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Cephas Bowles, 40-year Public Radio Advocate and Innovator, To Be Inducted into WAER/Syracuse University Hall of Fame
(Published: September 13, 2014)

Cephas Bowles, 40-year Public Radio Advocate and Innovator,
To Be Inducted into WAER/Syracuse University Hall of Fame
at Gala Ceremony on September 19

NEW YORK, NY September 9, 2014 - Cephas Bowles, a staunch advocate for public radio and jazz for more than four decades and former CEO/President of WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, will be inducted into the WAER-FM Hall of Fame at Syracuse University on Friday, September 19, at 12:00 pm. A 1974 graduate of the university, Bowles joins previous inductees including Ted Koeppel, Mike Tirico, Sean McDonough, and Ian Eagle who have made a mark on the field of broadcasting.

"WAER was, and continues to be, a magical place which helped me become the broadcaster that I am today, " said Bowles. "It was an invaluable teaching laboratory for engaged Broadcast and other majors. For Broadcasting students, the station supplemented our in-class learning. It became our second home, causing us to miss holiday meals and numerous activities because we had shows to produce and present. However, I would not have traded that experience for any other on campus."

A native of Newark, NJ, now living in Dover, NJ, Bowles served as senior executive of WBGO from 1993 to 2014, when he retired following a lengthy medical leave. During his tenure, the station celebrated increased financial support as well as heightened listener engagement through innovative programming, special events, live broadcasts and social media. In 1998, WBGO became the first jazz station to use the Internet to stream music around the world. Under Bowles' leadership, Jazz 88.3 also increased the number of professional staff and totally renovated its two-story office building. In 2012, Bowles spearheaded a capital campaign that funded, built and began transmitting from a tower in midtown Manhattan, which significantly strengthened the station's metro-area reach. He was honored as a WBGO Jazz Champion for his outstanding accomplishments the following year.

Bowles, now a Broadcast, Philanthropic and Non-profit Management Consultant, was a long-time member of the National Public Radio, Inc. (NPR) Board of Directors. He also has served as President of Eastern Public Radio, a consortium of NPR-affiliated public radio stations, which contains some of the most important and largest public radio stations such as WNYC, WETA, WAMU, WGBH and WBGO. Since 1994, he has worked on numerous task forces and committees with, among others, NPR, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Bowles has also offered his expertise to various community Boards, including the Newark Arts Council, Dover Zoning Board of Adjustment, State of NJ Martin Luther King Committee, National Jazz Museum of Harlem and Newark Regional Business Partnership.

In addition to WBGO and WAER, Bowles was employed by CBS Radio Network News in New York City and KUAT-TV/Radio in Tucson, Arizona.

"WAER was located in an old Quonset hut across from the University's gymnasium. Many talented students worked at the radio station to present and produce music, news, drama and spoken word, " said Bowles. "We learned from each other. Teenager Bob Costas was our Chief Announcer. Current Bloomberg News Executve Steve Geiman was our News Director. Current Syracuse mega-broadcast station owner Craig Fox was one of our very talented engineers. I wanted to be a music announcer and, with another student, learned about jazz by building the station's first, and at that time, most complete jazz library. I was also the first African-American student engineer in the station's history.

"My recuperation has given me a renewed perspective on and about the things that I have done during my lifetime, and I look forward to taking on new challenges and opportunities. Being inducted into WAER's Hall of Fame underscores the excitement I feel as I embark on a new leg of my professional journey, " Bowles continued.

For more information on WAER Syracuse Public Media, log on to www.waer.org.

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