Alumni Spotlight: Justin Thomas (2015)

April 24th, 2023 by Charlie Wahlberg

Justin Thomas, an alumnus of the class of 2015 talks about their show, “Sports Talk”, the opportunities they gained from being involved in the station, and shares a word of advice for current WLOY members!

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your show at WLOY? 

A: I did the sports show (Sports Talk) on WLOY every Monday and Friday in the afternoons. We talked about everything sports both professional and collegiate, and it was an absolute blast. I always looked forward to doing every show, and it helped me live out my sports broadcasting itch. 

Q: Who is your current favorite artist?

A: It’s still Fall Out Boy. 

Q: What do you do for work now? Did your experiences at WLOY transfer into your work? If so, how? 

A: Now I am a high school English teacher in Port Chester, NY. I did work in sports media and at a radio station for 4 years after graduating, though, and I incorporated a lot of my experiences into my classroom. Yes, I would say my experiences at WLOY transferred into my work. It helped me feel prepared for sports media and for going out and finding stories. I also already knew how to work a soundboard for the radio station before I got my side gig as a part-time DJ there in CT. The fact that I was able to show some clips of what I did at WLOY to people and was able to put “Sports Director” as a title on my resume was super helpful. 

Q: Tell us your favorite memory as a DJ and WLOY.

A: I loved doing play-by-play for Loyola games and other sports events through WLOY. My favorites would have to be 1. being able to do play-by-play at Camden Yards for the President’s Cup. Sitting there in the broadcast booth at Camden Yards was an absolute dream come true and something I will cherish forever. 2. My buddy Anthony Santiago and I did play-by-play for the men’s basketball game (when we were still in the MAAC) against Iona when we pulled off a huge upset during my freshman year. That was also the year we made the NCAA Tournament as the MAAC champs. It was so cool to be in the arena and feel that energy and broadcast the game. 

Q: One piece of advice for current students looking to enter the broadcasting/entertainment industry? 

A: I’m going to be honest here: the grind is real! It’s not easy, and the industry is really tough to make a living in, but it is also one of the most fun things out there. Be prepared to put in the work, but also know your worth and take care of yourself. Burnout is very real, and this is an industry in which it is easy to experience that, so find ways to take care of yourself. Get as many little experiences as you can to be the face or do exactly what you want to do, too, no matter how small the scale. It looks so much better to be an on-air DJ somewhere (even somewhere small) if that’s what you want to be than being a coffee runner somewhere big and noteworthy. Make good relationships and friends, and make sure you have fun with it because it IS supposed to be fun. Good luck! 


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