Best Radio Personality St. Louis 2001 - J.C. Corcoran, KLOU (103.3 FM)
Readers' Choice: Roy St. John, WEW (770 AM)
It is possible that J.C. Corcoran is the most misunderstood radio personality in St. Louis, for few in the local media can claim such ardent detractors and champions. The first group -- and they are legion -- seems to comprise stuffed shirts, common louts and various personages, including fellow talk jocks, that Corcoran has offended through any of myriad pranks and scathing on-air rants. These folks take glee in describing the Chicago native as a full-of-himself jerk, a bitter crank who hangs up on callers and (among the more learned) a shameless megalomaniac. Even this group, however, will grudgingly admit that Corcoran is not without talent. The second group, those who know him personally and professionally, as well as fans who have gladly listened to J.C. and the Breakfast Club in its various incarnations these past 17 years -- and they are legion -- describe him as neurotic, sophomoric and a pain in the ass (but mainly to people who deserve hemorrhoids). The difference is they do so with a note of admiration. There is no doubt that Corcoran has whipped up the local airwaves. As New York Daily News media columnist Eric Mink writes in his foreword to Corcoran's new tell-all tome, "St. Louis radio was in a complacent snooze before Corcoran blew into town." Corcoran first landed at KSHE and then bounced around the dial, quitting in disgust or getting fired, for the next 17 years but always popping back up like a Joe Palooka punching bag. The guy should be called the Comeback Kid. His current soapbox is weekday mornings on oldies station KLOU with co-hosts Karen Kelly and Brian McKenna, where he's back to being his old rascally self -- to the dismay of detractors and the delight of fans.