By Gianluca D’Elia
A team of students from 107.7 The Bronc once again seized the opportunity to be the only radio station to broadcast live from the Philadelphia Flower Show on Feb. 28. The student broadcasters and producers met and interviewed several of the show’s exhibitors and executive staff members, and took a tour of the Disney film-themed exhibits before the gates opened for the public.
107.7 The Bronc started its coverage of the annual event in 2012, when radio/TV major and 107.7 program director Jake Tuff reached out to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), which hosts the flower show every year.
“This broadcast is something that no other college or commercial radio station does,” said Tuff, now a senior. “It gives students an incredible experience that is just not possible to get in the classroom.”
In 2012, Tuff was co-hosting and producing Turf’s Up, a weekend radio show about landscape design, with Darrin Gruner of Kentucky Blue Lawn Care Specialists. Tuff had the opportunity to broadcast at a horticultural show during his first year as a producer of Turf’s Up. “I decided that I wanted to do something bigger and better,” he said.
Tuff emailed and called the organizers of the event until someone responded. An answer finally came when PHS communications director Alan Jaffe liked the idea of having a live broadcast of the show. 107.7 has been broadcasting at the flower show and other PHS events ever since.
“Alan Jaffe was really impressed with how professional we looked and sounded, so he invited us back the next year,” said Tuff. “This past weekend was our third year broadcasting live, and in my opinion, this is the best show that we have seen.”
John Mozes, the general manager of the radio station, said this event is the best real-world experience 107.7 provides for students, and he is thankful for the strong relationship the station has maintained with PHS.
“I believe it’s our students’ preparedness and passion for both radio and the flower show itself, as well as their extraordinary professionalism that keeps PHS inviting us back,” Mozes stated.
The students’ professionalism was especially evident when dealing with stressful situations that came along with broadcasting at a large-scale event.
“I think our students did an incredible job,” said Mozes. “We had a lot of unexpected obstacles in the morning that appeared as if they were going to delay or even cancel some of our broadcasts, but we persevered and the entire broadcast went off without a hitch.”
One of these unexpected obstacles was having no tables upon arrival at the convention center. The student broadcasters almost had to do their hour-long talk shows standing up until tables were provided just minutes before the live broadcast was set to begin.
For the team of 10 students who participated, the day was a lesson in preparation, professionalism, scheduling, technical engineering – and, according to Mozes, Murphy’s Law.
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” Mozes said. “Broadcasting live at the Philadelphia Flower Show teaches students absolutely everything that goes into creating a live broadcast of this magnitude.”
By Gianluca D’Elia