Joe Losener and his brother, Andrew, knew they had a good thing going a year ago when people started listening to their old once-a-week hour-long show on Jukebox Radio (WJUX). The brothers, who usually kidded each other about everything, found that they could broadcast their comic ribbing and entertain an audience.
Getting it on the air was a big deal for them in April 2002. But as soon as people started calling in and writing them letters, the brothers wanted to do something more. They dreamed of taking their act national. Jukebox, while a fine start, basically only reached an audience in Bergen and Hudson counties. With the format the Losener brothers developed - part horsing around, part exposing the airwaves to new musical talents - they knew they could draw even more attention if their signal reached more people.
On May 3, they take the next step towards their dream when they make the leap from Jukebox Radio to WSNR 620 out of New York City, a station whose signal covers a significant piece of the tri-state area.
"We're making our New York City début," Joe said.
Their new show will air every Saturday night from 9 to 10 p.m. It will expand on the original formula that propelled the two brothers into radio in the first place.
The Secaucus brothers had worked their way onto Juke Box Radio to develop an original sound called "Night Life Radio." Once a week for an hour, the two brothers managed to poke fun at the world and each other, while still playing a vital role in introducing new undiscovered bands to their airwaves.
Joe is currently 29. Andy, a landscaper by day, is 33, and is often butt of his brother's jokes.
"He is my identical opposite in every way," Joe said last week.
Joe said he got the idea for doing a program after he saw Sid Bernstein doing a radio guest show from a restaurant in New York. Bernstein was a world-famous promoter who brought to United States such acts as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Bernstein also went to Monroe High School in the Bronx with Joe and Andy's grandmother. When Bernstein did a radio broadcast from the Second Avenue Deli in Manhattan, Joe took a trip to him. The show featured people like Dick Clark.
The Loesner brothers' show débuted locally last April and was been picked up by several other stations in Rockland County and the lower Hudson River Valley. But it was not enough, since Juke Box radio was focused largely on Bergen and Hudson counties.
"We did have an offer to go national, but it would have been after midnight," Joe said. "We like the idea that we're going to be prime time."
While Sid Bernstein helped the brothers get their first deal, Joe credits another local talent for helping the brothers get onto the station with the stronger signal.
"I have to credit Bob O'Brien, senior producer for the Joe Franklin Show, for helping us," Joe said. "He introduced us to the person we needed to meet."
Joe is slated to be a guest on Joe Franklin's WWOR radio Show May 7.
The Loesner brothers' new show continue top showcase new talent, playing two or three songs and doing an on-air interview with the artist. But it will also provide a mix of New York City nightlife reviews. Along with the usual banter, the duo takes on-air calls. The unscripted banter between the two brothers ranges from comedic to outrageous.
"We intend to bring in a few more elements," Joe said. "We will still have the monologue, and introduce new talent. But we want to bring on surprise celebrity guests and we will also showcase music and comedians."
While Joe finds acts by touring the local club scenes, people can also send him packages for consideration. Anyone interested can call him at (201) 893-9777.
His first guest will be a woman singer call Lourdes from New York City.
"She was a child prodigy who performed at Carnegie Hall at age 6," Joe said. "Now she's a rock-and-roll violinist."
The program will also showcase a Denmark band called First Avenue Star.