Rowan Radio Programs Awarded First Place at National Competition

A mixing board being used by the production staff of Rowan Radio. - Photo via

Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM won five awards in the 19th Annual College Broadcasters Incorporated (CBI) National Student Production Awards, which were held virtually on Oct. 30. 

The CBI National Student Production Awards is an annual competition which recognizes the best in student media (mostly TV and radio). This event was held online this year due to the pandemic. Since 1993, Rowan Radio has been continuously recognized for their work, racking up 327 regional and national awards.  

The most prominent victory came from “The Rowan Report” which took first place in the Best Audio Newscast category. The weekly show, produced by Katie Francis and Rylee Meyer, looks at the week’s most important news stories on local, national and international levels. This is the first time the program has won first place in a national competition, which is a huge accomplishment considering how crucial it is to properly deliver news at this moment in time. “The Rowan Report” previously took second place for Best Newscast in a competition in February. 

When asked how it feels for her work to be recognized, Francis responded: “I am so proud to be recognized by CBI because this was a national competition, and I think of it as putting Rowan Radio and Rowan University on the map.” 

Almost every major university has their own college radio station which leads to the conclusion that the potential amount of competition for this award was seemingly endless. “Any college radio station in the country could enter their content, so it was super exciting that we got first,” Francis said. According to CBI’s website, they received over 1000 entries for the 2020 awards. “The Rowan Report” is broadcasted on 89.7 WGLS-FM weekly on Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 10 a.m. 

“The Ride at 5” won first place in the Best Station Promo category. The program, created by Sean Kelly, is a one hour music show designed for commuters on their way home from work. This show is hosted by Nick Carlson, Eli Lightner, Katie Francis and Justin Otero on their respective days. You can catch “The Ride at 5” every Monday through Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. on Rowan Radio.  

Ben Lombardo, Bryce Tripodi and Zeid Aberra were honored in the Best Special Broadcast category for “9/12: Up from the Ashes.” Joseph Scelza was also recognized for the digital short “The Perfect Cup.”

Rowan Radio took second place for Best Station Imaging, which recognizes student radio and TV stations that did an outstanding job branding and marketing their outlets. This category was particularly for marketing done on-air through station liners and promotional announcements. 

Keith Brand, chair of the Department of Radio, Television & Film within the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts, could not have been more proud of his student workers. He was sure not to overlook the value that a national award has, especially for aspiring broadcast professionals.

“Our students’ work is on par with some of the best production schools in the country. Having this award on their resume can be important for students in landing their first job after graduation,” Brand said. 

This message was echoed by Francis when she was asked about her possible career paths.

“I definitely see myself working in radio in the future. I have been so fortunate to be able to work with such a great group of people on this show and it will definitely help having such great experience on my resume when I begin my job search in the near future,” Francis said.

Rowan Radio does not just broadcast to Rowan students and the Glassboro area. WGLS-FM is a regional public radio service with a potential audience of over one million people, due to the broadcast signal covering South Jersey as well as parts of Philadelphia and Delaware. Every day, for 24 hours, a staff of student and civic volunteers spend their time and effort to broadcast content that covers a wide variety of topics. What is admiring about this staff is that they put their work in not only to build up qualifications in the field, but also because of their passion to entertain and inform Rowan University and the surrounding communities. 

You can watch the full video of the National Student Production Awards here. If you would like to view a complete list of all the winners of every award, that can be found here. 

Click here for the program schedule of Rowan Radio. 

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