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WERS welcomed three new members to its Hall of Fame this weekend! We are pleased to announce that Gary Berkowitz ’73, President, CEO of Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting; Carolyn Kruse ’84, Personality at WKLB-FM; and Philip David March ’84, Program Director at B96.5 and Magic 101.3, are now a part of our Hall of Fame. Congratulations!
For over 40 years, Gary has been involved in every aspect of the programming and management of radio stations across America. In retrospect, nothing has had a greater impact on his radio career than the years attending Emerson College and working at both WECB and WERS.
While attending Emerson, Gary started as an intern at WPRO. He quickly transitioned to a weekend on air position better known as Gary Daniels and then into the night time show following the legendary Big Ange. However, Gary’s real goal while in Providence was to convince general manager, Warren Potash, to change the beautiful music format of WPRO’s sister station. In April of 1974, Gary’s nagging paid off when he was appointed program director of the new rebooted Top-40 WPRO FM. Assembling a young, innovative staff with a contemporary sound, Gary rechristened the station “92 PRO FM”. It was a youth driven and exciting era for radio and 92 PRO FM would play a major role ushering it in.
Not far from Rhode Island was another struggling radio station, WROR, in Boston. This time no nagging was necessary. Turning ROR into a successful adult contemporary station for RKO Radio marked a turning point in Gary’s career. After two successful years in Boston, once again Gary returned to Providence to help Capital Cities re-build PRO-FM, as well as, its heritage AM station, WPRO. The truth is Gary just couldn’t stay away. He wanted back in! Within one book under Gary’s leadership both PRO stations were number 1 and 2 in the market.
In 1984, Jim Arcara, President of Capital Cities Communications, made an offer to Gary that he couldn’t refuse. The opportunity to program Detroit’s Hot Hits CHR station, WHYT, followed by the over haul of its 50,000 watt powerhouse, WJR, was too tempting for even a diehard east coaster to refuse. Turning around this Detroit radio icon brought with it an epiphany: “It just doesn’t get any better than this.”
Gary loved Detroit and as they say the rest is history. Staying in Detroit, he joined Broadcasting Partners to launch one of the country’s first Hot AC’s, Q95… and it quickly become #1 in this major market.
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting was established in 1990 with the purpose of helping Adult Contemporary Radio Stations achieve higher ratings. Today, Gary represents North American’s highest rated AC stations owned by major groups such as CBS, Greater Media, and Mapleton Communications.
Phillip David March
Phillip David March was born in raised in Washington, D.C. He traveled north to Boston, MA to further his education; receiving an A.S. degree in Broadcast Journalism from Graham Junior College. Continuing his stay in Boston, he received a B.S. in Political and Legal Communications from Emerson College. In Phillip’s senior year, he was named New England’s #1 college radio announcer.
His first job in commercial radio took him to Louisville, KY, where he stayed for four years. Phillip was the Arbitron rated #1 night announcer, 7pm to midnight, the last three years of his tenure in Louisville. Phillip’s next move was to afternoon drive in St. Louis, where he stayed for nine months before accepting his first programming job in Columbus, GA. There he worked as program director of WOKS/WFXE/WKZJ for Davis Broadcasting. It took three years to raise WFXE to Arbitron’s #1 station and it remained #1 for six consecutive years. While in Columbus, Phillip received five nominations from Billboard Magazine for “Small Market Program Director of Year” and won Gavin Magazine’s “Small Market Program Director of the Year” in 1999.
Phillip then accepted the programming job for WIZF, in Cincinnati and guided the station for nine months. His next job in radio took him to Wilmington, NC where he programmed WMNX and WKXS. Additionally, he was the Operations Manager for 5 radio properties owned by Cumulus. In Wilmington, Phillip guided WMNX to the #1 ranking station. He then accepted the challenge of putting together a staff and signing on a new property in Huntsville, AL; WHRP. He successfully programmed the fastest growing radio station in the history of the Huntsville market. In 2005, WHRP won the Southern Entertainment Award for “Station of the Year”. Phillip David aka The Original P. Diddy also held down the afternoon drive shift; 3pm to 7pm.
Phillip then ventured back to Cincinnati to program WIZF for a second time, successfully maintaining excellent ratings. He also served as the afternoon drive announcer. In October of 2006, Radio One decided to launch a new station and Phillip was just the man to steer the project. Currently the New Mojo 100.3, Radio One’s newest Urban AC, is Phillip’s main focus. As the Program Director and Afternoon Drive Announcer, his time is invested in profitably cultivating a new and much needed format in the Cincinnati Market.
After high school graduation in New Canaan, Connecticut Carolyn Kruse (Carol Kamerschen) knew she wanted to follow her Dad’s footsteps into broadcasting. So, her next step was making a beeline to Emerson College in Boston with a strong desire for a radio career! While attending, she was involved at both Emerson radio stations-WERS and WEBC, where her air name was Carol Kayne.
After graduation, Carolyn worked for a few smaller stations on Cape Cod, including WCOD (Adult Pop) and WNTX (Oldies).
Then Carolyn made the fortuitous format switch to country in Providence at Country 98. That was followed by a stint doing the AAA format with WBOS 92.9 in Boston!
Finally, the beginning of Carolyn’s perfect job, twenty years ago this year, hosting the midday show at Greater Media’s Country 102.5 WKLB! Carolyn says she has enjoyed all aspects of the job, but especially the chance to interview country’s biggest stars in America-including Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, and even flying cross-country with Taylor Swift one time for an album release promotion. Not only has Carolyn hit the 20 year milestone, but she had the honor of climbing to Number One in her daypart in the latest Arbitron monthly ratings!
So, only a few miles from the Emerson campus, Carolyn has gone from WERS to Boston’s Number One midday host and we are so proud to have her in the WERS Hall of Fame!