"Being a good broadcaster is so much more than having the requisite technical training. It’s just as important to have knowledge about the world around you."— Scot Bertram
B.A. in Broadcast Communication and Political Science, North Central College, 2002
Ask my parents about my youth and I suspect they will tell you I was not a normal child. One of my first words was “radio”. I asked for a subscription to USA Today for my eighth birthday. I began following elections closely at the age of ten. I spent hours in the library reading reference books about sports, history, politics, and pop culture through my teenage years. I desperately wanted to be informed and knowledgeable on issues and topics in the world around me.
I also knew from a very early age I wanted to work in radio. I loved the intimacy of the medium and the connection made between host and listener. I was drawn in by its ability to entertain, inform, and communicate on a mass scale. Radio still is a powerful and vibrant tool, teaching skills that can be useful across a number of professions.
My career has taken me from a music-based format at my college station to sports radio in Chicago to news and talk in Rockford. I’ve interviewed rock stars at concert venues, sports legends at the Super Bowl and Spring Training, and powerful political figures and thinkers on the phone and at Radio Rows throughout the country.
What I’ve learned is being a good broadcaster is so much more than having the requisite technical training. It’s just as important to have knowledge about the world around you — to know what has happened in the past and why it matters today. It’s practicing the art of the interview and staying sharp rhetorically. It’s having keen insights on what people are interested in and how to make information and arguments relatable to a wide audience. We focus on all that and more at Hillsdale and WRFH.
I’m a broadcaster by trade, so I continue to stay active in the industry. I’m a frequent guest host on the Illinois-based “The Michael Koolidge Show” and continue to record interviews and podcasts for my personal website. This gives me real-world and real-time examples to bring into the classroom and keeps me in touch with professional contacts who could benefit our students down the road.
My wife and I live in Hillsdale with our two children. I’m originally from the Chicago area and remain a die-hard fan of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears. I once participated in a “Slam Dunk” contest on the floor of the old Chicago Stadium during halftime of a Bulls game (I lost).