Rowan Radio Wins Three Broadcasting Education Awards

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Rowan Radio (89.7 WGLS-FM) won three awards in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

These awards mark milestones for the student-run radio station, adding to their already prestigious collection of awards. 

Rowan Radio’s “Early Bird Special with Josh Ticcino and Brandon Searles” won first place for Best On-Air Personality. Ticcino and Searles bring humor, energy and entertainment to the morning-drive-time show.

This is the first year that WGLS won in the On-Air Personality category in the competition’s history.

Ticcino and Searles’ 15-year friendship led to them hosting “The Early Bird Special,” and their bond is evident during their broadcast. 

“This award honestly means a lot, because it is a reward for all the work Josh and I have put into the station for four years, and shows that our effort into our ‘Early Bird’ show is being recognized,” Searles said.

“We always have ideas ready to go, and it’s just the two of us planning this stuff out, so we always manage to keep our own unique spin on everything,” Searles said.

The morning show duo has been sharing laughter and entertainment since January 2019.

“After the years we’ve put into it, to be recognized on a national stage and actually come in first, it’s almost surreal because we’re just two guys from Washington Township, N.J. talking about different topics that we think our listeners want to hear about,” Ticcino said.

The morning show duo never goes on-air without something to talk about. Likewise, they keep the conversation local. They like to make jokes and keep the laughs coming in a way that is an “inside joke” for the South Jersey and Philadelphia listeners. 

“We want our listeners to know they can tune to 89.7 in the morning and laugh with us while also listening to the music that matters,” Ticcino said.

“The Rowan Report Election Night 2021” earned third place for Best Newscast. The Rowan News Department provided coverage of New Jersey’s gubernatorial race this past year. News Director Allison Bruce and Public Affairs Director Sam Whalen were joined by reporters Connor Brown and Nick Earnshaw to provide updated coverage of the race.

“A lot of people have given up with politics because that world has gotten so toxic, but there needs to be some kind of basic understanding about what is going on and how it affects you,” Bruce said. 

The Rowan Report is a weekly podcast on WGLS that shares national and local news. The gubernatorial race was a heavily covered topic among the news department, especially with the two candidates having a close race that the news department covered.

“Being able to bring the audience of Rowan Radio that important coverage is something I will never forget, and I can’t wait to do it again for Midterm elections and eventually a Presidential election,” Bruce said.

This is the third year that The Rowan Report placed in the top three Best Newscast category in the Festival of Media Arts competition. 

“Rowan Radio Remembers: The 9/11 Attacks” received third place honors in the Educational Category. Sam Whalen produced the award-winning entry that remembered the events and memories of one of the deadliest days in American history.

“While it is a somber topic, I think the documentary is really important with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks having passed this last year,” Whalen said. “For a lot of people our age, it’s tough to move past the video footage we’ve seen a lot of and get to the real human side of the story.”

The Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition recognizes the best faculty and student media content annually. Winners will be recognized at the organization’s annual convention in Las Vegas in April 2022. 

Rowan Radio has won 345 national and regional awards since 1993.

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