Making a difference through radio
Tyler Wentz is like most college students—busy juggling everyday life and schoolwork. He’s taking 18-credits this semester and is a junior at the Pennsylvania State University.
During the week, Wentz wakes up at 5:30 a.m.—something most college students don’t and won’t do. Monday through Friday, he hosts the Morning Drive on The Eagle 98.7 in State College, Pa. The show is on air from 6-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.
The radio station doesn't play typical college student music like pop or rap. It plays rock music, including Metallica, Green Day and more.
When Wentz came to college, he decided to dual-major in Telecommunications and Communications Arts and Sciences. In the summer of 2012 he decided to intern at pop station B94.5, the sister station of the Eagle. Wentz was hooked almost immediately on radio. He fell in love and realized he liked the Eagle more—the music choice fit his personality better. After his internship ended in August 2012, he began hosting his own morning show on WEMR (Eagle 98.7). He was on his own for about a month—no interns, no help. He did everything on his own, from cutting sound to creating rundowns to being the sole voice of the show for three hours.
Wentz says, “as soon as the fall started, I took over the interns, I showed them how to do the show and kind of made it my baby throughout the whole fall semester.” The station is just over a year old.
Besides hosting the morning drive, Wentz is a typical college student going to class full time and trying to get good grades. He is the Vice President of the Telecommunications Club at Penn State; he’s also in Beta Theta Pi fraternity on campus.
Ask Wentz if he’s “famous” for being on radio and he’ll tell you no. “I hate talking about myself, I honestly do.” Wentz says he hasn’t said his name a single time this semester while being on air.
“Whenever I told my friends about this, I kind of kept it low key. I knew that it was a big deal,” said Wentz. “Not many college students get their own real radio stations, so I always tend to downplay things naturally saying ‘yeah I kind of got hired, I’m doing this radio show,’ they’re like ‘oh cool.’ But my very close friends know how important it is to me and how cool it is that I’m doing something like this.”
From disc jockey to radio host
Tyler Wentz got his love for music when he was just a kid. It began with his father in Wentz’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa. Every morning they listened to a different radio station in their car—from sports to rock to pop.
His father started a small disc jockeying business when Wentz was younger. He began helping his father and eventually began doing gigs of his own.
Disc jockeying has helped Wentz transition into being the Morning Drive host at The Eagle 98.7 in State College, Pa. From knowing which music to play to interacting with customers, Wentz says disc jockeying has helped him be successful as a radio host.