Jazz Oasis no more...

Howard Glazer hmglaz@worldnet.att.net
Thu Oct 12 01:44:47 EDT 2006

----- Original Message -----
From: Sid Schweiger <sid@wrko.com>
To: <bri@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2006 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: Jazz Oasis no more...

> >>Is the goal of Emerson now to teach students
> format & playlist?  So many years of listening to the students learn
> tor
> ropes of real broadcasting and play and espouse their fantastic
> knowledge of
> jazz are no more.<<
> I know some on this list won't like it, but teaching students format
> and playlist IS teaching them "the ropes of real broadcasting."  Whether
> we like it or not, that's reality.  Former students who enter the
> broadcasting business are not in a position to change things, and by the
> time they gain experience and move into management positions, they
> realize that broadcasting is a business, and therefore must air what
> sells.  Not saying I agree with it, but again, that's the reality.

When I was attending Syracuse University in the '70s -- newspaper major, not
radio -- there were two radio outlets on campus for broadcast majors to
learn the ropes:

WAER (88.3) was the typical free-form college FM -- jocks working one or two
shifts a months, playing their favorite records, with rambling,
self-conscious chatter between five- or six-song sets. The only real
professionalism on the station came on the SU football and basketball
broadcasts, on which worked many a future major market sportscaster. I don't
think many of the student DJs achieved similar prominence.

WJPZ (1200) was the 100-milliwatt AM, a high-energy Top 40 with a sound
greatly influenced by WCFL Chicago, which 'JPZ's program director -- who
lived on my dorm floor -- used to listen to for hours each night, taking
notes on rotation, segues, delivery, you name it. The result, most of the
time, was a really tight, commercial-sounding station, and several of the
students who jocked and polished their on-air presence there went on to good
careers, in CHR and other formats. (The guy who drove the PD crazy, a
seven-foot radio geek named Phil who insisted on calling himself "The
world's tallest disc jockey" at every opportunity despite the PD's distaste
for the catchprase, and found numerous ways to break format, abandoned DJing
for the technical side and went on to become a station engineer in San

Since students in Emerson's broadcasting program have radio careers in mind,
I agree with you that a station with a professional, well-formatted approach
on campus is a necessity. However, if Emerson can't put another station on
the air to allow the musical specialists and off-the-wall personalities to
do "college radio," could it perhaps set aside the weekends and/or late
nights for that purpose?


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