Jud Heussler is a broadcaster and innovator. He has been deeply involved with radio from his early start at SUNY Fredonia and has since gained an enormous fan base and recognition for his talent.
Mr. Heussler joined Fredonia Radio and got his own show his freshman year. He also started his own Top 40 show and climbed the station’s ranks, eventually becoming general manager his senior year. He helped get the station’s morning show into syndication in Buffalo, and was honored at the Intercollegiate Broadcast Systems National Conference, earning its “Best On-Air Personality” award two years in a row. He also earned an internship with Entercom Radio, the parent company of Kiss 98.5, and got the attention of The New York Times, which included Fredonia Radio in a piece on today’s top college stations.
Today, Jud – a name made for radio – is one of the young stars at Entercom. He currently serves as Kiss 98.5‘s Music Director and afternoon drive host. He’s also seen all over Western New York, working at live remotes, night clubs and major concerts. Some of his early highlights include a limousine interview with pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen (who had the #1 song of 2012), and hanging out with Ed Sheeran (nominated for a 2013 Grammy). He’s also been part of two Kissmas Bashes, pumping up the crowd between sets, interviewing the stars and, as he puts it, “being famous for a night.”
In 2013, Mr. Heussler was honored by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association with its coveted Radio Personality of the Year award at the annual Buffalo Excellence in Media Awards.
1. Why or how did you begin to DJ?
I have always loved music, and grew up in a very music-rich house. I guess that’s where my love for music started. As for working in radio, I toured Kiss 98.5 in middle school. I thought it was awesome. I became heavily involved in a media class in high school and then when I went to SUNY Fredonia I double majored in Audio/Radio and TV/Film production. I began working at the campus radio stations (WCVF & WDVL) where I worked on my skills. Freshman year, I took an internship at Entercom Buffalo and didn’t leave until they hired me.
2. What aspect of the job do you like best?
My job has a lot to love! Getting to hear new music first, getting to meet and interview famous people is cool too! But what I like best is the interaction with the listeners. I get to talk to so many interesting people. They call in and tell me about their lives, they welcome me into their car every afternoon; its pretty incredible when you think about it!
3. What clubs or activities did you participate in while attending SUNY Fredonia?
I was very heavily involved with Fredonia Radio Systems, WCVF and WDVL. I served as the Program Director for WDVL my sophomore and junior years and General Manager my senior year. I was also involved in Greek life as a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon serving in a number of leadership roles including President.
4. You worked your way into your current position through internship and focus in college. What advice do you have for students who are contemplating an internship?
Having an internship is so important. Getting an internship is a key reason I am working at the level I am today. It gets your foot in the door, and it opens you up to the real working world. What you learn in class is important but having an internship and doing/seeing it in the workplace in priceless!
5. Overall, how did your college education help prepare you for life and your career?
College teaches you the basics of life. Time management, working with others, creativity etc. It also gives you’re the knowledge and skill to be able to enter the work field and excel.
6. What advice do you have to share with SUNY students?
The best piece of advice I have is be involved! Learning goes far beyond the classroom. From clubs to internships being involved is extremely important! It doesn’t matter what your major, Biology; you better be in Biology club! Make the world your classroom — you can learn everywhere!
Maxwell is the Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.