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Big Names Converge on Syracuse for Z89’s 25th Birthday

SYRACUSE — Nationally-known radio personality Kid Kelly will be the keynote speaker as the WJPZ Alumni Association hosts its 25th Annual Birthday Banquet this Saturday at the Syracuse University Sheraton.  The station is expecting about 150 alumni and students in attendance for the event, which will include the second class to be inducted to the WJPZ Hall of Fame.

According to organizers, the inductees are as follows:

  • Chris Bungo (’86), co-founder of Promosuite; and
  • Hal Rood (’91), co-founder of Strategic Radio Solutions.

Kelly, who now serves as VP of Music Programming at SiriusXM, can also be heard on terrestrial radio as the host of nationally-syndicated “Backtrax USA.”  The show is carried locally on Sunny 102.1 (WZUN) in Syracuse and Mix 102.5 (WUMX) in Utica-Rome.

Master of Ceremonies will be Steve Donovan (’95), morning host at WXLO in Worcester, Mass.  Prior to the banquet, there will be a conference on Friday at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.  Keynote speaker there will be Tony Renda, Jr. (’95), CEO of Velocity Radio Management.

“Our Alumni Association is committed to helping WJPZ continue its legacy as the #1 media classroom in America,” said Jeff Wade (’97), President of the WJPZ Alumni Association and Program/News Director for WGAN-AM in Portland, Maine.   “By brining our alumni – top leaders in all facets of the communications business – to campus this and every year, we continue a tradition like no other in college broadcasting.”

WJPZ, known better as Z89.1, is independently owned and operated by Syracuse University students.  The station leans heavily CHR, but also devotes a significant portion of its schedule to coverage of SU and high school sports and local news.

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