Fehon’s Radio Roots Began at Arcadia
By Larry Atkins
Former Communications major Jason Fehon ’03 is one of the rising young stars in Philadelphia radio. Fehon has been the Producer of the popular Pierre Robert radio show on WMMR 93.3 FM since 2004. He also has his own on-air program on Saturday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m.
As a Producer, Fehon researches show content, records and edits interviews, books guests, produces promos, and podcasts show segments.
“The main challenge is to make sure everything that goes out over the air is entertaining to our listeners,” Fehon says. “I have to edit interviews in a way that will be appealing to our audience, schedule music people will like, and help the host, Pierre Robert, come up with things to talk about.”
So what’s it like working with Pierre Robert, a local broadcasting legend who has been with WMMR since 1981?
“It’s great!” Fehon says. “He was my favorite DJ before I got an internship here at ‘MMR so it’s really been a dream come true to produce his show. He’s what DJs should be; the same person on the air as he is off the air. His peace-and-love philosophy is who he is, which makes working for him really laid back and fun. Also, as a guy who aspires to be on the air full time, I’m essentially learning from the best.”
As to why he Fehon chose to go into radio as a profession, he indicates that music was always a big part of his life growing up. “I have always loved music and come from a musical family. When I was a kid we used to make up our own radio station using a baby monitor and a cassette player. We only had James Taylor and Doobie Brother tapes so we didn’t have a very diverse playlist.”
As one would expect, there are many benefits and perks when you work in the radio industry. As to what aspects of his job he likes best, Fehon says, “The obvious answer would be getting to go to a lot of concerts and helping to interview musicians. However, one of the best things that goes a bit under the radar is how every day seems to be different. Whether it’s a different guest, different song, event, etc. there is always something different and new every day I step into the office.”
Like many people who enter the radio industry, Fehon credits his college internship for helping him to get his foot in the door. “When I was a student at Arcadia we had to get an internship. WMMR had always been my favorite station so I applied there for a summer internship. They turned me down. So I applied again in the fall and spent that semester working in their promotions department.”
While Fehon only spent two years at Arcadia as a transfer Communications major, he has fond memories of his days of hosting his own show on ARC, the campus radio station, which at that time was a channel on the on-campus television circuit. Fehon says it was a challenge to get people to listen to his show. “I would show up for a few hours during an weekday evening with mounds of CDs and play pretty much whatever I wanted to. It was whatever I was listening to at the time, old and new. I even came up with graphics to rotate on the TV screen as I was on. Unfortunately, nobody listened. I would change all the TVs in the student lounges and at the Chat to my radio show and I would go back in a few minutes and find every TV changed back to whatever was on before. I tried giving away prizes like 6 packs of coke but always ended up drinking them myself. I even got friends of mine to call in and pretend they didn’t know me and rave about how great my show was, just to create a buzz.”
In light of how an internship was key to getting a full time job at WMMR, Fehon advises current students, “Get internships! Radio is a thrifty business to put it kindly. There just aren’t many jobs. You need to somehow get your foot in the door and gain experience…We love free labor! As an intern you gain knowledge of how radio stations operate and if you work hard you’ll probably stay around in one way or another. Most people here at ‘MMR were once interns.”
Larry Atkins teaches Journalism at Arcadia.