Media panel part of 40 years “On Air” celebration for WFDULeft to right: Judy DeAngelis, morning news anchor for 1010 WINS; Dr. Daniel Cassino, assistant professor of political science at FDU; Michael Aron, chief political correspondent for NJTV; and Dave Marash, veteran broadcast journalist.
By Kenna Caprio
That’s how Dave Marash, a veteran broadcaster who worked for “Nightline” and “Al Jazeera,” described the state of television news at a media forum celebrating Fairleigh Dickinson University’s WFDU (FM). He compared most television reporting to “Cheez Whiz” — instead of a “foamy, cheese-like substance,” it’s news “pumped up with hot air, with the basic ingredients removed. It’s probably as dangerous to your health.”
Marash, the anniversary event’s featured speaker, was joined by Michael Aron, chief political correspondent for NJTV, and Daniel Cassino, assistant professor of political science and academic associate for PublicMindTM, the University’s polling unit. Judy DeAngelis, morning news anchor for 1010 WINS in New York, moderated the panel in Lenfell Hall at FDU’s College at Florham in Madison, N.J.
Right: Barry Sheffield, program director of WFDU and FDU alumnus (l) and Carl Kraus, general manager of WFDU (r). Sheffield helped found WFDU back in 1971 as student at FDU. Kraus has served as general manager since 1980.
Before the discussion on how Americans consume mainstream media, Marash spoke to WFDU’s 40 years on air. The station “always had a global mission,” he said. “WFDU was diverse before diversity was mandated, much less cool. Because WFDU has a defined personality, it still reaches a large and diverse audience.”
Though the panel discussed the failings of today’s television news — from correspondents not reporting on the scene to networks focusing on profits and ratings —the group also considered the positive. “Demand for news is as strong as ever,” said Aron. “The public around the world is clamoring for information.”
“People like to be informed, and particularly to be told well-told stories — clearly, directly, memorably,” said Marash.
The WFDU 40th anniversary celebration continues with a free concert on Saturday, November 19, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Wilson Auditorium, Dickinson Hall, Metropolitan Campus.
The performance roster includes Evan Toth, BA’02 (Metro), host of WFDU’s “Good Music” radio show; Lise Avery, host of “Anything Goes” syndicated radio show; Dave Gross and his Bluegrass Band; Blue Plate Special; bluesman Son Lewis; The WFDU Blues All Stars, which include Blues air staff; and country music by Orvile Davis.
For details, visit the station website (http://www.wfdu.fm). There will be light refreshments, and an hourly drawing for a commemorative WFDU shirt.
Since 1971, WFDU has been the radio voice of FDU, providing distinctive entertainment shows and prize-winning public affairs programming for the tri-state metro area. WFDU operates from studios in Teaneck, New Jersey on the Metropolitan campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University.