Ashland grad retiring after long career in the radio industry
Bill Weston chose Ashland because it was one of the few colleges in the 1970s offering the type of degree he wanted: radio/TV broadcasting.
Weston never regretted his decision to attend college a little more than three hours away from his small hometown in Western New York, Mayville.
The early hands-on opportunities in the radio studios and on the TV-2 set, as well as the radio/TV faculty, were some of the many things he said he loved about attending Ashland, which was known as Ashland College then.
“AC was small enough where I was not overwhelmed, but big enough, allowing me to grow,” said the 1978 graduate, who was known as Bill Waterman then.
During his 45 years in the radio business, he used Bill Weston as his professional name, starting when he was a DJ known as Wild Bill Weston.
“When I moved from on-air roles to programming and management, I kept the Bill Weston name as that’s how most in the radio and music industry knew me,” he said.
Ashland helped Weston succeed in the music radio industry at stations in New York City; Providence, Rhode Island; and Philadelphia, earning many station and individual awards along the way.
At the end of this year, Weston is retiring, wrapping up his career as the longtime program director in Philadelphia for classic rock station 102.9 WMGK-FM and rock station 93.3 WMMR-FM.
“I’m turning 68 in January,” Weston said about why he’s retiring. “I still want to be able to physically be able to hike, ride and fly.
“I’ve pretty much done everything I’ve wanted,” he added. “I’ve met some amazing people and worked with great teams of pros.”
Working with fun, talented and “slightly off-center people” on the air and behind the scenes in radio programming and promotion is what Weston said he will miss most about his career.
“I will also miss being immersed in the process of exposing and breaking in new music,” he added, “and free concert tickets.”
In retirement, Weston plans to learn to fly and get his pilot’s license, ride his Harley far and wide; read and travel as much as he can; get really good at editing video; and maybe even do some weekend DJ shifts.
He also hopes to visit the campus of Ashland, which is now Ashland University – something he has only done a few times during his radio career for Homecomings and fraternity events.
“I was just there this summer for a Phi Psi golf outing – lots of changes on campus,” he said. “I had many fabulous times at Phi Kappa Psi. The Greek experience was perfect for a small-town kid looking to fit in.”
Just walking across campus, parties on the Quad and being a part of Student Senate were a few of the many memories Weston said he made during his time at Ashland.
“AC was such a positive experience – far enough away from home, but close enough if need be,” he said. “WRDL gave me the very first feeling of joy being on the air – even if only eight people were listening. I got to co-anchor the news for a semester on TV-2. On a lark, I even got a part in the musical ‘Oklahoma’
“They were all terrific opportunities that prepared me for a successful career in media,” he added, “and in life.”