Baby boomer beacon: Rowan Radio turns 50

Baby boomer beacon: Rowan Radio turns 50

Baby boomer beacon: Rowan Radio turns 50

Rowan Today, October 14, 2014

University to celebrate golden anniversary of WGLS-FM -- 50 years of the music, and experience, that matters.

For five full decades, Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM has prided itself on playing the music that matters.

But, music isn’t all that matters.

The station has been a career springboard for generations of Glassboro State College and Rowan University students, a 24-hour training ground for deejays, journalists and producers where, since 1964, they’ve done radio live, no net, no do-overs.

Rowan Radio, which will be celebrated with a 50-year anniversary party in the Eynon Ballroom October 25, has become the place many students gravitate to on Rowan’s main campus, the same as others are drawn to the football field, the Tohill stage, the labs and libraries.

“Over the years we’ve had great successes – awards won, careers launched,” said Station Manager Derek Jones. “The station is one more place where students have the opportunity to find out who they are. If they come in and find they love it, it gives them the chance to build a portfolio with which they can launch a career.”

Indeed, lots of careers were launched via the music, sports, news and community service programming the station has become known for. Broadcasting all over southern New Jersey, parts of Pennsylvania and Delaware, the station has a potential to reach 1.3 million listeners and is the official broadcaster of the Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball team.

Jones said the station, which has stayed true to its mission of over-the-air, college radio since its founding, helped boost the careers of well-known radio personalities like Angela “Ang” Mason of 98.1 WOGL-FM in Philadelphia, Victor Sosa of 106.7 Lite FM in New York, and John Sadak, a sports broadcaster with Westwood One Radio, ESPN, and for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees AAA affiliate.

“It takes a lot of consistency on behalf of students, alumni, and the administration to keep something like this going for 50 years,” said Jones, who took to the WGLS airwaves as a student in 1998. “We may be the oldest college radio station in the region and at a time when many campus stations are being sold off or broadcasting online only, that’s a very proud distinction.”

A highlight of the golden anniversary party on the 25th will be the induction of five new members to the WGLS-FM Hall of Fame. To be honored are the late Glassboro State College President Dr. Mark Chamberlain, who was an early and strong supporter; Larry DiBona ’77, a student station manager; Alisa (Jankowitz) Hogan ’80, ’00, a former news director and award-winning producer; Karen Maser ‘79, the first female student station manager who is now a TV writer and producer; and Dr. Gregory Potter Sr. who rebuilt the station’s main studio in Bole Administration Building during the summer of 1969.

Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM has won 244 regional and national awards since 1993.

Tickets to the 50th Anniversary Celebration are $50 and include station tours, a social hour, dinner and dancing. For information, please contact the Rowan University office of Alumni Engagement, 40 N. Academy St., Glassboro, New Jersey 08028. (856) 256-5400.

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