You heard about the incredible story of Ted Williams who has been homeless throughout the last 20 years in Ohio. Williams, a former radio announcer who grew up in Brooklyn, has a second chance waiting for him.
Williams got lost on the wrong track with a combination of drugs and alcohol. This week, as part of the media frenzy, Williams declared that he has been clean and sober for two-and-a-half years.
“Having so many friends and family that have battled addictions, that really popped out at me,” Johnny Sialiano says. “I was really, really happy for him for that.”
Sialiano, known as Goumba Johnny, is a radio veteran who left WKTU in December after 15 years on air.
“He’s now bearing the fruit of all his hard work in beating his addictions. It’s just an unbelievable story,” Sialiano tells FishbowlNY.
(TVNewser has the latest on Williams’ numerous job offers.)
More reactions from notable radio personalities after the jump
By contrast, WINS morning sports anchor Sid Rosenberg, who had his own much-publicized personal battles, discredits Williams.
“I think the whole thing’s a scam. And if it’s not I think there’s been too much offered to the guy,” Rosenberg admits. “The story is starting to bore me.”
Rosenberg says he is “sensitive” toward Williams’ situation, believing “all of us addicts” deserve second chances. However, the opinionated, occasional WFAN host says “it almost seems like this guy’s entitled.”
Williams in the 1970s first got hooked on radio when he met Hank Spann, afternoon jock at soul station WWRL.
The legendary Dennis Elsas was at WNEW-FM at the time. Today, he is the afternoon DJ at Fordham’s WFUV and is an accomplished voice-over artist.
“Everybody loves a feel-good story,” Elsas says. “But, I’m surprised at the amount of coverage. I’m wondering if maybe broadcasters just like a good broadcasting story.”
Elsas added that this shouldn’t rise to the level of the Chilean miners, who you’ll recall, were rescued in October.
“I’m sure that there are voice-over guys who are just insanely jealous that this guy is getting all this stuff,” Elsas laughed.
Meanwhile, Sialiano, busy looking for his next radio gig, may have to make a new friend.
“This guy’s going to take off like a rocket,” Sialiano deadpanned. “In 60 days I’m going to be asking him for work.”