Traveling to Your Television Screen in 3… 2… 1…

“We just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments while they’re happening.” — Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham, Field of Dreams

I am fortunate to say that Moonlight Graham was wrong. When I look back on my life’s most significant moments, I knew they were happening. You know those moments? Have you felt them? When your hands are shaking and you want to cry and you feel eternal.

I felt it when I got my acceptance package from USC. Felt it when I found out I would be working at the London Olympics. Felt it when each of my sisters was getting married. And I am privileged to feel it again.

I’m delighted to tell you all that I will soon begin as a video journalist for WKBN-TV in Youngstown, Ohio. I have been working since I was 12 years old to get to say these words: I am going to be a television reporter.


A few details about my first full-time job…

  • I am over the moon that I will be working less than one hour from my home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my heaven on Earth. When I started seeking out jobs, I never thought I would be able to find an on-air gig so close to Pittsburgh. But I found it. If you believe in God, thank Him. If you believe in gratitude, thank the forces that make such wonderful things possible.Even more than being on television, it means everything to me that I get to remain so close to family, to friends and to a certain someone. It also means that I get to tell the stories of people with whom I have a rapport: the good folks of Northeast Ohio. They are my neighbors, soon to be my friends. I can’t wait to meet them all.
  • Before you ask, no, this is not a sports job. Sister station WYTV does have a sports segment, which I have already contributed to and am sure I will again. This is a news job, and I am just as excited about taking it on as I would for a sports job. I am a journalist first and a sports guy second.
  • I will be moving to Boardman, Ohio, just south of Youngstown and close to the station. However, you Pittsburghers won’t be able to get rid of me that easily. I will still be within a 60-minute drive of the ‘Burgh, and I will be back home often for games, concerts, shows and just to quell any homesickness. Nothing changes on that end.

So here we go. I feel absolutely wonderful that my professional goals are on track, and I am ready to get started telling stories in the Youngstown area.

If you want to follow what I am doing at WKBN, you can follow me on Facebook or on Twitter.

Already follow me on Twitter and are not interested in the goings-on in Northeast Ohio? Don’t worry, my Twitter feed will still be mostly covering sports and silly musings (this is either good or bad, depending on how you feel about my current tweets). WKBN is paying me to do TV news, not to tweet. Good decision by them.

If you live in the Mahoning Valley, please drop me a line at Whether you have a story idea or just want to grab a drink, I would love to hear from you.

The dream starts now…

My Top 100 Songs of 2014: In Which the Author May Like Paramore a Bit Too Much

18,885 minutes. Or 314.75 hours. Or more than 13 straight days.

That’s how much time I have spent in 2014 listening to music on Spotify. How do I know? They told me.

The streaming music service launched a Year In Review web app this week that not only spotlights the most-played artists and songs of the year, but also gives Spotify users data about their own listening habits.

You can find out your own stats by clicking to Spotify’s site here. But what follows is my own navel-gazing. Or it’s Spotify placing a mirror in front of my navel and commanding, “You there! Gaze upon it!”

How can I resist?

1. The Author does not stray from his beloved genres — Rock, Pop and Pop Punk


Somehow this adds up to 102 percent. Huh? Classifications? Rounding? Spotify… do you even math?

Yep, those are pretty much my music tastes.

I am a Pittsburgher; all of us citizens are lobotomized at birth and have important sections in our brain replaced with a small boombox tuned to 102.5 WDVE classic rock. I cannot deny my city-instilled love for it.

I’m not sure how Spotify classifies each genre, but I do listen to a lot of pop and alternative rock beyond my classic rock roots, so the numbers are accurate enough.

2. The Author will make no secret of his adoration for Paramore

Of my 100 most-listened-to songs of the year, 13 come from the instruments of the alternative band Paramore. Which, yep.

Paramore is a great popish-punkish band, and in my heart I am a middle school girl, so I have a natural attraction to their music. Seeing Paramore live in Anaheim was perhaps the best show I’ve attended in my 14 years on Earth, and I would jump at the chance to see them again.

If you have waved off Hayley Williams and Paramore as only for teenage girls like myself, I would urge you to give them another try.

Do you lean more to punk and rock? Go with their second album “RIOT!” Bigger into Pop and Top 40? Check out their most recent self-titled album. Then we’ll discuss.

3. The Author does not only listen to Paramore, ya putz

According to Spotify, I do in fact hear other songs in my life and do not simply skip them to get back to that sweet, sweet Paramore goodness.

They even cobbled together a chart of my 10-most-listened to songs.


Ol’ JimJam listened to these songs the most often this year.

Other stats they gave? I listen to Spotify most often on Mondays (averaging 2 hours in the day) and Fridays (which is when I do a lot of Lyft driving and listen through my phone). I also use the service 46% of the time on my computer and 54% through my phone (again, Lyft driving). This is the kind of user-data gathering I appreciate, as long as you clue me into it.

4. The Author’s other tastes run the pop-rock gamut

Here were the other artists that appeared more than once on my 100-most-listened-to songs:

  • The Black Keys
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Calvin Harris
  • Hall & Oates
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Elton John
  • Grouplove
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Panic At The Disco
  • Paul McCartney
  • Vampire Weekend
  • The White Stripes

Spotify even put together a little list of my five most-listened-to artists. How sweet of ’em.

My Most-Listened-To Artists -- I honestly couldn't have told you what Grouplove looked like before I saw this picture.

My Most-Listened-To Artists — I honestly couldn’t have told you what Grouplove looked like before I saw this picture.

5. You, the Reader, can partake in the Author’s mediocre tastes!

Spotify is kind enough to spit out your 100-most-listened-to songs into a playlists so that friends (or enemies!) can plug your favorite tunes straight into their earholes.

So go ahead. What follows is the playlist Spotify created from my listening habits. These were the songs that entered my brain in the year of our Lord 2014. Enjoy them before 2015 comes around and kicks them the hell out.


Also, hell yes I listened to the Frozen soundtrack a lot. It’s dope.