Jason Samuel’s love for radio started when he was in elementary school. While in the Cub Scouts, his troop (led by Samuel’s mom) went on a field trip to WIOQ, a top 40 radio station in Philadelphia. On the field trip, Samuel’s troop was able to go to all parts of the radio station including the on-air studio and production studio. Samuel said that the field trip that day confirmed his love for radio.“That really had a profound impact on me,” he said, “and I thought, ‘Man, I would love to do this for my life.’” Born and raised in Philadelphia, Samuel has always had an interest in radio since that field trip.
Whether it was sports or music on the airwaves, Samuel would always listen no matter where he was. And now, at 47, he gets paid to listen to the radio, from early in the morning until late at night.
Samuel is the general manager at 91.1 The Globe, formally known by the call letters, WGCS, on the campus of Goshen College.
The Globe is located in the Union Building on campus. As for music, the Globe plays Americana music which includes bands and artist such as, The Outer Vibe, The Lawsuits and even some Johnny Cash. There are currently about 15 students involved full-time doing different tasks to keep The Globe on air.
Samuel credits Philadelphia radio for providing significant early influences. Along with seeing WIOQ in person, Samuel used to listen to David Dye on WMMR, a progressive rock radio station in Philadelphia.
“David Dye worked at all the big stations and he was local — he even went to one of the local colleges in the greater Philadelphia area,” Samuel added.
Samuel knew he wanted to be on the radio just like he had always dreamed of doing, and the best place to fulfill that lifelong dream was Goshen College. Upon arriving on campus at GC, Samuel knew that if he put hard work into the radio station, he could and would be one of the best broadcasters in the state of Indiana and potentially the nation.
During Samuel’s freshman year, he had his eyes set on becoming the student station manager as soon as possible. Samuel recalls sitting in a broadcasting class with six other guys and thinking to himself, “These are the other six guys I have to fight against to become student station manager.”
Before Samuel could become the student station manager, he had to put in the work to show that he deserved to be in such a high-ranking position. The hard work started in Samuel’s sophomore year when he took over the morning show at WGCS. Samuel lived off campus and the morning show started at 6 a.m., so Samuel had to wake up at 5:30 every morning through the week in order to make it on time.
Samuel describes the moment when the chair of the communication department said he had been named student station manager.
“I still remember the day, getting the call from the chair of the department,” Samuel said. “He called my apartment and I talked to him, and I was like ‘yes!’ I was on cloud nine, and I wanted it so bad. It was the greatest thing ever for me in my entire college career to be named the student station manager.”
While working at WAWC-FM in 1998, Samuel received two awards including Sportscaster of the Year for the state of Indiana from the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and Best Sports Play-By-Play Announcer in the state of Indiana from Network Indiana.
The awards meant a lot to Samuel, but he did not solidify his spot within the Indiana sports world until he won Sportscaster of the Year for the state of Indiana from the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association again in 2001.
“Being named sportscaster of the year for the state of Indiana was huge – especially the second one,” he said. “The first one was special but I feel like the second one kind of validated the first one – it wasn’t like a fluke.”
In 2003, Samuel went back to Goshen College to become an associate professor in the communication department. Upon returning, Samuel wanted to change the format of WGCS which at the time played only classical music. In order to change the format, Samuel had to propose his new idea to a committee, which reported to Shirley Showalter, then president of Goshen College.
Samuel answered every call and returned every letter complaining about the change. When it was all said and done, Samuel had successfully changed the format and that format has stuck as it is still the same format to this day.