The DJs of WBER
I first heard WBER while in a friend’s car in 1990. I was a live DJ at other radio stations but loved the format at WBER. So here I am. I grew up in the city here in Rochester and graduated with a B.A. degree in Communication from St. John Fisher, and I’m the world’s worst speller (thank you spell check!). Aspirations? To live and work where it is warm, year round. “Peace, Love & Pancakes”.
My five favorite alternative bands are as follows: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Death Cab For Cutie, Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine and KISS (I know they aren’t alternative, but they are the greatest band in the world.)*
*Dedicated to Charlie “Space Mountain”
Tuesday 6:00-9:00 A.M.
I first started listening to WBER in college around 1997. I was drawn to the variety of the station. I had never heard a station that played music the way I listened to it. That is to say with a good deal of ADD. I was hooked from then on. Years later after a move out of state and then back I became a semi-regular caller to the FMS. Through listening I decided to enter myself in the “Be the Next WBER DJ” contest. In the 2011 contest I came in 2nd. I was then given a chance to come in about 6 months later and train to be a DJ.
Thursday 5:00-7:00 P.M
My older sister listened to WBER during her junior high and high school days (1995-1999) and was a major influence on my music taste growing up. I put in an application after I graduated college in 2011 and was on the waiting list for five years before finally getting involved in September of 2016.
Real World: Been working at Bill Gray’s for almost 10 years and graduated from St. John Fisher with a communications degree in 2011. Wrote Buffalo Sabres news for examiner.com from 2013 until 2016 when the website shut down. Trying to gain valuable experience that pertains to my college degree to help further a potential career in broadcasting or journalism.
The first Sunday of each new month from 12:00-2:00 P.M.
My wife introduced me to WBER on my first visit to Rochester in 1999. I thought wow, what a cool station, we have nothing like this back home! I became a DJ by pestering Joey for most of 2014, until he gave in. It helped that I had 13 years of on again off again radio experience.
Wednesdays 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
In french class, the cute redhead girl turns around and says “Hey, did you hear that old Green Day song on WBER yet?”. “What station?” “90.5” “Oh right”. I had no idea what station she was talking about, and I played it off as I hadn’t heard it “yet”. So I checked it out on the drive home to up my game, heard Bjork’s “Army Of Me” and I was hooked. Battled my way to victory through the 2012 Be The Next WBER DJ competition.
Sunday 8:00-10:00 A.M.
I’ve been listening to WBER since middle school in the early 90’s. I used to tape songs off of WBER with my little portable boom box. I remember hearing songs from the debut albums of Portishead and Weezer by listening to WBER. If it weren’t for WBER I wouldn’t be as obsessed with music as I am and probably wouldn’t have gone on to play an active role in college radio at WPTS at the University of Pittsburgh.
Friday 8:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.
Sometime in 1999, on a Friday morning, I heard Joey and other DJ’s talking about how the station needed volunteer DJs, (particularly for the late night/early morning shifts). They spoke about the perks of being part of the WBER staff. First off, you’re around music all the time and you get to learn about the artists you hear on WBER. You acquire a set of skills in the communications field, and you’re involved with the community. I was hooked and went to the station to apply that day! I was given a time slot of 3AM-6AM the following week. As the years went on I had plenty of different time slots. In 2012, with a heavy heart I left WBER for personal/life reasons. Then out of nowhere, I am now here back in the WBER studio again! I recently interviewed my favorite artist, Bonnie Prince Billy on 2-25-20. I was flooded with joy as I stepped back into the studio and up to the mic. I was instantly reminded of how much I truly love radio and how much I love WBER.
In the real world I work in the quality office at the Mersen Corporation in Rochester as a Team Leader. Duties involve: slaying data demons, project management, and keeping track of calibration processes.
My 5 Favorite Alternative Albums/Bands are Bonnie Prince Billy, The Roots, Neutral Milk Hotel, Florence & the Machine, and Talking Heads
“Music in the soul can heard by the universe”- Lao Tzu
Monday: 9:00 P.M.-11:00 P.M.
I discovered WBER in the Summer of my Junior year at FHS while picking strawberries in Penfield (where we made just enough to go get lunch at Taco Bell afterwards). I was lucky enough to land the late shift after the Indie Show here at WBER after college. Adulting and work forced me to step away but I was fortunate to be able to return in the Spring of 2022 . I’m a graduate of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, lifetime member of Otto’s Army and will never pass up a chance to promote my Cuse Fam. If I am not working, I probably have a controller in my hands – I am DJHepcat on Twitch and every gaming platform.Favorite Bands: Rush, Oasis, Living Colour, Bjork, Beastie BoysFavorite Quote: Think about what you put out into the world, make it a better place – Jeff Cannata
Thursday 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Depeche Mode – Black Celebration
Sunday 1:00-3:00 P.M.
Anything by St. Vincent, SALES, Fiona Apple, Emily Haines/Metric, Joanna Newsom.
WBER History: Looking for something new in 1991, started at the beginning of the FM dial. Came across Depeche Mode ‘Personal Jesus’ on 90.5 and haven’t left since. Became a DJ in 1987 by answering an ad in Freetime magazine from Beal’s Rock & Roll Review. Played at bars, weddings, parties etc.
Real World: Software developer for a large local payroll processing company. 2 kids, just became an empty-nester as my youngest went away to college. I went to MCC and finished at Empire State College. Grew up in Buffalo, moved to Halifax Nova Scotia for 6 years and ended up in Rochester in 1983, on my own at the age of 20. Huge Buffalo Bills fan.
5 favorite alternative bands:
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Graham Parker & The Rumour
Fav Movie: The Princess Bride
Fav TV show: A tie between NYPD Blue and Game of Thrones
First Concert: Jethro Tull, War Child tour at the Niagara Falls Convention Center 1975
Words to live by: “Try not to act your age.”
Tuesday: 5:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.
Driving to high school and on Monday mornings, the song “I Don’t Like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats would play. I haven’t stopped listening. I originally applied to be a DJ during the “Be The Next WBER DJ” contest that Boston Erik won. I got an email 7 years later and my work schedule fit to start the training process.
I joined WBER back in the summer of 1993 during my college years to get more radio experience. After graduating from college, I followed Jennifer V to WMAX and became her assistant. The spring of 1997 brought the timely death of WMAX. I then moved on to work at WCMF for a couple of years. I’m thrilled to be back and working at WBER, hands down the best radio station in Rochester. After hosting 1st Impressions from 2001-2008, I stepped down due to family commitments. You’ll now hear me on Mondays, at noon until 2:00pm.
Friday: 8:00-11:00 A.M.
1986: Back in the day my Mom read that WBER offered a summer radio camp. I enrolled because I had always been fascinated by radio and being a D.J.. 1989-90: I started my first radio show on WBER 90.5 FM while attending my senior year in high school at McQuaid. 1993: During the summer of my senior year at the State University At Geneseo, I returned to WBER and interned for Jennifer V and also had my own show again. My dream job after college was always to work at WBER full time. 1994: After I graduated, I stayed at WBER doing my own weekly show and created the Indie Show. In December, Jennifer took a job at the WMAX and I applied for the job of Assistant Program Director and Music Director. I started full time at WBER as Assistant Program Director and Music Director on January 15, 1995. 2001: During the Summer of 2001, I was promoted to the position of WBER Station Manager and Program Director. I am very lucky to have a job that I love and look forward to every day.
The Mayor of Nikville
Thursday 9:00 P.M.-Friday 12:00 A.M.
I moved from Atlanta, GA to Rochester in 2000 and discovered BER while on Dr. Laura detox. (Atlanta is a big Dr. Laura town and I got hooked with her insight, insults, and charming personality). I realized that BER was unlike any station I had heard before, offering new music selections like no other and playing true variety (Similar to a Canadian radio station I used to listen to in hometown of Detroit). I was an avid listener when I heard about the “Who Wants To Be The Next WBER DJ Contest” on the FMS. I made it to the wild card round that first year, but lost to now WBER DJ Furious Yellow. Distraught and heartbroken I turned to Dr. Laura. She got me back on solid ground, and soon after I was recording my mic brakes in my basement, researching bands and churning out countless sit-ups and push-ups accompanied with many late nights discovering the nuances of alternative music. (Is it The Pretenders or is it just Pretenders?). Thanks to great listener support I won the DJ contest the following year and can be heard every Thursday night bringing the weekend in with musical style.
Saturday 7:00-9:00 P.M.
My family moved to this area when I was in college, and I was pleased to discover this cool station at 90.5 FM when I was visiting during a break in 1998. More than a decade later, I was again living in the area and heard an ad for a “Be The Next DJ” contest and, rather uncharacteristically, decided to enter. I was an alternate that year and only made it through a few rounds. The next year, I was a regular competitor and lasted a bit longer, but did not win. Nevertheless, I let Joey know I was interested in learning, and a few years later, he had a spot to train me.
Friday: 8:00-11:00 A.M.
I have been a R.E.M. fan ever since my first listen of Radio Free Europe from my cassette tape of Murmur back in 1983. I have been hooked ever since. I also really like the Mayor of Nikville. He is the best DJ we have at the station… well actually maybe the best DJ is Sloan Kristy. Yep, definitely SK, sorry Mayor, you’re number 2. I think that still means you are Ruben Studdard… at least that’s what Furious Yellow said, Furious said you’d know what that meant.
Is this my real bio? Maybe… but what is real is that I’m a slacker.
Because I have to travel often for my job, I moved to Rochester in May 2008 with my wife (a native of Canadice), our 2 young daughters and our black cat so that my wife could be close to her family while I am out of town. Not long after moving here, I was on my way to the airport for one of those frequent business trips and I discovered New Wave Wednesday. It was like someone had raided my personal music collection! I immediately programmed 90.5 into my radio and it has been preset #1 ever since. After listening to the station for a while, I heard Jen say that she would miss a NWW show one week. Loving the show and having been a college DJ throughout the ‘90’s, I naively emailed Jen and offered to sub for her. She very politely informed me that there are many people waiting to be DJ’s (I had no idea it was a volunteer gig) and that there is a training program before you can go on the air. She recommended that I contact Joey about the Be the Next ‘BER DJ Contest. I did and ended up taking second place to Curtastrophe in a split decision in the 2012 contest. It took a long time to get over the heartbreak of that loss, but I entered the 2013 contest with my eyes on the prize and after 2 years of hard work I finally won! It was the first and only thing I ever won on WBER.