By Lauren Lavelle
Rider’s 107.7 The Bronc was named best college radio station in the state on June 23 at the 2016 New Jersey Broadcaster’s Association Conference (NJBA) in Atlantic City.
“What’s great about this particular award is that the students were there to experience it,” said John Mozes, The Bronc’s general manager. “You don’t get that a lot with awards, in general. It’s priceless.”
“To be recognized by professionals in the industry is huge,” said senior Matt Burril, a digital media major and The Bronc’s student general manager. “It feels great to bring something to the university. That’s our main goal.”
Now in its 69th year, the NJBA Conference provides recognition and praise to news and broadcast stations across New Jersey. Recently, the association added college radio stations to the mix with a Best College Radio Station achievement award called the Best of the Best Award.
While Mozes appreciates the acknowledgement, he is more enthusiastic about the opportunities the conference provides for the students.
“It’s a learning opportunity,” said Mozes. “We created a student seminar about five years ago to try and encourage students to come to the conference, so they can learn and network.”
Mozes feels the award is even more of an achievement because the overall judgment is heavily weighted on the opinion of out-of-state professionals.
“To make it fair, another state broadcast association’s professionals and experts evaluate it,” said Mozes. “It’s coming from an unbiased source, so it gives it more prestige and honor.”
The Bronc, which boasts several accolades, including earning the 15th spot on The Princeton Review’s Best College Radio Station list in 2015, is not an average amateur broadcasting station.
“We’re a college radio station that gives our students a truly engaged learning experience, but at the same time, we operate the station as close to a professional radio station as we can,” said Mozes. “So, when you hear The Bronc, it doesn’t sound like a college radio station. We gear it as much as we can toward a commercial radio station, and I think that’s what sets us apart.”
“I think we break our backs more than anyone else when it comes to college radio stations in New Jersey,” said Burrill. “We have a great, dedicated staff and the best mentor in the business. What I learn here propels what I’ll be doing in the actual industry.”
Mozes and his students look forward to making use of their achievement by sponsoring several events throughout the year including two new events: Top Chef: Cluck You and Dessert Wars: Let Them Eat Cake.
“There will be a bunch of things for people to do that will definitely attract students,” said Mozes.