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A great time was had by all who attended the 6th Annual WERS Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday afternoon. It’s an event that’s has been part of Emerson’s Alumni Weekend since 2009. For details about this year’s inductees, along with information about the past five years’ members, check out the new History of the WERS Hall of Fame post below.
Not only is Gary Krantz the president and CEO of the Krantz Media Group, but he is also a former Westwood One and Premier Radio Networks executive and president of the Air America Network. The Krantz Media Group provides national distribution for brands and talent on multiple audio and video platforms, as well as identifying investors to fund exciting new media projects and emerging companies. Gary serves on the WERS Advisory Committee. He started his career as an entrepreneur as the second employee at MJI in 1981. He participated in the company’s growth through 1997, when he left to join AM/FM. As the first EPV/Programming Director at AM/FM, EVP at Premier, president of Air America, and Chief Digital Media Officer at Westwood one, Gary’s role always established growth and new business.
Truly a pioneer among women broadcasters, Rhode Island’s own Florence Markoff created several shows including “There’s a Word for It,” and “Rhode Island Portraits in Sound.” A member of the class of 1937, Florence has performed one-woman programs before hundreds of audiences during her long and illustrious career. She was inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame in May 2011. Florence was born in Providence and attended Hope High School before coming to Emerson. She and her husband raised three boys and while raising them, she wrote scripts and commercials for radio. Florence was ready for “more serious work” once the boys were older. She wanted to do something radio related that had never been done before. That’s when she came up with the idea for the shows that incorporated her accolades from over the years. She once said, “Every time I research one character, I stumble on another one.” That’s what made her a one of a kind radio personality for years!
With over thirty-five years of experience as an on-air personality, network executive, and radio station owner, Chet Tart has done it all. He has worked with Blair Radio, Fairbanks Communications, Radio INK Magazine, Business Talk Radio, and his own broadcast properties, specializing in transforming poorly run radio stations into market leaders. As a community leader, Chet has served on numerous boards, including the Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and The March of Dimes. He has worked to build quite an impressive resume after leaving Emerson, holding positions as the president of Business Talk Radio, owner of Wichita, Kansas’ KRBB, president and owner of Monterey California’s KMBY, and senior VP of New York’s Blair Radio.
Jacquie Gales Webb
At the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Jacquie Gales Webb manages contracts with producers, consultants, and radio stations as radio product manager. She also oversees the development and implementation of projects that enhance the growth and diversity of the public radio system. A New York Native, Jacquie became a student DJ at WERS in 1974 and was quickly hired afterward at WILD and WBCN as a late night rock DJ. Since 1990, Jacquie has hosted the #1 Sunday afternoon Gospel music program on Washington DC’s WHUR. She is a content consultant for Gospel music projects at Time. The National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses presented Jacquie with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 for continuous service and support of Gospel music. She has been nominated for fourteen regional Emmy Awards, won six local Emmy Awards, and produced the thirteen part radio series, “Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was,” that earned the University of Georgia’s Peabody Award.
Although he has been involved in every aspect of programming and managing radio stations across America, in retrospect, nothing has had a greater impact on Gary’s radio career than his time spent attending Emerson College and working at WERS and WECB. While in college, Gary began his career as an intern for WPRO. He quickly transitioned to a weekend on-air position, and before long he was appointed Program Director for the newly rebooted top-40 WPRO FM. Gary turned WROR Boston into a major player before moving on to program Detroit’s WHYT and WJR. In 1990, Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting was established in order to help adult contemporary radio stations achieve higher ratings. Today, Gary represents North America’s highest rated AC stations that are owned by major groups like CBS, Greater Media, and Mapleton Communications.
Knowing full well she wanted to follow her father’s broadcasting footsteps, Carolyn Kruse’s choice to attend Emerson College was step one. She was involved with both WERS and WECB. After graduating, Carolyn worked for Cape Cod’s WODC and WNTX before switching genres to Providence at Country 98. She then worked at Boston’s WBOS 92.9 and later returned to country in hosting a midday show at Greater Media’s Country 102.5 WKLB. Not only has Carolyn hit the 21 year milestone, but she has had the honor for climbing to #1 in ratings in 2013.
Phillip David March
Washington D.C. native Phillip David March traveled north to Boston in order to further his education with an associates degree in broadcast journalism from Graham Junior College. While living in Boston, Phillip received a bachelors degree in political and legal communications from Emerson College. In his senior year, Phillip was named New England’s #1 College Radio Announcer. Commercial radio than took him to Louisville Kentucky, Saint Louis Missouri, and finally to his first programming job in Columbus Georgia for WOKS/WFXE/WKZJ. From there, he programmed WIZF in Cincinnati Ohio, as well as at WMNX and WKXS in Wilmington North Carolina. As if that were not enough, he was also the Operations Manager for five radio properties owned by Cumulus.
After more than twenty years of radio news experience, Joe returned to his ‘professional’ home town of Boston to join WBZ in 2011. Previously, he worked with Sirius XM in Washington D.C. as Program Director for P.O.T.U.S., Sirius’ news and talk channel dedicated to coverage of US politics. Joe’s radio news career began in 1998 where he worked as a news anchor and editor for Metro Networks and delivered morning news on DC101 and WASH-FM. He also worked as an editor and anchor at the CBS MarketWatch Radio Network. Right after graduating Emerson, he became the morning drive news anchor on Cape Cod’s WXTK and WCOD. Joe helped the WERS Spring Fund drive by teaming up with our morning host George Knight and his band. In addition to being the consummate news anchor, he plays a mean guitar!
Born and raised in Boston, Malcolm Alter graduated from Emerson College with a major in speech education and a minor in broadcasting. His love of jazz is what originally attracted him to radio, even though there was no real demand for jazz disc jockeys in 1974. After his first commercial radio job as staff announcer and producer at Boston’s WRYT (now WROL,) Malcolm spent his first years doing news at radio stations in the Boston area, including Lawrence, Quincy, Salem, and Waltham. His career as a traffic reporter was born in September 1982 after he cashed in on experience he gained driving a taxi in Boston as a student.Malcolm spent fifteen years flying in the Metro helicopter, reporting traffic on several Boston radio stations, particularly WRKO and WBZ. He was most recently on air at WATD in Marshfield.
Formerly the President of iPrograms, a company that produces content for the internet, Ken Johnson has become the Operations Manager of Music Formats at Cumulus Media Birmingham, covering both WZRR and WUHT. He was the Director of Urban Programming for Clear Channel and ABC Radio Networks for many years. He also spent over ten years as VP of Urban Programming with Cumulus Media. At Emerson, Ken was on-air at WERS while handling on-air duties at Greater Media Boston. He was named to former Massachusetts’ Governor William Weld’s Alliance Against Drugs during his tenure at WERS. In 2000, Ken was honored as the Impact Radio Executive of the Year.
In October 1996, Al was named VP of Talent Negotiation and Production Recruitment. His responsibilities include recruiting, hiring, and evaluating on-air talent and production personnel and negotiating employment contracts for commentators. He served as a judge for all three editions of ESPN’s “Dream Job,” a reality series where contestants vied for an on-air job with ESPN. Jaffe joined ESPN in January 1987 as news manager where he was directly involved with the daily production of SportsCenter, the network’s sports news show. Al was named the manager of talent and production recruitment in 1988 and was then promoted to director of talent and production recruitment. Prior to ESPN, his TV positions included news director at KOVR-TV in Sacramento California, news director at KNTV-TV San Jose, senior news producer for WCVB-TV Boston and news producer for WHDH-TV/Radio Boston. While at WCVB-TV, he won an Emmy Award for the Best Newscast from the Boston Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Al was elected to the Emerson College Board of Trustees in 2007.
Dr. Gerald Kroeger
Joining Emerson in 1958 as an assistant professor in Mass Communications, in his 23 years of service to Emerson Dr. Kroeger had become provost, coordinator of graduate studies in the Division of Mass Communications, a member of the Graduate Board, the Academic Policy Committee, the Faculty Status Committee, as well as chair of the Faculty Assembly. He also worked hard to revise the mass communications curriculum for the College. Gerald’s time at Emerson coincided with rapid growth at the College.
Since leaving Emerson, Constance has had a stellar career with CBS. In 2000, she was named General Manager of CBS Radio News and before that, she served as Director of Operations and Affiliate Relations. Previously, Constance was manager of CBS Radio News Operations for three years as well as an editor, producer, and writer for CBS Radio News from 1984 until 1988. CBS Radio News has won over 40 RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards under her supervision. Constance is the owner of a Peabody Award, a RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Society of Professional Journalists Award for her role as producer for CBS Radio News’ live coverage of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. She has also won Associated Press, Ohio State, New York International Festival and UPI awards for her incredible work.
A veteran attorney, Howard has been involved in communications industry issues for more than forty years. He is currently a partner with Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP, working as a part the firm’s Government and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group, and is a member of the Group’s Telecommunications and Mass Media Team. Howard began his legal career with the Federal Communications Commission’s Cable Television Bureau. Since his tenure at the FCC, he has been in private practice, representing broadcasters (television and radio, commercial and noncommercial,) cable TV operators, and private radio licensees. He has been an active member of the Federal Communications Bar Association for many years. He has served as co-chair of the Association’s Mass Media Committee and Transactional Practice Committee. In June 2009, Howard received the FCBA’s Distinguished Service Award. He was a member of the Board of Overseers of Emerson College for several years and currently serves on the Advisory Committee for WERS.
Elroy “R.C.” Smith
Since graduating Emerson, Elroy has gained thirty years in the radio business. His programming resume includes overseeing Rhythmic CHR, Mainstream Urban, Urban Adult Contemporary, News and Talk, Gospel, Old School and Adult Contemporary stations. He spent fifteen years at Clear Channel Chicago as their Operations Manager for WGCI, WVAZ, and Gospel 1390 A.M. Elroy is the radio station owner of two properties in Bermuda, which involves overseeing sales, marketing, programming, and promotions. He was the Operations Manager for Radio One in Philadelphia as well as the Format Director for all of Radio One’s Inspiration stations. He is currently the consultant for the top two national gospel syndicated shows; The Yolanda Adams Morning Show and The James Fortune Show.
Professor Ted Phillips
In 1957, Ted came to Emerson as an assistant professor. He was chairman of the Mass Communication Division between 1962 and 1979, serving on NAEB and IRTS Committees as well as establishing and advising the Sailing Club. Upon graduating from the University of Illinois, Ted was employed by WCBS, located at the time in Springfield, Illinois. He started as an account executive or “time salesman,” and worked in almost every department of that station. After WWII, he again entered the broadcasting business in Springfield, IL, this time as both engineer and producer. He was interested in teaching as a full-time occupation, so finished a master’s program and came to Emerson. Six years later, he became chairman of the Broadcasting Department. Ted revamped the curriculum, changing the name to the Mass Communication Department. The department began to grow steadily, until approximately half of the enrollment of the College was in Mass Communication. In 1980, he left the Chairmanship of Mass Communication to become Director of the Overseas Program. Ted retired in June 25, 1982 but remained on as Faculty Emeritus and conducted “Hollywood” and “Europe” trips through the mid-1980s.
Professor Charles Dudley
In October 1949, transmitting with 10 watts on88.1 MHz from the top of an Emerson College building in Back Bay, Professor Charles Dudley first officially put WERS on-air! In 1950, WERS moved to 88.9 in order to increase power to 330 watts. Charles was born and raised in Jacksonville Florida and attended the University of Florida. After college, he worked at WIOD in Miami before becoming a language specialist in the Navy where he become fluent in Russian. He found out that Boylston Green, former President of Emerson College, was looking for someone to fill the chair of the radio department and to be an instructor in speech at Emerson. Charles got the job after a mere ten minute phone interview! He is credited with fully developing the radio program at Emerson. Dudley recruited all of the faculty members from the media profession, rather than from other departments in the College, which set the tone for years to come.
Not only is he a chair of the Emerson Board of Trustees, but Jeffrey is also vice president and a managing partner of Sunshine Wireless Company. Sunshine owns and operates media companies including radio stations, radio networks, broadcast transmission towers, and Studio Center, which operates audio-video production facilities across the country. Jeffrey developed a strong interest in the radio business early on while he was working at WOND Atlantic City during high school. After being active at WERS and WECB during his time at Emerson, he became sales manager at WMAL in Washington D.C. (an ABC radio outlet). He then teamed up with partner Dan Cohen to form Sunshine Wireless, beginning with radio stations in Miami and the Carolinas. Over the years, his company has expanded to the multimedia entity it is today.
Since she was the General Manager of WERS and Director of the audio program at Emerson, Fran has gained more than twenty five years of experience in the broadcasting industry. Her background in regulatory affairs includes successful direction of a broadcast station dealing with the FCC and other governmental relations requirements. Fran currently is the chair of the Brookline Cable Monitoring Committee and sits on the advisory board for Massachusetts Communications College. Fran is an award-winning writer and producer whose career included appointments at Public Radio International as well as WEEI, WBZ, and WGBH radio. She was even a producer for the Red Sox Radio Network! Fran holds a bachelors degree from Boston University and a Masters degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Psychology from Harvard University. She has won awards from the National Association of College Broadcasters and Alpha Epsilon Rho/National Broadcasting Society. She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of Women, Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders, and Who’s Who in Business and Professional Women.
A strong force in New York’s Urban Market, Cherry has been captivating Power 105 listeners with her distinct voice for over ten years. She recognized her vocal abilities at a young age and began to perform in singing groups. While studying communications at Emerson, Cherry made a name for herself in the northeast through her college radio shows on WERS. When one of her shows landed in the hands of rapper Eric Sermon, he quickly recruited her for skits on Def Squad’s compilation album Insomnia. In addition to her work on Power 105, Cherry stays busy hosting Access Entertainment’s “420 Degrees,” as well as BET’s “Live from L.A.” She appeared in films such as DJ Pooh’s “Three Strikes” and “Reverend Do Wrong Ain’t Right,” as well as on the pages of Blaze and Rap Pages modeling clothing for Chevere Clothing.