Derek Jones, Interim Station Manager at Rowan Radio, Explains The Benefits of Being Involved in College Radio

Derek Jones has served as Interim Station Manager at Rowan Radio since December 2012.

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Derek Jones, Interim Station Manager at Rowan Radio, has been in the business for over a decade. He began his career in radio after joining Rowan Radio in his freshman year of college. After graduating with a Radio/TV/Film degree from Rowan in 2001, he served as Assistant Station Manager at Rowan Radio for over ten years. He eventually worked his way up to his current position where he handles all the business aspects of the station. In the clip below, he talks about the technological changes and the importance of diversity in the media industry.


A Photo Gallery of Rowan Radio’s Studio and The Rowan Report

Hi everyone,

The photos below were taken at Rowan University‘s own, Rowan Radio. As you probably already know, I spend quite a lot of time there and witness many things that take place inside the station. Most of the pictures are things one would see on a daily basis. However, I took these photos on a Tuesday, which is when the staff makes preparations for the weekly news show The Rowan Report. Tuesdays see plenty of people coming in and out of the station, and I tried to capture some of them hard at work. Enjoy!

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How Joining a College Radio Station Can Help Those Suffering with Social Anxiety Break Out of Their Comfort Zone

I briefly mentioned before on this blog that at times, I was very anxious when it came to hosting my own radio show. What I didn’t say is that I have actually struggled with diagnosed social anxiety disorder for most of my life. So naturally, joining a radio station with thousands of listeners who would eventually be hearing my voice seemed quite terrifying. However, I have always had an interest in college radio and I was not about to let my inhibitions hold me back.

The point I hope to get across with this entry is that if you also have SAD or are just a shy person in general, putting yourself out there with things like college radio can actually help you break out of your shell. Here are some ways in which I think college radio can help in communicating with people and being a little more extroverted (not that there’s anything wrong with introverts, though!):

1. Public speaking

As daunting of a task as it is to get up and speak in front of your peers, most of us will either have to take a public speaking course or make a presentation at some point in our academic careers. College radio can help you get a leg up in that department because it already forces you to speak more clearly and eloquently. Personally, I feel like I do way better in any presentation that I have to make now compared to pre-Rowan Radio. I also feel less nervous about them because I’ve gotten better at speaking to an audience, whether they can physically see me or not.

2. Talking on the phone

For some reason, hearing a stranger’s voice on the other end of a telephone is something that scares a huge amount of people. But if you join college radio, this is a challenge you might be faced with. Sometimes listeners will call during your show asking if you take song requests or sometimes you might be the one having to make the phone calls for arranging interviews and ticket giveaways. Either way, college radio helps with phone etiquette. You always have to feel confident in what you are discussing while presenting yourself in a professional manner.

3. Networking

You will meet many great and talented people in college radio who you can also learn a lot from. You can’t let your fears keep you from attending a station get-together or getting to know everyone on a more personal level. The relationships you make here will help you grow, professionally and personally.

4. Meeting new people outside of the station

College radio can be a major help with confidence when meeting new people. Being able to say that you DJ a radio show can also serve as a good conversation starter, as long as you don’t blow your own horn too much. Know the difference between confidence and arrogance.

Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan Hash it Out in Final Senate Debate at Rowan University

In non-college radio related news, this past Wednesday, a heated political debate between U.S. Senate candidates Cory Booker (Mayor of Newark) and Steve Lonegan (Mayor of Bogota) took place on Rowan University’s campus. The two are currently battling it out for votes in this week’s big election. NBC10 weeknight anchor Jim Rosenfield served as the debate’s mediator and it was broadcasted live on the network.

The politicians discussed a number of hot-button topics throughout the one hour debate. From the recent government shutdown and Obamacare to whether or not Booker’s public image is “too Hollywood,” no subject was left out of the conversation.

In regards to the aforementioned government shutdown, Booker believes that people who will work together to reach a compromise on the current issues facing this country should be sent to Washington. While Lonegan thinks the impact in Washington D.C. is unfortunate, he still wants to postpone the funding of Obamacare because Democrats “refuse to work with Republicans in Congress.”

During much of the debate, Lonegan made accusations that Booker was only hurting the city of Newark instead of helping it. He accused Booker of putting a huge focus on his public image and not enough on the crime and unemployment rates of the city. Booker refuted his argument by saying that the crime rate has been down 27% since his election and he was able to accomplish this with less resources.

Booker made accusations against Lonegan as well. He constantly referred to Lonegan as a “tea party extremist,” which Lonegan vehemently denied. Lonegan believes that many of the government systems currently in place are deeply flawed, and if elected, would like to introduce a bill that would appeal bodies of regulation.

For social issues such as same-sex marriage, Booker believes in equality under the law while respecting religious institutions and Lonegan believes that it is up to legislature and the people to decide. Another social issue that was discussed at the very end of the broadcast was abortion, which the two are clearly divided on. Booker, a pro-choice advocate, thinks that the matter should be only between the woman and her doctor. Lonegan is pro-life and disapproves of abortions in the cases of rape and incest.

Overall, the debate was highly informative on both candidates. Now, it is up to the people to decide who will represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate. The polls are open this Wednesday.

Ellen Hardy from Rowan Radio Discusses Her Experience Working in College Radio

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Has permission to use the photo.

Ellen Hardy is a senior Radio/TV/Film major at Rowan University. She joined Rowan Radio in her sophomore year, and since then has became a true leader at the station. Now in her final year of college, she has some helpful words of advice for those wanting to become a part of their own college radio stations.

What first interested you in Rowan Radio?

I’ve always loved music and I thought why not go somewhere I could play music? Also, it’s broadcasted in the Tri-State area, meaning people are hearing me! I’m a personality, and I kind of need to be out there.

How did you get started?

I got the email that said when Rowan Radio was holding their introductory meeting, so I went and it was really interesting and I already knew I wanted to do it. Then, came training I was so paranoid during that whole process. I thought “Oh God, what if I break something or curse on air!?” Then, I passed training and the test and now here I am, Co-Operations Manager and practically in charge!

Can you describe some of the shows you have worked on?

I do a lot of Early Bird’s, which is a show early in the morning from 7-9am. There’s more talking than the regular daytime shows and I enjoy them more because I like to talk, in case you couldn’t tell! Then, I also do a show I absolutely adore on the weekends called the Sunday Matinee, which showcases the best in TV and movie soundtracks.

What do you love about DJing your own shows?

I love picking the music when it comes to DJ-ing my own shows, which can also be the hard part sometimes. However, I have fun with it and play music that I love. I get to play Big Time Rush every week!

How did you work your way up to the Executive Staff?

“Yeah, sure.” Literally, “yeah, sure” sealed my fate. What happened was, my friend Dianna became Promotions Director and needed an assistant, so she asked me if I wanted to do it and I said “Yeah, sure!” A year later, I am now Co-Operations Manager and I’m in charge of a lot more than I ever thought I would be. Especially considering I’m the girl who touches a computer and it breaks.

What are some of the duties you had in your first position on the Exec Staff?
As assistant promotions director, I actually didn’t do much. I did more of the tedious work like filing winners for contests, typing up our Featured Artist Friday promos, mailing out congrats letters to contest winners. I handled more of the paperwork while Dianna handled actually getting the promotions.
What did you like most about that position?
Well, I’m a big control freak and I liked the idea that I was able to do certain things my own way. I also learned how to type for radio, which is something I’ve never done before.
How did you go from doing promotions to ops?
Our former operations manager really wanted me to do operations and everyone else on the Exec staff agreed with her, because they felt I had worked here for quite some time and deserved that title.
What are some of the duties in your current position?
One of my biggest duties is to make sure there is someone on-air at all times. I also podcast, edit talk shows, and make sure everyone is doing their job.
What do you like about it?
Honestly, I just like knowing I’m helping people. When you’re in a higher position, more people come to you for help and I enjoy that! I like being able to share my knowledge. I don’t have that much knowledge to share, so whenever I can share the knowledge I do have I’m all about it!
Do you have any advice for those who want to become involved with college radio?
First off, don’t be afraid. Also, it’s okay if you mess up, because who cares?! I mess up all the time! They need to realize that messing up even happens in the professional world and you have to own it when it does happen. If you are scared, admit it. That way, we can teach you not to be scared.
How about any advice for next year’s Exec Staff?
Talk to each other. Communication is one of the most important things in life and something most of us should know how to do as communications majors. They are going to be the people you are closest with, because you’ll see them more than anyone else. Even though we are a college station, we are a legitimate station. Don’t let your personal problems affect you and your relationships with anyone. You have to be a professional, even for college. We are a professional college station.
How has being involved in Rowan Radio changed you as a person?
Believe it or not, I’m actually quite shy and I always expect the worst in every situation. However, now I have more positive outlooks on certain things. Also, I realized that why should I ever have to hold back on being me?! I am who I am and I shouldn’t have to apologize for it. The station helped me learn that.
Why do you think it is important for college campuses to have student run radio stations?
It prepares us for the real world. A lot of us want to do radio in real life, outside of college. Once we graduate, we know how to work the equipment. Everything at Rowan Radio is the same equipment that professional stations use.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I really want to continue in radio. Hopefully I’ll land a job in Philadelphia, but if I have to move out to Utah, I will. I want to be a personality and be able to talk to people. I would like Ellen Hardy to be a household name someday.
How do you think the skills you have gained in Rowan Radio will help you in the real world?
I learned how to deal with people. My normal reaction to things is to run away and hide, because I avoid confrontation. However, you can’t avoid confrontation sometimes. You just have to be professional and hash it out like grown ups. I also learned how to talk professionally, how to act professionally, and still be me but in a professional way.
How would you sell becoming involved in college radio to non-communications majors?
It’s really easy and fun! We have something for everyone. No matter what you want to do, there is an opportunity for you.
Anything else you would like to add?
If you ever thought of joining college radio, don’t second guess yourself and just do it. Have fun and enjoy yourself because it’s going to be the best time ever. I’m in my senior year now, and I really don’t want it to end.

Do’s and Don’ts of College Radio

Palms are sweaty, voice is trembling, stomach feels slightly nauseous and your brain simply cannot string together a coherent thought. No, you aren’t about to lose your virginity…. But you are about to host your very first radio show! Exciting, isn’t it?!

Unfortunately, that scenario is not far off from how I felt before DJing my first radio show. But if there is one thing I could say to anyone about to take over the mic for the first time, it would be to JUST RELAX!! Everything you say on-air will come across fine to listeners, I promise!

As I mentioned before, I’ve been involved with Rowan Radio for almost three years and over that time, I have grown in many ways. My experiences flubbing lines on-air and pressing the wrong buttons at the wrong times have led me to write this post: The Do’s and Don’ts of College Radio.


1. Arrive to the studio AT LEAST fifteen minutes before your show.

I cannot stress this enough. It might have to do with the fact that I’m super paranoid about being late to anything, but tardiness is just never acceptable in the media world. Rowan Radio even enforces punishments, or “suspension hours,” to those who cannot follow this simple rule. It’s no joke, people. Not to mention, arriving at the studio early means you have more time to mentally prepare yourself! You can now look over the music log, catch up on the latest news and weather updates, and think of witty things to say on-air!

2. Leave whatever personal problems you might be facing at the door.

“No one wants to listen to a DJ that’s absolutely miserable,” says Rowan Radio DJ Alyssa Sansone. I know it’s hard sometimes, but you really just have to carry on when you step into the studio and deal with the bad stuff later. The show must go on!

3.   Bring the energy!

Let’s face it, monotone DJs are just not entertaining. You want to make sure you are keeping your audience by being fun and lively, even if you don’t necessarily have anything special to talk about on-air. This particularly applies to those DJing early morning shows, when most of your listeners are probably struggling to stay awake on their commute to work. Talking a few levels louder than your normal speaking volume can help quite a bit. Project your voice.

4.   Constantly mention your name.

Because what good is listening to a DJ host a show if we don’t even know who’s behind the mic!

5. Think of a gimmick.

Some DJs choose not to do this, but it’s a good way to keep your show fresh and exciting. I’ve heard DJs do segments every week like “Tuesday TV Talk” or “Tip of the Day.” Something like that could set your show apart and people will more than likely remember you. Let your personality shine.


1. Do NOT, under any circumstances, cuss on-air.

This is a HUGE no-no. It could get you fired and the station in trouble!

2. Follow a script word-for-word.

I know that, as college radio DJs, there are certain things we have to say at certain time slots. It could be the weather forecast, a traffic update, or information we have to deliver about a campus or community event. Whatever the message, an important thing to remember is that it’s okay to improvise with a script at times! “Ad-libbing makes you sound that much better as a DJ,” says Rowan Radio intern and DJ Erica Milbourne, “it makes everything feel more natural and keeps from boring your audience to tears!”

3.   Sweat the small stuff.

Every DJ has fumbled over their words on-air at least once. The easiest thing to do when it happens is just shrug it off and move on. Most likely, no one even noticed, and so what if they did? It’s really not that big of a deal as you might think it is at the time. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

4.   Ramble.

Obviously it’s a good thing to have something to talk about on-air, but don’t over-do it. Although you might think it’s a good story, no one wants to hear about your horrible trip to the DMV for 5+ minutes. Know when enough is enough and then start playing some music.

5. Forget to keep track of the time & music log.

Time-management is key in college radio. Always keep an eye on what songs should be playing when and if you need to add any emergency songs to fill out more time, especially at the end of an hour.

There you have it. Hopefully, these tips can be a bit of a help to those venturing into the world of college radio!


College Radio Day!

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Three years ago, Rob Quicke, Associate Professor of Communication and general manager of WP 88.7 FM at William Paterson University, decided to create an event to help support college radio. Thus, College Radio Day was born and since then, it has gained quite a following. This past Tuesday, more than 700 radio stations around the world participated in the forty-hour celebration. Popular musicians such as The Lumineers, Coldplay, and Wyclef Jean also made appearances throughout the broadcast. Needless to say, College Radio Day has been nothing short of a success.

Being a member of a college radio station, I think College Radio Day is a great way to spread awareness of the all the hard work done by these students. I am also very proud to say that Rowan Radio participated this year! Below are some links regarding what others had to say about College Radio Day. Enjoy!

1. “Listeners Everywhere Tune in for College Radio Day”

Samantha Wong, station director at the University of Houston’s Coog Radio, discusses the hardships college radio faces and encourages others to support by celebrating College Radio Day.

2. “Wyclef Jean Hangs Out at College Radio Day”

Hip hop artist and record producer Wyclef Jean talks about the role college radio plays in keeping “grassroots music” alive.

3. “President Barack Obama Praises Student Radio for College Radio Day”

President Barack Obama wishes those involved in college radio the best.

4. “Commentary: Radio days aren’t numbered, on campus or elsewhere”

Michael Saffran, WGSU-FM faculty director at the State University of New York-Geneseo, explains the struggle for college radio to stay relevant in a digital age.

5. “Wayne Bledsoe: Help Keep College Radio and WUTK on the Air”

Wayne Bledsoe, Entertainment Writer for, promotes the fundraising drive for University of Tennessee’s WUTK which took place on College Radio Day.