Angel Spreads Her Wings And Flies, What The Voice of 96.3 The Blaze Meant To Missoula
The final radio broadcast of Angel’s long running morning show on our sister station 96.3 The Blaze aired this morning. What will this mean for our legendary rock station down the hall? Only time will tell. I have a few predictions, but first, a brief look back:
Her voice. Her calming tone flowed through the airwaves amidst the crashing of loud cymbals and even louder guitar riffs. It was almost as if she was the sanity to the insane, the motherly presence that kept her family at peace while the rest of the world seemed to fall apart. It’s amazing how just a voice can stir up feelings of clarity, focus and friendship. There will never be a voice of authority in Missoula that has made this much of an impact.
Her humor. Some of Angel’s funniest moments weren’t even suitable for broadcast. If radio was a movie, her best scenes would have been released only in the directors cut. The Bob Saget of broadcasting? Calm and cool on the outside, foul and offensive on the inside. That’s the way only her true friends knew her, and that’s the way we loved her. Unfortunately for most of her fans, you were only able to catch just glimpses of the demon inside the Angel, but for the one’s that worked or partied with her, this was all we knew and would not have it any other way.
Her leadership. Angel’s instincts and passion lead her to Missoula 12 years ago, only to leave behind a radio station that will be etched with ease into the mythology of music history. Just her influence alone has brought trust and loyalty to an otherwise motley crew. She forged a path musically while facilitating opportunities for fans to be up close and personal with their idols. From concerts, to contests, requests to rebellious acts, Angel truly changed the way Missoula embraced music.
Her last days. I witnessed first-hand the change in both music and management over the years in the building that her and I shared. And just like any brand, companies must appeal to the masses and learn to adapt. It’s happened with my station, once hip hop, now pop, and inevitably it happened to rock radio. Just when a genre of music begins to arguably exclude the majority is when the industry must make decisions to include a wide base of listeners yet again, arguably. And this is where Missoula’s fearless rock leader chose to make a change herself.
Her legacy, our future. While this change may seem irrelevant to most Zoo FM fans, what we all must realize is that there is now a void that will indirectly impact even the most anti-rock radio listener. It’s Angel that inspired me to move to Missoula, it’s Angel’s keen sense of organization and follow-through that influenced my choices with my own station, and it was Angel’s connections with her die-hard fans that reassured me that people still can have a passion for radio. My life is forever changed by her presence in our workplace, and this city.
96.3 the Blaze was significant to this Top 40 station in ways the majority may not realize, yet most insiders cannot deny. Angel’s skill as a manager and as an amazing presence, even on the opposite end of the tune-in dial, had made waves that can be felt on our frequency as well as across the entire local music spectrum. And while the torch has been passed to another fantastic and fully capable rock jock, many will look back on these past 12 years as sort of an anomaly, something daring that should not have even existed. The stuff legends were made of. And we can all credit this beautiful woman for making it come to life.
I know you hate sappy lovey-dovey sentiment. But, please, just let me have this one moment to say thank you, I love you, and this is far from goodbye. This is me, giving you a huge 6’10″ hug even when you detest public displays of affection. This is me, pounding a shot of cold Jager to salute you, even when I don’t drink.
This is us, saying Missoula will miss you, even though you’ll never truly leave us.
And I wonder
when I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
The only thing I’ll ever ask of you
You’ve got to promise not to stop when I say when