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Your not-so-average Zoo keeper

One show that makes its home in State College is the Morning Zoo, heard every morning from 6-10 a.m. on B 94.5. Listeners enjoy a smorgasbord of music.

One show that makes its home there is the Morning Zoo, heard every morning from 6-10 a.m. on B 94.5. Listeners enjoy a smorgasbord of music, from contemporary hits to flashbacks that bring memories flooding back.

At the helm of the show is PJ Mullen, an unconventional zookeeper to say the least. He hosts the show, runs the soundboard, and watches over a group of interns from Penn State.

At the ripe age of 24, Mullen's passion for the broadcasting industry began in high school on the heels of his love of sports. "I started writing about the basketball team, which lead to a few internships and then coming up to Penn State and working with ComRadio." After graduating from Penn State, he pursued a radio career, beginning in the small markets.

When offered a position as a radio producer in Washington, D.C., Mullen decided not to take it. "I wasn't ready to settle down and I had this great offer to come back to State College, so here I am." He headed back to Central Pennsylvania to work for Results Radio, the parent company of B94.5.

In May 2009, the B got a facelift in the form of a morning show. Before, the hours of 6-10 had been completely voice tracked (pre-recorded and set up with commercials and music interspersed). Mullen formulated the idea of the Morning Zoo and got to work.

After hiring a group of interns, the show began to take shape. Mullen says the show has grown exponentially since its inception and is beyond pleased with what it has become. With daily segments like the Battle Royale and the Disney song game, the show has become a staple in the mornings of many Centre County residents.

"I wanted to make it the number one morning show in the area, and in my opinion it is."

Many other stations in the area reach out to older demographics, playing classic rock and oldies. Mullen says he is honored to be considered one of the most recognizable voices in Centre County. "You have legends like Steve Jones [from 95.3 WZ] and Jeff Brown [from 93.7 the BUS] who have been around forever.

Anywhere from five to ten people watch the sun rise every day from the small room where the Morning Zoo is broadcast. The atmosphere is one of fun, but with a serious undertone.

The amount of work that goes into each show is extensive, with preparations beginning almost immediately after the show ends each morning. The interns play an integral part in every show, starting with the planning and ending with their contributions on air.

Mullen designed the show to be the jump-start to the morning for people going to school and work, bringing them some excitement. Mullen has invested a lot in the show, and says it won't be heading off air anytime soon.

"As long as I'm here, the Zoo isn't going anywhere."