Friday, July 20, 2012



Memories By: James Edstrom

 James Edstrom

Writing the last story (below this one) on Chris Colfer visiting Elvis Duran's hit show on Z100 Radio yesterday, brings back such memories on morning TV and Radio shows. Some good, some not so good.

Morning is very hard for me. I do not understand why no one seems to understand this. And radio can be hard if you do not have a host that listens to their guests. Some hosts are great and some are only concerned about themselves. I have done almost every TV and Radio show and was a regular on so many big shows for years. Some were so easy and fun and others were just plain hard. But the hardest part was waking up for them. I am a night person, when the sun goes down, I am up and when the sun rises, I'm in bed.

Mancow In The Morning is a very hard show to do. I was a regular every few mornings on the phone from New York and when I was in Chicago I was in the studio. I love Mancow, he's a friend, but his show is just crazy to do. In the middle of stories, sound effects come on or he starts talking to someone else and I would just go crazy trying to get a whole story in. It had to be the most fast paced show I ever did. You never knew who would be sitting next to you in the studio and I am talking huge stars. But it was such a hard show to do. Because it was so early and so fast paced, I would leave the studio like a zombie. I slowly backed out of doing his show.

The Rude Awakening Show in Ocean City Maryland. Funny, the star Bulldog I met through Mancow, but this show may be early, but is a very easy show to do. I had a whole fan base down there, at least two people, and the show is a fun show. I had my own theme music and was on almost every day, but the morning wake ups started to get to me. But Bulldog always lets you tell your story and he has fun with his guests. I even went down there one cold winter night with Randy Jones from The Village People to host a radio station party, but the next morning with my hangover was a killer. The producers are wonderful on The Rude Awakening Show and I just love phone girl. I still do this show now and then.

The Derek And Romaine Show on Sirius XM. This show was good, because it was at night, and for a few years I did it every Tuesday night for a hour. I adored Derek And Romaine and I would go crazy on the show. There were no boundaries and we had a lot of fun. You never knew what would happen next, but Derek started to get real mean to me on the air after a few years. He was pissed for some fight I had with some loser celebrity at a club and he never forgave me and hated me forever after. I never understood this, I was so loyal to Derek, but he just got meaner and meaner and I finally decided to just not go back. I heard they did a couple of shows after I left, The Best Of James Edstrom. I was a nut on that show and it was very sad to walk away, but even Romaine said to me I was being abused. I e-mailed Romaine several times after I left and she ignored me. Sad, I thought she was a friend.

WPIX television star Lionel used to have a radio show on WABC. I do not know if he still has a show, but Lionel was a great show to do. He saw the bull in the celebrity business and always had a good insight on my adventures. And I never knew AM radio had so many listeners. I would be in a club and people would come up to me and tell me they loved me on Lionel. This was a very easy show to do, it was in the afternoon and was perfect.

Brett Winterble from Sirius XM. I just did this show recently and Brett is a great host. He lets you talk and knows what you are saying and has good commentary. Fun show to do.

Eddie Finocchiaro's new Ham Radio Show. This was a fun show, brought back memories of my days on Sirius when I would say just about anything. Only downside, its a early show to do, but Eddie understands the irony of things in this world and laughs at it all.

Who could forget Dr. Judy Kuriansky's Love Phones on Z100 and syndicated around the country. I loved doing this show with people calling up about their sexual adventures. It was really fun, it was also at night and Dr. Judy till this day is still a very good friend.

TV is a little different. Theres makeup, I always insist on this and then theres getting to the studio. I always insist on a limo. I'm a diva when it comes to TV, but I love it. 

First of all, I tried early in my career to plan everything I was going to say on TV.  It never worked out that way, producers always had their own ideas on how they wanted the show to flow, so eventually I learned not to plan on anything and just go with the flow and enjoy.

60 Minutes was a great show to do, they profiled me for almost the whole hour in 1997. The producers listened to me and understood my story and the show came out great. They saw both sides of the story and were very fair. Besides, how many people can say they were profiled on 60 Minutes. For weeks after the showed aired, people would stop me on the street and say they saw me on the show.

Access Hollywood, Extra and Entertainment Tonight. These shows were great, but I always said to the producers tell me where you are heading and what you want. These shows are fast paced since they have to be put together daily. But I loved doing these shows and most of the time they would meet me anywhere to do the interview. I did these shows many times.

MSNBC treated me great. They always sent a limo, and the staff there was always at the top of their game. I used to love doing Rita Cosby's Live And Direct. We flowed together so well, I think it was because we knew each other so well. I also did Rita's show when she was on FOX TV. To this day, we are still such good friends and I think Rita is one of the biggest talents out there.

CNN was a thrill to do. I did a Princess Diana story with them, but I never heard from them again. It's a shame, as I am right down the street from their studios and I love their shows.

Good Day New York. A very early show to do, but the staff was always so good to me. I used to love going up to their Upper East Side studios and they always sent a limo. The show has such a huge viewership, I would get stopped on the street after doing their show.

FOX TV was always fun as it was in the same building as The NY Post, who I supplied photos too. You never knew who you would meet in the Green Room there and I have so many friends that work there. We would always go out after and have such a great time.

Past hit shows that I loved to do were A Current Affair and Hard Copy. I did these shows many times and this was the golden age of tabloid reporting. We worked hard on stories and left no stone unturned. From the streets to the studio, these shows gave the story. It was a shame that after Princess Diana died, there was such a backlash against these shows and they went off the air. When it came to getting the story, we were the best.

I did so many more shows and was a regular on most of them. Times have changed, I am so busy behind my computers writing and editing photos, it's hard to find the time to do any of them anymore. I'm thinking after the summer is over, I am going to start doing shows again. It's work, but fun!

Photo By: John Martini

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