With popular radio personality Roger W. Morgan taking on emcee duties, the seventh annual Wagapalooza — scheduled for
Saturday, May 12, at 5 p.m. at the Winston Wells ball field — is shaping up to be one of the Animal Care Center’s biggest events ever.
After being invited by ACC board of directors member Bonny Corbeil, an avid fan of Morgan’s Free Speech talk show on Paradise 93.5 FM, it didn’t take the DJ long to commit to hosting the fund raiser.
“First of all, I’ll do anything I can do on St. John,” said Morgan. “I love St. John. My wife and I love coming over there and visiting.”
Although not a pet owner himself, Morgan does love animals.
“We don’t have any pets, but we both love dogs and pets,” Morgan said. “Our lives are just so busy we don’t have the time — I wish that we did.”
Morgan, whose talk show airs weekdays at 6 a.m., is no newcomer to the world of radio.
“I’ve been in radio since I was a junior in high school, and I’m way beyond that now,” said Morgan. “I’ve been in radio for four decades and most of that time — 18 years — was spent in San Francisco. I did a morning show there, but it wasn’t a talk radio show.”
The DJ was hosting a syndicated oldies show six years ago when he first discovered St. Croix.
“We had a syndicated show called ‘World Wide Rock and Roll Rewind,’ which had an affiliate in St. Croix,” Morgan said. “We came down out of curiosity and found this island and loved it. We really discovered the U.S. Virgin Islands the same way and we made the decision pretty quickly that we wanted to move here.”
After relocating to St. Croix, Morgan was unable to continue working with the rock and roll oldies show.
Senators Write FCC
“Once we moved here it was no longer practical to do the syndicated show,” said Morgan. “We began to search for a radio station to buy and three years ago we found Paradise 93.5 FM. It’s been a pretty lengthy process.”
Morgan recently found his name in the headlines after it was made public that a number of senators had written to the Federal Communications Commission opposing his purchase of the radio station.
The backlash came after Morgan allowed callers to sound-off about the passage of the controversial Act 6905, a pay raise enacted by the previous legislature.
“My wife and I decided that this was our passion and we wanted to buy the station,” said Morgan. “Normally it’s a pretty simple matter to buy a station, but we never thought we’d encounter this kind of opposition and we probably wouldn’t have if the senators hadn’t brought up those charges.”
Alleging the radio host was attempting to over-throw the government among other charges, the senators urged the FCC to deny Morgan the right to purchase the station. Although the claims seem preposterous, Morgan must deal with them.
“Not Trying To Overthrow Government”
“There is nothing much I can do at this time but answer the charges — I am not trying to overthrow the government,” said Morgan. “I’m not backing down from letting people express their opinions and essentially I agree with the people. Senators did the wrong thing by voting in Act 6905.”
“The bill just grouped so many things together, it would have been impossible to make a blanket statement saying, ‘this is all good,’” the talk radio host continued. “Even the senators who voted for it acknowledged that it wasn’t all good.”
Callers Upset with Sirenusa Vote
More recently callers have been lambasting the senate’s zoning variance approval for the luxury condominium project Sirenusa on Morgan’s show.
“We’re getting a huge response about Sirenusa from St. John,” said Morgan. “The people are upset because they feel the senators have not been responsive to their needs. And that is what they are there for — to represent our wishes.”
While Morgan is looking forward to seeing dogs of all shapes and sizes battle it out for pooch who can smooch and best doggie dancer, it’s the island residents who he can’t wait to meet.
“I’m very happy to be coming over,” Morgan said. “I’m really eager to see the dogs and the tricks and all, but more than anything I’m eager to get face to face with the people I talk to on a daily basis on my radio talk show.”
“If I go there and no one knows who I am, it doesn’t do much,” continued Morgan. “But going as Roger W. Morgan the radio personality, I get that feedback. It’s really important for me to know what people are thinking.”
Tune in to Paradise 93.5 FM at 6 a.m. weekdays to hear Morgan’s Free Speech show, or call the show at 773-TALK (8255) to share opinions.
Don’t miss the seventh annual Wagapalooza on Saturday, May 12, at 5 p.m. at the Winston Wells ball field. For more information call the ACC at 774-1625.