The only air that Ryan Westward originally had in mind for his career was aerospace.
“Getting into radio was, actually, an accident – I was planning on going into aerospace engineering and took a couple of broadcasting courses as electives,” he says. “During those courses I met and started hanging out with a couple broadcasters here in Kansas City and was talked into an internship by one of them at KQRC 98.9 The Rock. He said it’d be a fun little escape from studying over the summer. I could go to some concerts, get a few CDs and then go back to the books in the fall.
"Once I started the internship I fell in love with the business and the station and decided to stay and make a career out of it. That was 16 years ago and while getting here was an accident, it’s been one heck of a ride and I’m absolutely glad it happened!”
Ryan says he chose JCCC primarily because of the desirable class size.
“I had heard that the big universities try to weed students out in the first couple of years,” he says. “I didn’t want to risk it and went to JCCC since the class sizes were much smaller and I thought it would be helpful. Not only that but I took some college prep classes in high school, so I already had three classes completed through JCCC before I even started college.
“I had a great experience at JCCC,” he says. “I thought the courses were educational, interesting and a lot of times fun. The faculty was knowledgeable and best of all friendly and helpful. You could tell they were passionate and were themselves interested in what they were teaching. JCCC started me on the path I’m on. The courses, professors and internships put me in a position to get where I am now.”
And where he is now is at KQRC, where he says he does not have a traditional job title.
“Most people around the office refer to me as the ‘Go-To Guy.’ I handle a lot of different duties. I’m on-air for 98.9 The Rock, doing weekends/overnights and I fill in whenever someone is sick or on vacation plus I handle a lot of the remote engineering for several stations within the cluster.
"I’m also the remote coordinator for all the stations here at Entercom/Kansas City. So, basically, when any of the stations want to do a remote broadcast, they send the request to me and I assign an engineer/frequency for them to use. It all keeps me pretty busy and every day can have a different schedule, so from week to week I don’t work the same schedule but that’s part of what makes it fun. I enjoy it a lot.”