On the Air: North Salem's Maloney Interns at Local Radio Station

Pamal Broadcasting General Manager Bruce Feniger with Connor Mahoney during his internship at radio station WHUD. Credits: Photo courtesy of Connor Mahoney
(NORTH SALEM, N.Y.) --North Salem High School nervousness was in the air June 6, as a handful of North Salem students faced four panelists and a sea of parents. Wearing a black shirt, khaki pants and slicked-back hair, Connor Mahoney walked in front of a room of 20 or-so people to present his spring term O.P.T.I.O.N.S. project. Mahoney will be attending Quinnipiac University this fall as a general communications major, so it’s no surprise his project encompasses a component of communications. He interned with Pamal Broadcasting this spring under his mentor, Bruce Feniger. “I always listened to WHUD as a kid,” Mahoney remarked. “It was really cool to match people’s [broadcasters] voices to their faces.” During the presentation, Mahoney expressed his interest in 21st century technology and how it functions within the broadcasting business. He said the “radio jocks,” those who actually speak on air, are constantly refreshing the news and updating social media accounts such as Instagram. Mahoney also reflected on his own contributions to the company’s website. “I got to learn a lot about marketing, sales, promotions,” he said. Mahoney recollected working on an advertising logo for K-fest, Pamal’s pop-station, K104’s big annual concert featuring some of the top names in pop music. “For the actual project, I was doing a bundle of different things [related to technology] like making the events calendar,” he added. “I used to think radio broadcasting was playing music and blabbing.” The crowd chuckled as Mahoney went on to further describe his experience. “But there’s a lot more to radio than you would think. While technology is important, interpersonal skills are essential in this field,” he relayed. “Communication is obviously key, there’s no doubt about that [because] you have to be able to collaborate with people, sales people, marketing people,” said Mahoney. He also explained time management is crucial. “[In radio] Everything is down to the second. When me and this other guy were working on this ad, he had to make sure it was exactly a minute, anything less or more would screw up the entire programming for the rest of the day,”he said. Mahoney joked about the time commitment involved in the profession. “I don’t think I could be a radio jock guy, I don’t like getting up that early,” he explained. Despite the time management frustration, Mahoney felt he walked away with valuable experience in his internship. “Rewards? The general feeling of accomplishment just going there, and feeling a part of the work place and the business and seeing how it all works was awesome,” he said, adding “and also it helps my future path [in college]. I feel that I’ll try to go along the same path, and try to go into a few different fields during college and see how it goes.” Mahoney concluded his presentation with a brief evaluation of his experience. “This definitely helped me as a communications major, [with] my resume and networking with Mr. Feniger and just helping me figure out what I want to do.” His only criticism of the project itself was the restriction of only being able to complete the internship hours in the spring term. As he played for the school’s baseball team, he found it hard to juggle practices and work hours. While Mahoney is unsure he will pursue the broadcasting business, he stated his internship was “awesome; it was useful; it was interesting.”

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