Rowan Radio will hold their general interest meeting for students on Friday. Recently, we caught up with WGLS members to discuss what they remembered about their experiences in WGLS-FM’s training program.
Waldy Diez, News Director/host of The Rowan Report and Wednesday mornings from 11-1 p.m.:
WD: I trained during the 2010 summer session, right before my freshman year. Derek Jones trained me. It turned out to be one of the most important summers of my college career. Derek would train me about everything at the station, and then I would sit in on John Salvatore’s show for about an hour. It was interesting to say the least.
When I finally passed, I had one shadow day with Chris Capitanio, and that was fun, too. Chris is such a funny person, and back then, he had long hair! GASP! The very next week, Derek threw me on my own show, and that was kind of scary, but I made it through. Now I’m News Director. Who would have thought?
Landon Jones, host of Monday afternoon show from 3-5 p.m.:
LJ: Training was pretty intimidating for the first week or two. It’s a lot of information being thrown at you but once you get into a groove, you start to become comfortable with the station and the equipment you’re being trained on. Plus, the executive staff or any of the other DJ’s will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. There is no better feeling than a few weeks later when the staff tells you that you passed your test! It’s one of the coolest and best feelings I’ve ever had. The friends you meet after you’re in, is priceless!
Gina Lemanowicz Pusloski, host of The Women’s Room on Thursdays at 5 p.m./Sunday Sounds of Music from 7-10 a.m.:
GP: It wasn’t the training that scared me but the sheer panic that took over when I had to go on the air by myself for the first time. Luckily my trainer, Rob Lightfoot, talked me off the edge because I’m still here 12 years later.
Chelsea Mettinger, host of Monday morning show from 9-11 a.m.:
CM: I did training back in my freshman year, during my first semester of college. Someone was ambitious. It was awkward at first; strange faces and new places, that is except for my high school friend’s ex-boyfriend, who so happened to be in my training group as well. That was odd. My trainer was EJ, so class was…interesting.
Time for testing. While practicing my :19 stop set I couldn’t manage to correctly say “Blue Diamond Almonds” as the sponsor for the Target Weather. So, as I sat twiddling my thumbs, rehearsing numerical codes for the “Fred System” (transmitter dial-up system), I couldn’t help but reiterate (millions of times) the phrase “Blue Diamond Almonds.”
Welp, I passed. I missed EJ’s first congratulatory phone call, so ten minutes later I gave him a ring and with a most enthusiastic articulation he said, “you passed.” I was happy, I had a skip in my step as I headed off to class at the thought of nervously hosting my very first college radio show.
Joe Mineo, Production Director/host of The Student-Athlete Rock Show on Thursday nights from 9-11 p.m.:
JM: It still feels like yesterday. Back in the fall of 2009, I was leaving the Student Center when one of my friends mentioned there was a radio meeting on campus. I was a little nervous, since it wasn’t something I had planned to go to. The kid I went with was a little sketchy, and I wasn’t even sure I was really friends with him, but I was a freshman and I was just happy to be included in something. I was slightly intimidated by the atmosphere at the meeting – Bozorth 166 was filled with about 30 people, all the seats were taken, and we had to stand on the side as Derek explained everything about the station.
After a few classes, I picked up everything pretty quickly, but my so-called friend stopped showing up. I was on my own for the last couple weeks of training, and it got nerve-wracking towards the end. I recall going into the on-air studio portion of the test not knowing any of the numbers for the transmitter information and thinking I completely blew the test.
Thankfully, I got a call from Derek a few days later, finding out that I barely passed at the end of it all. Soon after that ordeal, I showed up to my first meeting and got to meet some of the most amazing friends and people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I honestly never thought I’d join Rowan Radio, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Tyler Mulvey, Assistant Public Affairs Director/co-host of The Early Bird Special on Mondays from 7-9 a.m.:
TM: Training for me was a lot of fun. Coming into the station week after week made me only more anxious to get behind that microphone and start playing the music that matters. I remember seeing all the awards the station earned over the years, and it became my motivation to one day be a part of such a prestigious organization. EJ Campbell was my teacher and mentor, and since my first day of training, we went on to host a show together and more importantly become lifelong friends. I remember being nervous taking the test, but we all were well prepared and taught everything we had to know. Getting the call to know I passed my test was such a rewarding feeling and it’s one that I will remember for a very long time.
John Salvatore, Student Station Manager/co-host of The Early Bird Special on Wednesday mornings from 7-9 a.m.:
JS: I trained the summer before my senior year of high school. I enjoyed learning from then-Student Manager Omarey Williams. I was only a member for three weeks when I was asked to be on the Executive Staff because they liked my work ethic. I feel that from day one of training you are being watched by all of the staff at Rowan Radio and they know whether you will be a great asset to the station or not.
My three tips for prospective station members:
1.) Work hard from day one.
2.) Always be early.
3.) Ask what you can do to help OFTEN.
Rob Szczepanik, host of The Country Road on Saturday mornings from 7-10/co-host of The Early Bird Special on Wednesdays from 7-9 a.m.:
RS: Going into training, I didn’t really know what to expect. I remember being nervous but EJ told us to just pay attention, take notes, ask questions and we would be fine. I remember I came in to practice once or twice before the test in the production studio and when I had a question about something someone was there to answer it for me.
During the test, I was nervous the whole time but when I got done it was a relief to hear EJ say “You did good, I’ll call you later and let you know if you passed.” Sure enough that night EJ called and told me I passed, I was really excited. The only thing I regret is not getting involved with the station earlier.
Sammy “Pepper” Bonavita, a WGLS member dating back to 1969, DJ:
SB: I was given a WGLS manual to study to be able to work at the station, BUT…nobody got on the air until you passed the FCC 3rd Class License Test given in Philadelphia. I still have the license and every station I worked at through the 1970s, the chief engineer or station manager had to endorse the form. Because I worked at a commercial station (WTMR AM 800 -Adult-MOR format) in 1968, my first solo music show on WGLS was Fri., Sept. 26, 1969….still have that tape also. Everyone had to do news, weather & sports, write, produce & assist first, before you got a solo music show.
Mr. Greg Potter was my GM…..Rod Huggins was my first station manager and gave me the written, verbal, & board test.
Even then, the WGLS signal traveled to Philadelphia, where relatives listened. It was a wild first year at WGLS and I am happy to be in my 44th year in 2013.