Don Gonyea’s Country-Western Daze

Hotline recently profiled NPR’s White House correspondent Don Gonyea, a veteran of the automobile industry beat before arriving in Washington.

We find out in the profile that Gonyea’s most embarrassing on-the-job moment came in his first radio job at WVMO-FM in Michigan (“perhaps the worst station in the history of commercial broadcasting”) where he was hired as a country-western DJ.

“Very early on in that first job — before I started doing news — I found myself hosting a live broadcast at a car dealership in my hometown. It was one of those deals where the business pays to have the station broadcast right from the showroom for an afternoon. It’s one big commercial. I had to wear a bright red, polyester jacket, with a big white station logo over the left breast. I prayed no one I knew would wander in. (I still have the jacket as a reminder of where I came from.)”