Joey Reynolds is a legendary broadcasting personality with more than 50 years under his belt.
Reynolds, most recently, was overnight talk show host on WOR and heard nationally on the WOR Radio Network. That gig, the longest of his career, lasted 14 years.
Now Reynolds is returning to TV, where he has dabbled throughout his career.
Beginning last night (this morning), Reynolds took his banter and wit to WNBC’s digital platform—New York Nonstop, hosting a two-hour All Night with Joey Reynolds.
The show is long awaited. After leaving WOR in April, it was rumored to start as soon as last May.
Seen each Monday night (Tuesday morning) through Friday night (Saturday morning) from midnight to 2 a.m., Reynolds says All Night will eventually offer a “triple play” for viewers, simulcasting the show online and syndicated for radio. (InsideRadio.com reports the program, initially, will be heard on WOR HD Radio, with many other stations to follow.
“What used to be able to be done with one ad in The New York Times, now needs to be in radio, television, [and] magazines. It’s gotta be all over the place,” Reynolds admits. “You can’t just be one thing anymore. You have to be on more than one platform.”
Having said that, Reynolds wasn’t looking to work for satellite radio or cable TV.
“You have to pay for them. I wanted to be a part of something that was free,” Reynolds says. “It’s not a subscription based, although it’s carried on all the [cable] outlets. But it’s really over the air free.”
Case in point, on the document listing where to find New York Nonstop on your cable provider, at the bottom it says those using an antenna in the tri-state area (over the air) can tune to channel 4.2.
“Both are important. I think you want to reach audiences, everyone of them, in a different way.”
Normally, programs start out with a target audience, but Reynolds cautions that doesn’t fit All Night.
“This is, absolutely, the Anti-Christ of demographics. This is putting more than one demographic together. …You want to have Justin Bieber and you want to have Dionne Warwick. You want to have older and younger, and put them together and have some fun. They’re all talented.”
Reynolds, whose TV experience includes stops in Miami and Buffalo, says he’s not pigeonholing the show.
“I kind of like have a hard time describing [it] … This probably is out of the box I would say.”
But the veteran broadcaster does have a blueprint in mind.
“Primarily …I want to do what Steve Allen and Johnny Carson did…and just have some fun with the folks. I’m not celebrity driven.”
The show is taped earlier in the evening at the Nasdaq studio in Times Square. But Reynolds assures the broadcast will not be edited in its “as live” mode.
“They [NBC] are not really interested in having us on at 10 p.m. They tried that with Jay Leno, I think, last year,” Reynolds laughed. “Ten o’clock doesn’t seem to be their favorite time to put a variety show on the air.”
Even though Reynolds looks to engage his viewers with entertaining fare, he admits his style changed forever on October 22, 1986. On that fateful day, while doing the afternoon shift on WNBC (he replaced Howard Stern who went to K-Rock), Reynolds heard traffic reporter Jane Dornacker die in a helicopter crash while on the air.
“When that happened, I went and changed my whole thinking. NBC knew it very well and I became a little more compassionate, a little less of a wise-ass and a little bit more grown up.”
Fast forward 24 years and Reynolds is back with the National Broadcasting Company. But he doesn’t see this as a homecoming.
“I consider it to be an evolution. It’s part of the whole way that we’re watching television differently and listening to radio differently. …The connectivity is what makes this different than most of the other shows because I’m going to be connected to people in a very interesting human fashion. In other words, I’m not sending Stuttering John outside and I’m not sending a ‘Jaywalk,’ I’m going out myself.”