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Billy Schweim – Ocean City’s Voice on ESPN 97.3

first_img“If you are doing something you really love to do, you are going to put a lot more effort into it, and that effort is going to show in the final product.”Billy Schweim uses that simple philosophy to help make his ESPN 97.3 FM South Jersey radio show a success. And it’s a good thing, too, because longtime Ocean City resident Schweim, 53, puts in virtually all the effort:  planning the two-hour show’s structure, booking the guests, selling the advertising and pretty much making it all happen.The end result is “The Locker Room with Billy Schweim” which can be heard every Saturday morning from 10 am to noon. During the course of a show, Schweim will discuss the hot topics of the day in sports and present special regular segments such as the Wave Report with Greg Beck of Surfer Supplies.  He banters with co-hosts Josh Henning and his identical twin brother Bob, fields calls from listeners and keeps the lively and entertaining format moving.  He says the hardest part of producing the show is booking guests, but that is where his penchant for hard work comes in.“It’s really just networking and getting out there and working the phones. It’s a fine line between letting the guests know you are excited about them and making a nuisance of yourself.”Apparently, Billy strikes the balance well, as his “Hall of Fame” roster of guests will attest. Football’s Mike Quick and Sheldon Brown, hockey’s Mark Howe and Craig Berube, basketball’s Aaron McKie and Phil Martelli, and baseball’s Jeff Francoeur and Garry Maddox are just a few examples. Schweim has a unique ability to make his guests feel at ease and open up for entertaining and insightful chats.Podcasts of interviews, show reviews and updates and sponsor information can be found on Schweim’s website, www.thelockerroomwithbillyschweim.com.“I always liked to talk sports, but to tell you the truth, having my own show was an accident. I kind of backed into it,” he says.In a previous career, Schweim worked 24 years for USAirways in fleet services at the Philadelphia Airport. “It was a good job but a hard, dirty job.”  He sustained a serious arm injury on the job, endured several surgeries and finally accepted a buyout from the airline.  Suddenly he was faced with a career switch while in his 40s.Schweim decided he wanted to become a history teacher and returned to college. But a funny thing happened on his way to a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.  Needing to earn his final six credits, he took two journalism courses.  One of them just happened to be an internship with legendary sports talker Chuck Betson (also an Ocean City resident) and Schweim was instantly hooked on sports talk radio.“I will always be grateful to Chuck for allowing me to get my start in radio,” Schweim said. However, the format of Betson’s show and Schweim’s limited role as an intern left him wanting to do more. He pitched the idea for a show to WIBG radio’s station manager, and he went on the air for the first time in August, 2013. His show moved to ESPN 97.3 in May of 2014.He credits his wife Toni for encouraging him to pursue his passion for sports talk radio. Another inspiration is his new 7-month-old daughter, Alyza Grace.“My wife challenged me and I have to be honest, I probably never would have taken the risk had she not been so supportive,” he said.When he isn’t working on his show, Schweim has put his Rutgers degree to work fulltime as a teaching assistant in the Gloucester County Special Services School District, and commutes between his Ocean City residence and one in Cherry Hill. His passion remains sports talk, and his goal is to work at it fulltime.“My goal isn’t to become rich, but to support my family doing something that I love.”If past performance and work ethic is any indication, don’t bet against Billy Schweim.last_img read more

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