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Alumnus gives back to York College radio

Patience Goanue, news director of York College's radio station, teaches Brittany Adamson (front) how to produce a live show. Photo courtesy York College
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York College’s student radio station, which beams across the Internet from Jamaica to all corners of the globe, recently got a facelift, thanks to the alumnus who founded it almost 30 years ago.

Ray Warren, now an executive at NBC Sports, said that when he looking at several different colleges to study communications in the 1970s he chose York because it provided him the opportunity to take on the challenge of building a radio station where there was none.

“I wrote a business plan, made a request to the York College board for $25,000 and built the radio station in the fall of ’74,” he said.

The first three songs that traveled across the wire line to campus buildings were “Hear that Music” by Poco, “Listen to the Music” by The Doobie Brothers and “My Music” by Loggins and Messina.

“We basically started out wanting to do things like progressive rock, folk — things like that,” he recalled. “We found out York had other tastes so we adjusted to the audience.

These days the station is transmitted online at wycradio.org, and the programming leans heavily toward the interests of the students in the school’s relatively new journalism program.

“I tell them if they do a radio version of a story in the school newspaper, fine. If they find something really juicy in the dailies, great. If they want to do something that really would appeal to students and faculty and staff, that’s terrific,” said Tom Moore, an associate professor of English who teaches two news writing classes in the college’s journalism program. “As a faculty member, I’m very pleased they’re writing stories and going down in front of the microphone. There’s nothing better than setting them down at the mic.”

Warren, who sits on the board of the journalism program, teamed up with the New York Mets’ SportsNet New York to make a $7,500 donation that allowed the station to renovate its studio in the college’s main academic building.

The student journalists now have dedicated areas for the station’s engineer and for conducting interviews.

Warren said the thing he learned most during his time at York — and what he hopes today’s students will take away — is that a strong entrepreneurial spirit can get one far in life.

“I learned both sides of the business,” he said. “And I learned that you really have to roll up your sleeves and go to work some times.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 11:10 am, November 13, 2013
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Reader feedback

Nazrul I. Khandaker from York College says:
This is quite fascinating and impressive to see York alumnus getting involved in order to disseminate important news and reach out greater York community through York College Radio. Timely communications and exchange of ideas as part of keeping community informed on what's happening in our neck of the wood can go a long way to unify York community and engage informed citizens in making well-informed decisions and provide them with a sense of belonging. Great job.
Nov. 11, 2013, 9:33 am

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