WFDU and Z100 wiz kid heads to Boston airwaves
Escaping the zoo for his own place, TJ Taormina heads to Boston to lead his own morning show on 103.3 AMP Radio. (Photo by Jenna Leigh Teti.)
By Dan Landau
From the studios of 89.1 WFDU-FM on FDU’s Metropolitan Campus to the Elvis Duran morning show in New York, TJ Taormina is one of FDU’s great broadcast success stories. He’s about to become even greater as he embarks on a new project: hosting his own morning show on 103.3 AMP Radio in Boston.
A lifelong fan of radio, TJ started at WFDU, while he was still in high school. “When I turned 16, I started calling every college radio station in the area, asking if I could do some volunteer work for them,” he says. “No one called me back except FDU.”
WFDU gave him a shot and he jumped at the opportunity to run public affairs programs on Sunday mornings at 5 a.m. “I didn’t even have my driver’s license yet,” says TJ. “My mom had to drive me to the radio station every single weekend.”
TJ worked with WFDU for two years under the expert tutelage of Carl Kraus, general manager, and Barry Sheffield, program director/operations manager. “TJ came to WFDU as high school student and was a breath of fresh air,” says Sheffield. “His enthusiasm for radio broadcasting was boundless and he took every air shift he could fit in.”
His hard work paid off and TJ landed an internship with Elvis Duran on Z100 in New York. “Because of Barry and Carl’s guidance, I already had two years of experience,” says TJ. “Even though I was 17, turning 18, Z100 saw that I had the skill set to match a college junior or senior, so they hired me.”
Elvis liked what he saw in the young TJ and hired him to work part-time at the station. Not long after that, he made the jump to a fulltime position as an assistant producer for Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. “From the very beginning, Elvis always told me to take the keys and drive,” says TJ. “He said if it was funny, he would play it.” TJ’s proved himself and after a few years, he was elevated to Elvis’ panel of co-hosts.
After working for Elvis for almost 11 years, TJ announced that he was leaving for 103.3 AMP Radio in Boston, where starting April 1, he will take the reins of the morning show. This move represents the fulfillment of his lifelong radio ambitions. “I’ve been preparing for my own show since I was a teenager,” TJ says.
Despite his success, TJ has remained grounded. “When he made the jump to Z100, he never forgot the start he got at WFDU,” says Sheffield. “He’s regularly thanked both Carl and me on the air. We always knew he would make it big; a talent like his is hard to stop!”
Those outside the Boston area can catch TJ’s new show at radio.com.