WESM

WESM 91.3 FM has a new general manager

Aug 18, 2017

Gerry Weston - WESM general manager
Credit UMES Office of Public Relations

Veteran broadcaster Gerry Weston has accepted an appointment to be the general manager of WESM (91.3 FM), the National Public Radio affiliate on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Weston was general manager of Delmarva Public Radio at Salisbury University from 2007 until 2011 before returning to his native Massachusetts to manage a public radio station in Worcester for the next four years.

He succeeds Stephen A. Williams, who in 2016 accepted the general manager’s job at WMUK-FM, a public radio station at Western Michigan University. Brian Daniels has filled in as WESM’s general manager in the interim.

“I used to listen to WESM,” Weston, 65, said, “That’s where the jazz was.”

“Jazz is a language,” he said. “Once you learn (it), everything opens up for you.”

His first day at WESM is Aug. 21.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Weston’s four-decade-long broadcasting career has been spent primarily at public radio stations, including those emphasizing a jazz format – his favorite music genre. He remembers as a child listening to his late father’s (vinyl) record collection that prominently featured Count Basie.

Bobby Darin’s version of “Mack the Knife” was the first (vinyl) recording Weston owned.

“I caught the bug,” he said.

His previous stint working in Salisbury also made him appreciate the Lower Shore, where long-time residents often point out transplants like Weston come to appreciate the region because they’ve succumbed to the colloquial affliction known as “sand in their shoes.”

It turns out one of his favorite pastimes is visiting Assateague, where he fondly recalls some fellow beach-goers happen to be wild ponies.

“When the (WESM) job opened up,” Weston said, “I couldn’t have been more excited.”

A public radio station general manager’s job entails the perpetual task of coordinating fund-raising, a challenge Weston has embraced much of his career.

“I love the (Delmarva) peninsula and the different communities and different personalities. I find that to be a challenge,” he said. “Raising money is important. Familiarity helped me get the job.”

Weston is confident that his understanding of Delmarva will be an advantage launching ideas on generating listener support for WESM.

“I look forward to the opportunity to put ideas into action and increase the private fund-raising from donors – and from businesses,” he said. “We want to build a strong network of underwriting and listener support.”

Weston might even slip on the headphones and sit behind a microphone to host an occasional broadcast. “You never really leave that behind,” he said.

{With apologies to lyricist Bertolt Brecht, who wrote “Mack the Knife”}:  “Now that Gerry’s back in town … Look out, old Gerry's back.”