Joe Montione, commonly referred to as Banana Joe, (born in [Hartford, CT], January 21, 1954) is a radio personality who currently resides in Los Angeles.
Montione started in radio when he was 13, when he set up his own radio station in his Pittston PA basement. Kicking off the first FM station to play Top40 Hits, and become #1 WHYI-FM Y-100/MIAMI, Joe was contacted by his long-time mentor, Jay Cook, who was then Program Director at WFIL/Philadelphia, and who helped form and become President of Gannett Radio. After Jay called Joe in Miami, seeing a 25 share of listeners during Joe's show on an FM station. Joe then went on to WFIL to replace George Michael at age 19, when George left to go WABC in New York. Banana Joe became Air Personality of the Year in 1980 at KHJ/Los Angeles, and was the co-Owner of WTLQ/Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and WHTF/Harrisburg/York, leading them from the bottom of the ratings to the top. After returning to WILK/Wilkes=Barre, Joe formed an investment group to buy WTLQ-Fm, And WHTF/Harrisburg/Lancaster/York, PA, and employed the legendary Michael Sarzynski (WNNNNNNBC/New York) who was Joe's inspiration at King's College/Wilkes-Barre. Joe was also instrumental in the late 70's early 80's comeback of the legendary 93/KHJ/Los Angeles, beating all of the FM Stereo competition as PM Drive and APD.
After moving back to L.A. in 1988, in 1991 he premiered the Banana Joe Flashback show on KIIS-FM, which for over five years was a huge success as the first retro 70's 80's based music show on Top 40. Joe also became National Programming/Marketing Director for Premiere Radio Networks, helping them to grow into one of the largest radio networks in the USA. He acted in films such as Mulholland Falls and An Oasis In Manhattan. He then moved to Denver on BIG DOG 92.5, KZDG where he launched the country station owned by Premiere. After that, Joe rejoined his mentor Jay Cook, former President of Gannett Radio, as VP/Programming at Gannett's Tampa stations. He later moved to Dallas to host a top-rated morning show on KTXQ/MAGIC 102-FM which specialized in Jammin' Oldies. From Dallas, Banana Joe also did mornings via satellite for sister stations WOCL/Orlando, and KHYL/Sacramento. Finally he moved to another Oldies station K-EARTH 101 in Los Angeles, and later created a talk show -"The Joe Zone" on CBS station KLSX-FM. Banana Joe is currently the owner operator of www.flashback40.com, an on-line radio station that features Hits of the 70s, 80s, & 90s in Pop, R&B, Rock and Dance music. www.Flashback40.com recently recently went back on the air in conjunction with the Live365 networks. He also consults radio stations on talent and programming development, and provides radio affiliate marketing consultation and voice-over services as well through his company Banana Joe Radio.
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