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Thursday October 23, 2014
In The Morning


Berwick Football


A Magical Mystery Tour

Bio
Ben Willis Contact Ben Willis
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Bio
I’ve harbored a love for both music and broadcasting from a very early age, picking out notes on the family’s antique reed organ with one hand while pumping the bellows with the other. By the age of 8 I was recording “radio shows” on a hand-held cassette deck, complete with news, commercials, and music captured from various sources (MTV was a favorite). My first exposure to broadcast-capable equipment ended in near disaster when, in a misguided attempt to boost the signal power on my project board-based AM transmitter, I connected the 1.5volt battery leads to a 220volt wall socket, promptly causing the transistors to detonate with a frightening, but mostly harmless *pop*. The project board out of commission, I put my broadcast aspirations on hold for several years, subsisting on a diet of seasonal novelty songs and “Fractured Farley Tales” from Doug Farley and the WHLM morning show during the mid-90’s.

Near the end of a successful High School theatrical and choral career at Columbia County Christian School, I had the good fortune to be tapped as one of a couple “strapping young lads” needed to help the family of a new student move some equipment at their business. The student turned out to be David Reilly, son of Joe and Nancy Reilly. The moving job turned out to be none other than the initial rebuild of the WCNR assets into the old WHLM studios, soon to be reborn as The New 930 WHLM. When the station went on the air in the fall of 2001 (playing nothing but Christmas music weeks before even Halloween) I could proudly tell my classmates: “I helped put that back together.” (Incidentally, the part of the year during which we switch to 24hour Christmas music still puts me in a state of inexplicable glee.)

Over the next year or so I developed a relationship with the Reillys and the station, first working as a local engineer for the Phillies games (before the advent of the satellite-automated system) and later as a producer for local high school and Bloomsburg University sports and various remote broadcasts. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing in the long development and rebuilding of what had been a dead station into the local powerhouse we see today, and witnessing the move from antiquated tape machines to fully digital …nearly everything.

I plan to keep helping everybody at WHLM build the station into an integral and vibrant part of the community for many years to come.