SRU announces 2017 Radio Hall of Fame nominees

radio station microphone and control board

March 3, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - From running a local television station newsroom to working as an editor at CNN and everything in between, the Slippery Rock University Radio Hall of Fame has put up 13 nominees for its Class of 2017.

While the group collectively boasts more than a century of experience in radio, TV and public relations, each got their start in broadcasting through SRU campus radio.

To be considered for induction, nominees must be SRU alumni and/or former undergraduate students who were members of the campus radio station; pursued a career in media including: radio, TV, print, digital, public relations, marketing or education; and have been away from the University for a minimum of five years. Eligibility is not dependent upon having received a degree.

Voting, open to SRU students and alumni, is available at: http://www.sruradiohalloffame.weebly.com/, through May 1. The top five vote getters will be inducted into the HOF at noon, Oct. 13 in the Smith Student Center Theater as part of SRU's 2017 Homecoming Weekend.

Mark French

   FRENCH

As part of the ceremonies, a lifetime achievement award will be presented to Mark French. French, who has spent more than 45 years behind a microphone, began his radio career broadcasting from North Hall's WNFT-AM in 1968. His career has taken him to Wilkes Barre, Philadelphia, North Carolina, and for the better part of four decades, Youngstown, Ohio, where he was the midday voice at WHOT for many years. He was also a program director for WNIO-AM in Youngstown. Now retired and residing in Florida, French - through the magic of technology - can still be heard doing weekend shifts at Youngstown's WMXY.

The SRU Radio HOF was the brainchild of James Aronson, SRU Radio alumni chairman, who in 2012 called former station employees together to commemorate WSRU's then 50th year on the air. The anniversary event was simply intended to mark a historic past for the University and station, but Aronson was inspired by the many success stories of the returning graduates. That night, he began constructing a plan that would honor those past achievements the station alums had shared. Four years later, his initiative recognized nine former students and two former professors for their accomplishments in the world of radio and television broadcasting.

This year's nominees include:

  • Greg McAtee: McAtee has been a part of Pittsburgh radio for decades, both on air and as a program director, working at WPLW, WPIT, WDVE, WXDX, WPGB, WWSW, WKST and WBGG. Currently, he serves as KDKA's traffic reporter.
  • Deb Cohen: "Dr. Deb" is a longtime supporter of SRU radio, serving as WRSK's academic adviser from 1995-2006. During that time, she worked as an on-air personality as well.
  • Bob Cupp: Cupp is an on-air personality who has received several Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Awards. He spent 28 years hosting the morning show at WLER in Butler. He got his start at SRU in the early 1980s.
  • Kim "Alexander" Cosden: Cosden, known as Kim Alexander to listeners, has been the co-host of the WGTY morning show in Gettysburg for the past 30 years. For the past 15 years, her show has been ranked No. 1 in the market.
  • Matt Fleeger: Fleeger has made his mark as program director at KMHD, a Portland, Oregon-based PBS/jazz radio station. In 2011, KMHD earned "Station of the Year" honors from JazzWeek. Fleeger is also a contributor to NPR, Vortex Magazine and Spotify.
  • Linda Henderson: After leaving SRU, Henderson joined the Air Force, where she worked for Armed Forces Radio and Television. Following her stint in the service, she spent 21 years producing corporate videos. She is currently a partner in a marketing firm and has authored a book.
  • Bob Hitchcock: Hitchcock, who graduated from SRU in 1985, began his career as a videographer at the NBC affiliate in Rochester, New York; and would later become assistant news director at KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona. Currently, he is a content director for The Walt Disney Company.
  • Tim McCoy: A 1982 SRU graduate, McCoy has logged time at WBZZ in Pittsburgh; as the play-by-play voice of University of Pittsburgh's men's and women's soccer teams; and a correspondent for Associated Press Radio and New York's WFAN.
  • Doreen Marcial Poreba: Poreba has worked as a public relations specialist, journalist, photographer and author en route to capturing more than 60 awards for her work in PR and photography. A singer-songwriter, she owns her own PR firm and is writing a book. She was the first female sports director of WRCK.
  • Christopher Rolinson: Rolinson began his radio career as the general manager of WRCK in the late 90s before branching out into photojournalism. He has had his work published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Associated Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Currently, he is an associate professor at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
  • Hugh Slack: Slack began working in SRU radio in 1978 as a general manager. He has worked in radio sales in Texas and Pennsylvania before starting his own garden nursery business.
  • Barb Spryn: A former editor at CNN, Spryn has covered events around the world, including being on the ground during 1989's Tiananmen Square Massacre in China. She now works as an editor and producer at The Weather Channel.
  • Jim Trdinich: Trdinich serves as the director of media relations for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is a past winner of the Robert Fishel Award for public relations excellence, awarded annually by Major League Baseball.

For more information on the SRU Radio Hall of Fame, contact Aronson at: jamesd.aronson@gmail.com.


MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robert.king@sru.edu