Station manager Larry Londino (l) and his predecessor Bob Considine host a "telephone talk" show. This type of program which involves a live over the air conversation between announcers and listeners via telephone is one example of WSOU's progressive programming which has helped to win them a variety of awards and commendations. [Setonian, March 16, 1966]
WSOU 89.5 FM, the student-run radio station of Seton Hall University, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the sports talk call-in program "Hall Line" with a special event at Newark's Prudential Center on Saturday, Feb. 6. The event will reunite three of the program's four founders during a reception before the Seton Hall vs. Georgetown men's basketball game.
"Hall Line," the post-game call-in show that has followed every Seton Hall men's basketball game since the 1965-66 season, is the longest running sports talk call-in show in the NY-NJ metropolitan area, and was originally conceived by Robert Considine '66 and Larry Londino '66 in response to a power outage. The format proved to be surprisingly successful and they had Vincent Bickler and Robert Windrem join them as the on-air talent for the first "Hall Line" season. On Feb 6th, Bickler, Londino, and Windrem will attend the reception and after the game reprise their roles by hosting that night's "Hall Line" live on the air. Considine passed away in 2014.
The 7 p.m. reception, organized by WSOU and Seton Hall's Office of Alumni Relations, is open to alumni and fans alike. Beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. A number of former hosts will be on hand - including ESPN's Bob Picozzi '72, 1010 WINS' Frank Garrity '82, and N.J. Devils play-by-play announcer Matt Loughlin '79 - to meet and talk with fans and alumni about their "Hall Line" experiences and reminisce about Seton Hall basketball. Tickets for the reception and game are $35, just $10 for the reception only. For more information or to purchase a ticket click here.
"Hall Line," and the hands-on learning it provides, has helped train generations of broadcasters. Dozens of former "Hall Line" hosts have gone on to sports on-air broadcasting careers, including Bob Ley '76 ( ESPN), Matt Loughlin '79 (N.J. Devils play-by-play announcer), Bob Picozzi '72 ( ESPN), Frank Garrity '82 ( 1010 WINS), Jim Hunter '82 (Baltimore Orioles broadcaster), and John Brickley '06 ( ESPN), among many others. Other former hosts have enjoyed success in other roles in the media, including Rob Windrem '68 ( NBC News), Glenn Schuck '85 ( 1010 WINS), Dan Holway '04/M.H.A.'04 ( MSNBC), Gabrielle Kiger '11 ( Fox Sports), Larry Costigan '96/M.A.'99 ( Westwood One), Bardia Shah-Rais '95 ( Fox Sports), Brian Wisowaty '11 ( MSNBC), David Rind '12 ( ABC Radio), Brian Ciano '07 ( CBS Sports Radio), and Vincent Coughlin '14 ( CBS Sports).
ESPN broadcaster Bob Ley '76
"We are incredibly fortunate as students to have the opportunity to carry on the long-standing tradition of 'Hall Line' here at WSOU," said WSOU sports director Clayton Collier. "For 50 years, 'Hall Line' has given aspiring broadcasters the unique experience of fielding live calls from avid fans of Seton Hall basketball, and to be a part of the storied history of the program. This is truly an invaluable part of our experiential education at WSOU."
In addition to the Feb. 6 event, WSOU is celebrating the 50th anniversary of "Hall Line" in other ways. The station's sports department has produced a series of interviews with former hosts, players, and coaches about their memories of "Hall Line." These segments air during Seton Hall basketball game broadcasts and are also be available online here. Alumni have also been returning to WSOU to conduct masterclasses in sports broadcasting for current students.
"The durability of 'Hall Line' is a testament to the pre-professional training ground WSOU has been since the station's founding in 1948," said general manager Mark Maben. "For any program in radio to last 50 years is a major achievement. I am proud of the generations of WSOU students who have staffed 'Hall Line' through the decades and made this golden anniversary possible." Added Maben, "So many media careers have been launched at WSOU. The ongoing success of our graduates and of 'Hall Line' demonstrates that radio is still going strong."
WSOU, which began broadcasting in 1948 and was the first college FM radio station in New Jersey, is the student-run station of Seton Hall University. Celebrated for its loud rock format and coverage of Seton Hall athletics, WSOU's signal reaches all five boroughs of New York City and much of northern and central New Jersey and is available on iHeartRadio. More information about the station can be found online at here and on facebook by clicking here.
Photos courtesy of Seton Hall University Archives.