WTSR to air Thunder games; Trenton baseball broadcasts open doors for students

Roscoe and Boomer, the respective mascots of the College and the Trenton Thunder, shake on a deal to broadcast games on WTSR. (Photo courtesy of Deanna Biase)

Officials from the College and the Trenton Thunder gathered last Thursday, Feb. 24, in Paul Loser Hall to announce a partnership making WTSR 91.3 FM the new flagship station of the Trenton Thunder Radio Network.

Residents of the College will now be able to listen to all 142 games, along with playoff games, for the New York Yankees’ Double A affiliate through the airwaves of WTSR over the next three years.

“This is a partnership that they tried to kick off a couple years ago and nothing seemed to come to fruition,” Jay Burnham, director of broadcasting for the Trenton Thunder, said. “We knew (the College) had a great signal, and it was a signal we wanted to be on. A couple of different pieces and things happened, but it just made sense overall. It was something that was bound to happen. We’re pretty excited about it, and I think they are too.”

The Thunder broadcast team for 2011 will consist of Burnham, in his ninth season as a minor league broadcaster, and Hank Fuerst, who is in his second year as a minor league broadcaster.

Although students at the College will not be announcing games, they will have access to a few of the opportunities through the new partnership, including a chance to get paid through educationally based employment.

“What comes for the students are a couple of things,” Burnham said. “There are paid positions to be the board operators and engineers for all 142 games, starting in April and going through September. For the paid positions, we’re looking at students who will write, edit and produce content that will be on the radio broadcast.”

Students will also be able to get involved by promoting WTSR, the College and the Thunder as well as creating production spots.

“There are a few different ways that students can get involved,” junior communication studies major and WTSR station manager Melissa Virzi said. “They can be involved with promotion on either the Thunder end or on (the College’s) end or they can also work on production spots, which will air before and during the games.”

According to Virzi, another benefit for WTSR will be an increase in listeners with fans, who previously tuned into Rider University’s radio station, the Bronc, now turning to WTSR to hear Thunder games.

“This is incredible for (WTSR),” Virzi said. “It’s going to help us because everyone listening to Thunder games is going to know WTSR and it will get us more listeners.”

The Thunder will play their first game on April 7 at the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and will hold their home opener on April 14 versus the Harrisburg Senators.

Brandon Gould can be reached at gould9@tcnj.edu.