Bernie Wagenblast of Cranford had always dreamed of starting his own radio station. With the debut of Cranford Radio, the longtime broadcaster's dream has become a reality
Realizing that many aspects of a local radio station could be recreated online, Wagenblast decided to launch CranfordRadio.com, which merges radio reporting with blogging.
Cranford Radio aims to produce interviews with Cranford newsmakers, features about events around town, profiles of Cranford businesses and news from Cranford’s community organizations. Wagenblast is also using the station as a resource for anyone interested in learning more about radio.
"I had been doing some reporting on transportation for several different newsletters I edit and I thought, why not adapt that to reporting on Cranford, the town I grew up in and where I've lived for most of my life," he said.
Wagenblast explained that, although there are several ways to know about what’s happening in Cranford, his station serves as a place to hear what’s going on in town.
“Sometimes hearing someone explain something gives a different perspective than reading the same words in print or online,” he said.
So far, Wagenblast has reported on the reorganization meetings of the Township Committee and the Union County Board of Freeholders, as well as lighter stories, such as how residents were coping with the cold temperatures last week.
Wagenblast said he is hoping to have regular coverage of school news, town government, businesses and interesting people and projects in town.
"One of the nice things about radio reporting is the ease of covering a story,” he added. “All I need is a microphone. I can go just about anywhere to cover a story and I can edit the audio quickly and place the story online."
Wagenblast started his career at WJDM in Elizabeth in the 1970s, where he covered city council and board of education meetings throughout Union County, as well as serving as a news anchor. He was also one of the original on-air reporters for Shadow Traffic’s New York City office in 1979. Currently, he is on-the-air delivering traffic reports on 1010 WINS in New York and for New Jersey 101.5. Wagenblast is also the voice on the AirTrain at Newark and JFK airports, as well as the voice of when trains will arrive on the NYC subways.