By Justin Riebman
Rider’s student media organization 107.7 The Bronc was nominated for its second consecutive National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for College Radio Station of the Year. However, The Bronc’s success didn’t come overnight.
John Mozes, general manager at 107.7 The Bronc, said that the station’s recent success was not immediate, and a long process was ahead to build an award-winning college radio station. Mozes had to work for it. In fact, he did not even think he would have the job as general manager today.
Rebuilding and rebranding
“My first reaction when I went for my interview and was given my tour was, I will work here six months and then I will be gone,” Mozes said.
Mozes came to Rider with a long background in the radio broadcasting industry. Mozes started off with a sales job at a small AM radio station called WBCB located in Levittown, Pennsylvania. He then went on to have a few more gigs before finding his new home for the next 13 years in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Other jobs Mozes had before coming to Rider included working at popular music station WPST located in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, co-hosting sports radio and working part-time as the master of ceremonies for former New York Yankees Minor League Baseball Affiliate, Trenton Thunder.
The Bronc was formerly located in the Bart Luedeke Center (BLC) before relocating to their new home in the Fine Arts Building in the summer of 2020. The Bronc, 13 years ago when Mozes was hired, looked nothing like their new professional state of the art studios.
“I couldn’t have been more unimpressed with the facilities. They were dilapidated. There was a hole in the wall. It was not really cared for,” Mozes said on the setting of 107.7 The Bronc when he started his job as general manager.
Mozes had to overcome obstacles and rough patches at the beginning of his tenure, turning around a rundown college radio station on a small campus to get not only where the station is today but to have a studio better than their old one.
“It was an education on the university on what a radio station can and should be, college or otherwise. It’s been an education process to educate facilities or the Office of Information Technology that we need to remain on the air at all times. It was an education process to show that it was OK to do any kind of events and they can be a success,” Mozes said of building the Bronc into the station it is today.
The station’s student-led team
The station is entirely run by Rider students. Students take on executive staff positions based on how a professional radio station operates. Students invest their time at The Bronc to make the station the best it can be. They all must buy into what Mozes overall is trying to sell.
Senior Tommy Franks, a communication studies major and news director at 107.7 The Bronc, has a strong relationship with Mozes and invested his dedication and time to make The Bronc sound like a Marconi nominated radio station. Franks is most well-known for starting The Bronc News Flash, a two-minute newscast broadcast at the top of the hour.
“He is not only your boss, he is a teacher in a lot of ways. He has assisted me and made me a lot better in terms of annunciation and ways to handle business. All facets to the radio station at Rider, he has helped out tremendously,” Franks said of Mozes.
The Bronc’s success
Students, staff and faculty learned Mozes is determined to always make 107.7 The Bronc the best possible.
Mozes said, “Never take no for an answer. Always turn no into a yes and you will succeed. That’s what we have done here. We have taken all the noes and turned them into yeses, and we have made things succeed. I think if you go with that mentality in life then you will be successful.”
Despite losing the award, the transformation Mozes led is monumental in its own right. Mozes turned a beat-down college radio station into a top college radio station in the country, now located in the Fine Arts Building with shiny new equipment and studios.
Justin Riebman works for 107.7 The Bronc. He was not included in the editing process of this story.