Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New York Z100 radio station DJ Mo' Bounce has Spring Hill ties

SPRING HILL — Jon-Paul Coriaty — "Mo' Bounce" to his listeners on the air — watches the phones light up and laughs.

Outside his window in Manhattan, hundreds of cars snake along. They might be listening to his show right now.

"It's surreal," Coriaty tells a reporter on the phone. "I'm in New York on the radio. This is unbelievable!"

Coriaty, 29, spent much of his childhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., where his favorite top 40 radio station, Z100 — WHTZ-FM — provided the score. DJs Spyder Harrison and Elvis Duran told jokes between songs.

He loved video games like Super Mario Bros., played Little League baseball and was an altar boy. It was radio, however, that would become his dream.

But it almost didn't happen.

• • •

Coriaty's family moved to Spring Hill for the same reason many do: for the weather.

For young J.P., who was about to enter eighth grade, the move was an adjustment. He could pursue many of the same things, but he missed his friends. And he missed Z100.

With his high energy and an upbringing in a theater family, he pursued drama. Years later, he is still remembered by drama teacher Mark Pennington for his rendition of the winged monkey, Nikko, in The Wizard of Oz.

Then he discovered Tampa Bay radio station WFLZ-FM 93.3 and became a fan of the MJ & BJ Morning Show.

• • •

When Coriaty graduated from Springstead High School in 1998, while many friends headed off to college, he took an unpaid gig as a promotions intern at WFLZ. He cleaned CDs with alcohol wipes and fetched coffee.

Spyder Harrison had left New York to work closer to his wife's family, eventually ending up at WFLZ. He became one of Coriaty's best and most valued mentors. "He seemed to know when to laugh and when to add a comment," Harrison said.

It was Harrison who decided that "J.P." wasn't the best radio name.

"J.P. sounds like someone from Gilligan's Island," said Harrison, who frequently pinned air names on interns. "I said, 'Guess what? Your name is Mo' Bounce.' "

The name stuck. After two years, a small family-owned station in Crystal River, WXCV-FM Citrus 95, hired Coriaty as a board operator, and eventually gave him his own nighttime show.

Coriaty was finally getting paid to do what he loved best.

• • •

In the years since, Coriaty has crisscrossed the United States, working at radio stations in Gainesville; Mobile, Ala.; Philadelphia; and San Antonio.

Along the way, he met and married Raquel, 25, a radio devotee who speaks with the same cadence as her husband.

But radio is a tough business. A station wants to go in a new direction, and you're out the door. And when his Clear Channel station in San Antonio went through budget cuts in 2007, Coriaty was out of a job.

At first he was optimistic. He sent out hundreds of demo tapes. Something would come up, he thought. Nothing did.

He and Raquel ate through their savings. Coriaty began to second-guess his career choice. Maybe it was time to hang up the headphones. They began to worry. Coriaty felt depressed.

San Antonio was hiring police officers. Coriaty took the necessary exams, applied to the academy and got accepted. He was relieved. He could earn a living again.

Before he started, however, a friend called and urged him to apply to a new radio station in Houston. "You're close. You should just drive there," he said.

It seemed crazy. He was wary of spending money on the gas.

But he grabbed his demo tape and CD and drove anyway, wearing the shorts and T-shirt he had on.

The vice president and general manager were playing mini-golf in their office. On a whim, they agreed to see him.

"In a desperate, passionate move, I had cold-called a new station and now was sitting on their leather couch in my shorts and T-shirt," Coriaty recalled.

They liked his material and asked him to come back for a tryout show.

"I'd been out of work eight months," Coriaty said. "I was not getting my hopes up."

But his tryout turned out to be one of the best shows he'd ever done, and the station offered him the job.

Mo' Bounce was back on the air. "I literally cried," he said.

• • •

Houston's Hot 95.7 was a success, and a year and a half later, Coriaty was recruited by a station in New York.

Not just any station — Z100, the station he grew up with and one of New York City's top-ranked stations.

"When he was little, he used to force us to take him to places where his favorite DJs were performing," said his mother, Rosemary Coriaty.

These days, Coriaty's voice carries across the airwaves every weeknight from 6 to 10.

"We have a listening area of almost 16 million people," he said. "I'm in the city. This was my dream!"

The phone lights up. Someone who knows all nine songs on Mo' Bounce's "9 at 9" contest is about to win an iPod Touch.

"You win!" he tells the caller.

And it's hard to say who's more excited.

Shary Lyssy Marshall can be reached at slmarshall.sptimes@gmail.com.

New York Z100 radio station DJ Mo' Bounce has Spring Hill ties 11/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 11:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 17:  Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts a pass during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  2. Despite pain, woman in court faces ex-boyfriend who lit her on fire

    Criminal

    PORT RICHEY

    Sheron Pasco sat in the wheelchair as her mother pushed it toward the man in the orange jail suit.

    Sheron Pasco, 39, right, along with her mother Tranda Webb, 62, pose for a photograph Wednesday, at their home in Port Richey. Pasco's former boyfriend John Riggins doused Pasco with gasoline and set her on fire after an argument last year.. CHRIS URSO   |   Times

  3. Florida starter under center still under wraps

    College

    GAINESVILLE — With two weeks before Florida opens its season against Michigan, the Gators' three-way quarterback battle remains wide open.

    Luke Del Rio, right, is in the mix to start against Michigan in the season opener … as is Malik Zaire and Feleipe Franks.
  4. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  5. Rick Kriseman picks Floribbean restaurant for Manhattan Casino

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG— Mayor Rick Kriseman has chosen a controversial restaurant concept to occupy the Manhattan Casino, saying he made a decision 11 days before the mayoral primary because he didn't want politics to get in the way of progress in struggling Midtown.

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson speaks during a Friday press conference announcing that the Callaloo Group will open a Floribbean restraurant in the historic Manhattan Casino in St. Petersburg's Midtown neighborhood. Some residents were upset with Mayor Rick Kriseman's choice, saying it will speed up gentrification of the area. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]