I have written and re-written this first sentence six times now, because as someone who talks for a living, I'm always trying to find the right words to say. One of the best pieces of advice I got when I was first starting radio was to keep it simple. So I will.

No I'm not pregnant.

But I am stepping away from my role at 94.3 the Point.

I started this crazy radio journey a little over 12 years ago as an intern at our sister station, New Jersey 101.5.  Some eight and a half years ago, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime, to take on the job of middays at the Point.

It has been an incredible ride, with plenty of ups and downs. I've met all kinds of celebrities, been able to experience life as a "VIP," been paid to hang out at the beach and make people laugh, met people from all walks of life, and turned listeners into friends.

I drove through that crazy post-Christmas blizzard in 2010 to get to work. I slept on a desk in the office during Sandy. I've missed family events and parties and concerts and all kinds of important stuff because I was needed in the studio.

And I would do it all over again.

It was not an easy decision for me to walk away from this, but I do want to make it clear that it is 100% my choice, and in fact, my bosses have asked me countless times if I'm sure I don't want to reconsider. (The truth is, no, I'm not sure, but...I still have to do this.)

Laurie Cataldo
Because when a Penn Stater goes to Rutgers...the shirt must be blue and white. (Laurie Cataldo)

I've decided to go back to school, and will be pursuing my MBA at Rutgers starting this fall. I am excited, and nervous, and only slightly terrified (if any of you want to tutor me in accounting/econ/calculus, do let me know!) of what the future holds.

I'm really saddest of all to be moving out of Red Bank. Later this summer I'll be moving to Union County so that I'll be closer to school and my husband will be closer to his job in the city. (I will always be a Monmouth County girl at heart, and I promise not to hog the left lane of the Parkway when I come back!) Red Bank will forever have a piece of my heart, and I can only hope to move back to the Jersey Shore in the future.

There are certainly plenty of people who I need to thank...mostly my employers for letting me say goodbye. Most people in radio don't get that opportunity.

There really is an endless list of thank yous, but a few I must mention:

To my boss Steve for putting up with my constant questions about everything and for trusting me with so many important responsibilities.

To my first ever Program Director EJ for giving me a shot all those years ago...and for believing in my potential when that first shift was a hot mess.

To Matt Ryan for helping me out when we were both a couple of young pups at 101.5, for being the annoying brother I never asked for, for all of those moments of radio gold, and for occasionally saying nice things about me!

To Muffin, for never giving me too much work to do after my show...and letting me call you Muffin.

To Bradley, for bending those quota rules a smidge, always coming up with ideas even when I reject them all, and for always answering the phone when you'd prefer an email...

To the rest of my radio fam, for helping me grow up, keeping me sane, helping pay my bills, and being the best, most dysfunctional group of people to work with.

To my husband, Duzzy, who is making it possible for me to take this giant leap into the unknown, and for putting up with my 47 emotional breakdowns (and counting...) throughout this process. I love you.

And most importantly, to you all, the people who have listened to me on the radio, and read my blogs here on the website. For making me feel like someone really does count on me to be there everyday and that I'm not really just talking to myself in this room. It means more to me than you'll ever know, and I'm so grateful that you let me into your lives for even just a little bit. It's an honor.

They say that once you're bitten by the radio bug, you can never stay away too long...and that may be true. Even if it's not everyday, you may hear me back on the air from time to time.

My last official day on the air will be next Friday, July 7th. I'm not sure who my replacement will be...but I know we have some great candidates, and I hope you welcome that person with open arms the way you did with me years ago!

So for the next week, I just intend to have a really good time on the air, and I hope you'll join me.

For the time being, you can email me at laurie.cataldo@townsquaremedia.com, or find me on Facebook HERE or Instagram HERE.

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