GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A locally owned and operated radio station on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is celebrating 20 years on the air.
Radio commentator Rip Daniels spends every weekday morning from 9 until 11 on JZ 94.5 with his talk show "It's A New Day." He's been a leading figure on the radio since 1994, and a successful businessman, celebrating 20 years as owner of the radio station.
"I have a more vivid memory of March, 1994 than I do of yesterday, Daniels recalled Monday. "I can tell you about the first time I heard the station."
A Mississippi Blues Marker sits outside of his radio station. Daniels did something remarkable in 2000. He started the American Blues Network using satellite to run the operation out of Gulfport, Mississippi.
"We have uplink satellite here. We send the signal everywhere. We have a footprint from Mexico City to Quebec."
And it's been a huge success. There was a birthday celebration at the Almanett Hotel and Bistro, also owned by Daniels. Nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner did his morning show from Gulfport Monday morning and he appreciates the history he and Rip Daniels share.
"The Tom Joyner Morning Show is also 20 years old. We went on with JZ 94.5," Joyner said. "When we went on, we were on 29 stations. 20 years later, we have 116 stations."
Family has been very important to Rip. He's made his two sons a big part of JZ 94.5.