Tim McLoone presents radio as we remember it

APP.com - November 2012
Tim McLoone
Tim McLoone outside McLoone's Pier House in Long Branch's Pier Village. NJ PRESS MEDIA 2010 Tim McLoone at McLoone's Pier House on the boardwalk in Long Branch. He is expanding his restaurant chain, opening new venues in Maryland, Woodbridge and Bayonne....Bob Bielk/Asbury Park Press-5/4/10-Long Branch-Biz-#72692

Written by Chris Jordan

Radio was once called the theater of the mind, but these days the only realms talk radio takes you to are right-wing politics or crazy intense sports coverage.

Tim McLoone of Little Silver remembers a different time.

"I was one of those kids who listened to the radio under the covers," said Tim McLoone. "I loved Jean Shepherd. He wrote 'A Christmas Story' but he was really a monologist, he was fantastic."

McLoone, known for his restaurants and his merry making in the Holiday Express music group, is hitting the airwaves starting 5 p.m. Saturday as "The Tim McLoone Show" makes its debut on WOR-AM (710). Jack Ford, a legal analyst for CBS, Joan Hamburg, long-time WOR host and Barbara Maran, the director of St. John's Soup Kitchen in Newark, will be McLoone's first guests.

The format of the show will be McLoone chatting with folks he's met over the course of his multiple careers. The first episode will be taped Saturday, Nov. 29 at McLoone's Boathouse in West Orange in front of a live audience. Subsequent shows will be taped 7 p.m. Thursdays at McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park, which is expected to open soon after a post-Sandy fix up. Those interested in being part of the live audience can call 732-774-1155.

McLoone opened his first restaurant, McLoone's Rum Runner, in Sea Bright in 1987. Outside the dining industry, he served as the musical director of the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony for NBC from 1998 to 2000, and he's covered U.S. Olympic Trials and the New York City Marathon as a broadcaster. He's the arena announcer for Seton Hall basketball games at the Prudential Center in Newark and his Holiday Express has been bringing seasonal cheer to those less fortunate since in 1993.

He's also shared a concert stage with Bruce Springsteen and lots of other celebs, too. The Holiday Expressers have a heavy load of shows this year due to a high post-Sandy demand, so that makes their upcoming fund raising concerts Dec. 13 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank and Dec. 20 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark especially important.

As for the restaurants after Sandy, McLoone will be reopening those that were damaged, but some will take longer than others to repair. McLoone's Pier House on Long Branch's Pier Village has reopened, Tim McLoone's Supper Club on the boardwalk in Asbury Park is close to reopening and McLoone's Rum Runner in Sea Bright, hit especially hard by Sandy, will reopen but no date has been set.

All told, McLoone has a few areas of expertise to tap into for his show, which he hopes will evoke the aura of old-time radio.

"I have a romantic attachment to it all," McLoone said. "The bottom line is I hope I'm not too late in getting involved in something that's on its way out. I remember a time when people loved radio."

Staff writer Chris Jordan: 732-643-4060; cjordan@njpressmedia.com.