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Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM

WGLS Grabs National Broadcasting Awards

The Whit - News

Issue: 03/11/04

By Raymond McCarthy

Rowan University's radio station, 89.7 WGLS-FM, recently received nationalrecognition by having three programs place in the 2004 International Student Competition of the Broadcast Education Association's (BEA) Festival of Media Arts.

Tom Ortuso, Rowan Radio's sports director, placed second in the "Best Sports Play by Play" category for his announcement of a men's basketball game on campus. "It was a great game against Ramapo College," said Ortuso. "We had lost to them 6 straight times, but we came out on top, 86-83."

Ortuso attributes his award for the broadcast to both the emotion of the game, and the radio crew that broadcasts the game.

"It was easy for me to get wrapped up in the natural emotion of the game because it was such a good game. Plus, we [the crew] had been prepping real hard for it," Ortuso said. Ortuso also received the third-place award for the "Best Sports Broadcast" category for his work on the "Jay Accorsi Show," Rowan's weekly football program. Awards are not something that Ortuso and his team strive for while doing their jobs, however.

"Awards are a big deal, but I don't put together the football show thinking about awards. It's just a lot of fun. We have a great time doing our broadcasts," said Ortuso.

WGLS-FM also took home third place honors in the "Best Educational Program" category for their most recent documentary titled "Are You There America? It's Me, God." The documentary was part of the curriculum for Rowan Radio's General Manager Frank Hogan's radio broadcasting class.

"The radio broadcasting students do a project every year. They put so much time into this documentary. It's five separate half-hour documentaries," explained Ortuso.

Keith Brand, assistant professor of radio/television/film, earned the BEA's "Best of Festival" award for his documentary "Low Power to the People." The documentary covers the formation of KOCZ-FM, a radio station in Opalousas, La., that was the first radio station in the United States to be licensed by a civil rights organization. "The organization was Southern Development Foundation, and their aim was to be able to have access to a very powerful form of communication," said Brand. Brand attributes the success of his documentary to its interesting and unprecedented nature.

"Part of [earning the award] was me being clever. Nobody really hears about audio documentaries, and it was an interesting story," said Brand.

This plentitude of awards comes as nothing new to Rowan Radio. According to Ortuso, Rowan Radio has won 72 awards since its inception in 1993.

April 16, Brand, Ortuso and Bill Pavlou, Rowan Radio's station manager, will be going to Las Vegas, Nev., to accept their respective awards. This year's awards ceremony will be the second year that the BEA is holding such an event. "This is an international ceremony. It's all pretty exciting," said Ortuso.