Leaving On His Own Terms
We work on opposite ends of the clock, so my personal encounters with Jonathan Green can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
I see his cluttered desk each morning as I stumble toward my cubicle at Radio City each around 3 a.m. Some of the stuff looks as though it's never been touched, but then again, a messy desk is said to be a symptom of genius.
And while I seldom SEE Jon, I hear him all the time. He's the voice of any number of products, a man who truly moves the merch and makes advertisers happy, which means he got folks to buy what he was selling. That's a trust issue, and that's the best compliment you can give any radio personality. Jon's fans believe him.
To last more than four decades in this tumultuous industry is no mean feat--in fact, it's a freaking miracle the likes of which the Vatican should investigate. To Jon's credit, he made the changes needed to keep himself viable, marketable, and listenable. As someone who's been in this biz for a while, it's not always easy to get someone in the radio business to tweak their act. On-air people crave familiarity. They buck change. Jon wasn't afraid to move the Greenhouse furniture around.
It was just four years ago when we watched Bob Reitman take a bow in front of a full house at the Riverside Theater, a packed house on it's feet applauding someone who shaped their musical tastes and their sense of community. I couldn't cry as I watched my longtime sonic soul mate step aside because of the joy I felt over someone in our industry leaving on his own terms after such a long, successful run. I'd seen too many talented people forced out way too soon for too many feeble reasons. Reitman's run was a celebration. He'd made it. He'd gotten to the finish line. He was getting his moment in the sun, when so many in radio are merely handed a cardboard box and sent to the parking lot with someone from human services making sure they weren't boosting proprietary property.
So it is with Jon Green. He leaves on his own terms, at a time of his choosing. He steps aside with plenty of life to live, with a ton of on-air accomplishments to celebrate.
In a time when age is a liability in many a workplace, when longevity is a luxury deemed too expensive in some management circles, there is cause for all of us to celebrate the professional life of one Jonathan Green. We should all hope to last so long in our respective vocations. We should all have such good fortune in the autumn of our employable years.
Good luck, Jon, and congrats on doing what so few in radio get to do. You got to say "goodbye" at a time and place of your own choosing. Savor that, and the many years that lie ahead.