February 15th, 2007 14:56 EST
Freshman Breaks into Radio
While most students jumpstart their careers upon graduating, one freshman at already has his foot in the door.
Thomas Big Tom Â" Lawler keeps a few thousand listeners tuned into WJRZ 100.1 FM every weekday, airing from midnight to 5 a.m.
We`re basically a music station, Â" Lawler said. We play music from the 60`s and 70`s. Â"
WJRZ Program Director Jeff Rafter discovered Lawler last May while seeking a promotions assistant.
He saw that I really had a hunger to be on the air, Â" Lawler said.
Lawler usually spends his Mondays or Tuesdays from about 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the station, which is an hour and half away in Manahawkin.
During his regular schedule, he pre-records his voice tracks for the time slot he is on air. Those few moments he airs live, he enjoys taking requests for songs from callers.
Some of his favorites are It Only Takes a Minute by Tavares and Ain`t Too Proud to Beg by the Temptations.
Lawler`s inspiration comes from his father, also a disc jockey.
When I was a kid he would take me to the station, Â" he said.
Lawler predicted that he might be good at doing the same thing, so he started reading about the history of radio.
He manages to juggle disc jockeying, his major in the Radio and Television Track of Communications at Rider University, and yet another job.
I don`t go to parties and I usually go home on the weekends, Â" he said. Most of my time is spent either working, studying, or sleeping. Â"
Lawler filled in at the station on both Christmas Day and New Year`s Eve.
In addition to this job, he runs a pirate radio station out of his home. He is also a student engineer for WRRC, Rider`s radio station.
He definitely Â" wants to continue in radio after he graduates, and emphasized the importance of staying in the game once given a chance.
It`s very hard to break into broadcasting in this day and age, Â" he said.There is one thing that Lawler enjoys most about being a disc jockey: It`s knowing that I`m bringing just a little bit of sunshine into someone else`s day. Â"
Note: This article was originally contributed by a writer who is no longer affiliated with theSOP.