A Journey in Rock
College alum and WRUF-AM/FM radio programmer Harry Guscott retires after 39 years.
Thirty-nine years? All at one AM/FM radio station in Gainesville? This description can only fit the man who dedicated his career to make WRUF-AM/FM a driving force in the North Florida radio market – Harry Guscott, JM 1975. Guscott started as a student announcer before working his way up the ranks to become WRUF-AM music director and then WRUF-FM program director, a position he held until retirement in January.
“I enjoyed the challenges and rewards of the job. It seemed like no two days at work were ever the same. The nearly four decades passed by quickly,” said Guscott.
During his tenure at WRUF, he experienced many program format changes including beautiful music, middle-of-the-road, top 40, and adult contemporary. In May 1982, he was responsible for flipping the FM station format from beautiful music/classical music to rock. Thus, ROCK 104 was born resulting in higher ratings and an increase in station revenue.
While at UF, Guscott received the College’s prestigious Red Barber Award for professional promise and continued to receive accolades throughout his career. In the late 1990s, WRUF-FM was honored as the Top Rated Album Oriented Rock station in the United States for Average Quarter Share by industry trade paper Radio & Records. Also in the late 90s, he transitioned WRUF’s commercial properties from analog to digital, integrating news, sports, traffic and music programming under one operating system, increasing overall efficiency and professionalism to the organization. In 2007, he was honored as a finalist for Radio and Records Medium Market Program Director of the Year.
“It seemed like no two days at work were ever the same. The four decades passed by quickly.” —Harry Guscott
Guscott also served the role of student mentor to a long list of now professional broadcasters and media professionals across the country. Steve Russell, WRUF Sportsradio 850 sports director, recalls working for Harry and the impact it had on him. “One of the things I will always remember about Harry comes from when I was a student. I wanted to do well because he gave me a chance. And although it would be many years before we would work together again, I am glad I got a chance to work with him again on a professional level and continue to learn from him.”
Guscott added, “I will always be proud of the students that I trained and mentored, and the friends I have made. It has been, and is, rewarding to see so many former students and Ruffians achieve their professional goals. Throughout the 39 years, I’ve often heard thanks for the opportunity, for the learning experience and for the skills that they developed as college students while at WRUF and ROCK 104. Their sincerity will always be appreciated.”
Guscott now has time to enjoy his many hobbies including snow skiing, meteorology, DBS satellite technology, electronic and print media, sports and NASCAR. He is an avid Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin fan and loves Broadway music in addition to rock, classic rock, oldies and contemporary jazz.
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- Gator grads head The Miami Herald newsroom
- John Spence: one of nation’s top 100 thought leaders
- Mike Neumeier: The Power of PR
- Melissa Lyttle named to association board
- Three College graduates honored at the Florida Heritage Awards
- 21st Century News Laboratory opens
- College plans digital communication laboratory
- Finding love at the CJC
Coming & going
- Christiano named to Karel Endowed Chair
- Wanta is new Journalism chair
- College welcomes three new faculty members
- New staff
- Harry Guscott retires after 39 years
- Advertising students receive national recognition
- Public Relations team wins international competition
- College restructures media properties
- College and UAA enter into partnership
- College broadcasts local high school game
- Jerry Davis
- Marion B. Brechner
- Mickie Newbill Edwardson