Retired radio executive
I had spent a fair amount time during my high school years hanging out at the local radio stations instead of hitting the books. So, it was somewhat of a relief to my parents when I arrived on campus that Union’s pioneering radio station was in sad shape.
Rather than a deterrent, the opportunity to participate in turning around a broken radio station was immensely appealing. It provided opportunities to learn
When most of us think of WRUC in its mid- to late-60’s era, we think of it as a highly produced, fun, Top 40 station that didn’t take itself too seriously … a station with a fun attitude; distinctive jocks.
Not content to serve just the students at Union, WRUC convinced the administration at Skidmore College to extend WRUC’s coverage to both the “old and new” campuses in 1966. With our new, all-female audience at Skidmore, WRUC as a Union student activity became even more popular.
Recalling these memories as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of WRUC and roughly the 55th anniversary of when “the Big 64 “rocked the “Schenectoga Circle” makes me realize how lucky I was to have been a part of it all. I never had so much fun. And with such a great group of people.
After graduating, I returned to my hometown of New Haven and with Jeff Hedquist joined WNHC radio as a salesman. Three years later I was recruited by Paul Neuhoff ’63 to join the sales department of WERE, a talk station in Cleveland. In 1973 I took over a struggling FM station in southern Connecticut. With Jeff’s help on the programming side, we created WEZN Stereo 100, which in less than a year became the top-rated station in the market.
Our company continued to buy struggling radio stations and transform them into top rated stations in Worcester, Birmingham, Tulsa, Orlando, Syracuse, San Antonio and Atlanta. In 1996 we sold our company to Cox Radio in Atlanta and I helped grow Cox Radio into an 85 station radio company. I retired in 2006. I can honestly say that my 39 years in radio after Union, despite some difficult and challenging times, were more fun than any one person deserves.
Ferguson’s post-Union radio career brought him to stations around the country. With the help of his WRUC partner, Hedquist, he turned a struggling station in southern Connecticut into a top-rated FM power. By the time he retired in 2006, he was an executive with Cox radio’s portfolio of 85 stations. “I can honestly say that my 39 years in radio after Union, despite some difficult and challenging times, were more fun than any one person deserves,” he said.