF and mix around town. Thanks for all the magic you bring into our lives every morning, good or bad you can always count on hearing your voice. It does help to stay in one place when you do love what you do and the people you work with are such wonderful and bright people to see everyday! Myself and my family will remember you long after you are gone, and all the conversations we had because of the mindbenders, Thanks for all the great mornings.
  • Jonathan T January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    Congratulations on 20 years, Dom. I moved to Denver in August 2001 and started listening to your show shortly thereafter. Thanks to and all the crew on the Dom and Jane show over the years for making my mornings that much better. Hope to see you at show 3,500 and at the next Mindbender book signing!
  • Anne King January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    I can't imagine starting my day without you and Jane. You both make me laugh so much and it's a great way to start the day! So glad you didn't give up on radio. It wouldn't be the same without you. Love you and love the morning show!!! Here's to another 20!!!
  • Moon January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    I worked with Dom for 7 years. He came on the air after me at 10pm. Later he became my boss. He then fired me! We still laugh about that today. I am proud of the on air talent that Dom became. To be a legend in the Denver market isn't easy. Congrats my friend.
  • Lisa J. January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    Congrats, Dom! Here's to 20 more!
  • Dave Zaslowsky January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    Dom, Can't begin to thank you for taking a chance on me waaaaayyyy back in 1983. It's been a blast, thanks Brother Dom! Zas
  • Debbie Theobald January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    Thanks for your dedication getting up so early in the morning to entertain us each day! It's amazing how you and Jane have gotten along all these years, kudos to both of you. The mind bender books are a big hit at the bank, we have a lot of fun with it. See ya!
  • Roy January 25, 2013 6:04 am
    Dom, I have listened to you since your Y108 days. You've been a huge part of my radio listening life! I met you for the first time at a book signing about a month ago and then again a couple of weeks ago at Live Audience Friday. Something I've been wanting to do forever. I was nervous but you were so nice, cordial and comfortable to talk to. I've always loved every incarnation of the show and different cast members over the years. Your "Mister Know-It -All" segments always blew my mind! I also like News For Nerds and your interests in Sci-Fi (I was the guy with the Lost In Space robot on LAF). Congratulations on 20 years of the best radio in Denver and probably the nation! Thank you so much for what you do and here's hoping for 20 more!!
  • Dawn in Mesa January 29, 2013 6:04 am
    Dom, congratulations on such a milestone! I can't recall if I've been listening to you since 1993 but if not, it's close. I've so enjoyed you and your various co-hosts (of course Jane is the best!) throughout the years, but it's been more than enjoyment. You've introduced many thought provoking ideas, you've upheld the notion that being smart is cool, and you've shared a piece of you with your millions of listeners and for that I am very appreciative. While I'm now living in Arizona, I listen to your podcasts every day and laugh along with you all in Denver! Congratulations on 20 years and here's to many, many more!!!
  • Tj Trolly January 29, 2013 6:04 am
    I only met you very recently Dom. At a book signing. I bought both books, and still I'm less than stellar at the Mind Bender.... I enjoy your show. I'm addicted. I must listen daily....I need the Dom & Jane show, not coffee. Awesome story. My next goal is to get to a LAF! Will do that in 2013. I hope you stick around for another 20! It's so true that dj's come and go because every time (before 2007 when I tuned in to Mix) I find one I love and POOF! Gone. Thanks for making my morning commute fun and inspiring. I often sit in the car because I don't want to stop listening! LOL, but work prevails. Thank you and Jane too....I love your show. Theresa aka 'Tj'
  • Michelle Stanfield January 31, 2013 6:04 am
    Dom, Yes, indeed you are a lucky man. However; it's not ALL lucky.You are a classy, talented, fascinating personality. I feel "lucky" to have had the privilege to be able to listen to your broadcasts over the years. THANK YOU for making mornings so much fun. :)
  • Jodi Gerber January 31, 2013 6:04 am
    Congrats Dom! I love your show! Memory from April 1993: I had been in Denver for less than a year and was thinking about buying my first place. Single girl in the City! I got a condo under contract and the next day you were giving a report about how North Capitol Hill had the highest crime rate in Denver. I was FREAKING out because my condo was in Capitol Hill (12th and Penn) and I didn't really know downtown Denver well. Was going to call my Realtor to back out of it, but decided to call the station to see if I could get more info about that report. Never thought I'd actually get through to you in person, but you calmed me down and reassured me that my place would be fine. And it was, just like you said. That condo that I bought for a whopping $50,000 I sold only 2 years later for $75,000 and got my new husband and I on the path to always having at least 20% down for subsequent home purchases. And there's an example of how a person has absolutely NO IDEA how their interactions with people can change someone's life. :-) Can't believe that was almost 20 years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday. Keep on making a positive difference in our days for another 20 years. Have a happy day, Jodi
  • Alex Lotze January 31, 2013 6:04 am
    It has been a pleasure to be on this journey with you. Although I have only been listening for 6 years (since I was 12 and I am now 18), but I have enjoyed every morning of them. It became a ritual to wake up in the morning and turn the radio on while my dad and I made breakfast together and then listen to you when he drove me and my brother to school. We would always play along with the mind-bender and have lots of fun. We did that for 4 years together. Then I turned 16 and I got my drivers license. That meant that I was now driving myself to school, but I would still listen to you. Every morning. And now I am in college in Utah, but every morning, I wake up, open my computer and turn on the live stream so that I can still listen to you. I enjoy your morning show so much! Congrats on 20 years!

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