Mike Bove’s career in entertainment, broadcasting and media production spans some forty-plus years. A Temple University undergraduate in the mid 1960’s, Mike balanced his career as a musical performer and a broadcast student. While working at Temple’s WRTI-FM and working on his studies in the school of broadcasting, Mike became WRTI’s program director in 1964 and Station manager in 1965. Through it all, Mike found the time to pursue his other love, performing as a member of a popular local vocal group, The Tridels.
Performing at the university and other local venues, Mike and the group were signed to a recording and management contract with San-Dee Worldwide Limited Records in Philadelphia. In 1964 with their manager and promoter Gene Arnold, a future Broadcast Pioneer member, Mike and the Tridels released their first recordings. With Hy Lit’s enthusiastic support, the group was recruited to perform at WIBG record hops throughout the tri-state area. Airplay in western Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan led to a successful Midwest tour in the summer of 1964.
In the summer of 1965, while continuing to perform with the Tridels, Mike joined MediaAmerica’s new 5000 watt station in Brookhaven, PA. WEEZ…the first full-time country station in the Philadelphia market. Mike filled the airways from 3-7PM and was the stations’ production manager. In 1969, Mike became WEEZ’s program director and operations manager. Mike was heavily involved with the promotion of the WEEZ Country Shindigs at Philadelphia’s Convention Hall which attracted 4-5,000 listeners to hear the major names in country music like Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, Meryl Haggard, and Jimmy Dickens perform live. The Shindigs and a new promotion - weekend trips for listeners to the Grand Ole Opera and tours of Nashville- became a WEEZ staple and soon WEEZ was being touted in Cashbox Magazine and the industry trades for its “hard-hitting rock-style on-air format and big market” promotions.
By 1971, The Tridels had written and recorded over three dozen songs, music for radio commercials and the title songs for two documentary films in their nine year musical journey. It was time to move on to other pursuits. Having taken WEEZ as far as possible, Mike joined another new Philadelphia station in 1971 when he was given the opportunity to program and operate WIFI 92… the first full-time automated rock format in the city. Without disc jockeys, WIFI 92 relied on pre-packaged and pre-recorded rock programming that needed lots of promotion and direction. Operated by General Cinema Corporation, WIFI 92 began to break open doors in the marketplace using the GCC theatres to promote the new format. With success in Philadelphia, GCC asked Mike to help in the operations of three new stations to come aboard in the early 1970s in Atlanta, Cleveland and Houston. Using WIFI 92 as a template, the four GCC stations had successful years operating the new automated format.
With an eye toward expanding his career horizons, Mike had the opportunity to move into the world of audio and video production when he was hired in 1975 to manage and operate the audio-visual facilities of The American College in Bryn Mawr, PA. which trains students in the life and health insurance industry. In his new position, Mike was responsible for all studio recording operations including editing, duplication, mixing and mastering technology in the production of training programs in audio, video, and mixed media.
In 1979 Mike won the Silver Venus Award for Educational Film for his work on the production The Money X-Change which dealt with the historic and present-day pressures that have led to the creation of the world-wide foreign exchange market. The production was selected by the International Festival of the Americas as one of the best films from among 2000 entries from 40 countries and was presented at the awards dinner held in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Money X-Change also won three additional awards from the U.S. Industrial Film Festival, the Columbus Film Festival and the Information Film Producers of America.
In 1981, Mike assumed responsibility as Media Services Manager of the Gregg Conference Center at the College with overall responsibility for all media needs for the Center’s clients, including equipment , technical personnel and consulting support. Mike’s familiarity with LCD technology, computer and video presentation media was helpful in the design and development of classroom media facilities and equipment installation.
The New York International Film and Television Festival awarded Mike the Bronze Award in the educational category for his video soundtrack of the production Holy Cross Hospital in 1982. The film was co-produced with Shared Medical Systems of King of Prussia, PA. This was the second consecutive year the American College and Shared Medical Systems’ joint effort garnered kudos having won in 1981 for the production This is SMS. That same year, a College production, Human Behavior in Business won the Industrial Management Society’s Award for Educational Programming.
At the College, Mike and the production staff pioneered live satellite conferencing to some 90 cities on the North American continent in 1983 as the teleconference became another media vehicle to teach life and health agents on an on-going basis from Bryn Mawr. The conferences continued on a regular basis for several years until the advent of web conferencing.
Mike spent thirty years with the American College, retiring as Media Director in 2005. His work continues in the area of video production. He operates as a freelance member of the production crew or as a camera operator for Custom Video Productions in Conshohocken. Through the years Mike has continued to narrate for both on-camera and voice-over productions.
Mike and his wife Diana met at the American College where they worked as colleagues for three years before marrying in 1983. Upon retiring in 2005, Mike returned to his first love, reuniting The Tridels as a tribute group and performing the music of the 1960s.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Bio originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Mike Bove
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