TSU Student Stays On Air For Days Hoping To Land Chicago Radio Job

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Posted by chicagomedia.org on May 05, 2009 at 13:15:05:

Senior stays on air for days to land job

TSU student pulls broadcast marathon

By Nicole Young
May 5, 2009

Sherman Murdock is determined to get the job he wants, and he won't let a little thing like sleep get in his way.

Murdock, 21, a senior at Tennessee State University, has been broadcasting on TSU's student radio station, WTST 1600 AM, for more than 72 hours straight. And at press time Monday night he was still going strong.

His goal: Get a job before graduating on Saturday.

And he says he'll stay put at the university's radio station until he gets what he wants.

"I've been offered a production job but I want to be a broadcaster," Murdock said

Ideally, Murdock hopes to land a broadcasting job in a top 25 market -- his first choices being No. 3 market Chicago, his hometown; No. 2 market Los Angeles; or No. 1 market New York.

"I believe the sky is the limit here," Murdock said. "I want to show people that if you have a dream, you should go forth and do everything in your power to reach it."

His professor and radio operations manager Joseph Richie has high hopes for the honors student.

"I think he's going to get a job because he's not going to stop until he gets what he wants," said Richie, who has been teaching in the TSU department of communications for three years.

"That's why he's so good. He understands the business and he's determined. I've had a lot of great students over the years, but he's the best I've ever seen in radio."

Richie has been teaching radio for 30 years, previously at Ohio University.

When he first heard of Murdock's unique plan for finding a job, Richie thought he was joking.

"He took me by surprise," the professor said. "But he is extremely serious about radio, so I should have known he wasn't joking.

"Now I'm just waiting to see how long he can last on the air."

Since Murdock's marathon broadcast began at 7 a.m. Friday, his friends have stopped by the station to check on him and bring him food. Mostly, he says, he has survived on Powerade and water. And he hasn't stopped once, not even to shower.

His fellow students say Murdock's broadcast is an inspiration.

"I think he's going to find a job out of this," said Antonio Benton, 24, who, like Murdock, is a senior mass communications major at TSU. "Sherman is eager. I know he loves radio, and I know he inspires people. He's definitely inspired me."

Benton, who is slated to graduate in August, has been at TSU since 2003. When Murdock, then a senior in high school, sent his resume to TSU, Benton was the radio station's manager.

"It was five pages long," he said. "Even before he came here, he was accomplished."

Started in radio at 15

At his mother's urging, Murdock started working at Chicago FM radio station WKKC at age 15.

He fell in love with broadcasting and stayed at the station until leaving for college in 2005, choosing TSU because the university's radio station had just been chosen black college radio station of the year.

At TSU, Murdock has held every management post available at the station including general manager, program director and music director. His daily morning show has run for three years. Last year, he gave up the job of general manager to become the executive producer of his show.

"I've worked in production for the last five years," he said. "I don't see why I should have to start at the bottom when I already have all the experience to be on-air.

"I literally know every aspect of a radio station. I could go out and sell ads if I had to."

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