Monday, November 24, 2008

Jim McGuinn to leave XPN for The Current

When I checked my email this morning I was greeted by an email from Jim McGuinn telling the rest of the staff at XPN that he would be leaving the station and heading to Minnosota Public Radio's The Current in January. Not the kind of news with which I wanted to start my week. I love listening to Jim on the air, and while I don't get to see him very often, he's a great guy. Great knowledge of music combined with a nice sense of humor. You can read more about his departure on the XPN All About the Music Blog as well as at City Paper

While I've worked with Jim for the past year, I first met Jim back in 2001 when he was at Philly's legendary Y-100, the predecessor to Y-Rock on XPN. When I came on board at XPN, Jim reminded me of our previous meeting. Y-100 and a radio station from Atlanta each had contests whereby each station brought about 20 listeners to New York's Museum of Television & Radio for two separate private concerts with R.E.M. Think about it. You and 19 friends getting your own private show with R.E.M. What made it more interesting is that the concert was held in a very small gallery on the first floor of the Museum. About one third of the room held the full band, another third held the sound mixing equipment, and the middle third held the audience. The room was packed and incredibly hot. 

During the Y100 concert, one of my MT&R co-workers was filming the performance and was overcome by the heat and passed out. Michael Stipe stopped the show immediately, rushed across the room and shooed everyone away and attended to her, showing genuine concern and making sure she got proper treatment. How many people can say they were revived by Michael Stipe? But it certainly made that event memorable. A video of the performance is available at the Museum (now the Paley Center for Media) for viewing. And I believe one of the songs from that show made it on to a bonus disc on one of the R.E.M. greatest hits compilations. 

Those were interesting days. But now fast forward to 2008 and Jim McGuinn, the architect of Y100 and Y-Rock on XPN is headed to Minnesota. You'll be missed Jim, but congratulations on landing such a great gig!

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