North Central College - Naperville, IL

WONC wins two first-place awards at national competition

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Seniors Lucas Mitzel and Ryan Piers
Seniors Lucas Mitzel and Ryan Piers

April 29, 2011—WONC-FM 89.1, North Central College’s student-run radio station, brought home two first-place awards in national competition from the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS).  

The first-place Golden Microphone Trophy Awards were in two categories: Best Sports Play-by-Play and Best Documentary.

The Best Sports Play-by-Play award went to senior Ryan Piers of Washington, Ill., for his play-by-play announcing and to senior Lucas Mitzel of Aurora, who added the color. Their winning audio was from the Dec. 4, 2010, playoff game between the North Central College Cardinals and defending NCAA Division III national football champions, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks (listen now). The football game was North Central’s first quarterfinals playoff game in the program’s history. Broadcast communication majors Piers and Mitzel beat out submissions from Goshen College and William Patterson College.

The Best Documentary award went to Piers as well, who produced and narrated “Religion in American Society,” a 15-minute documentary that took a look at religion’s current role in society from a political perspective, and how secular ideologies can affect those positions. Ryan bested two other competing documentaries by DePaul University.

WONC general manager and assistant professor of broadcast communication John Madormo has worked closely with both students.

About Piers, he says, “his delivery is smooth, steady and professional.” He’s been the voice of Cardinal sports and the station’s sports director for the past two years.

Mitzel is WONC’s station manager, the highest position held by a student. Madormo says, “He has led a 70-member staff this year and has done a superb job. And in sports, whether he’s doing play-by-play or color, he gives a solid delivery.” Mitzel is the College’s 2011 Outstanding Major in Broadcasting.  

The IBS is one of two national competitions available to college and university radio stations. The second is the Collegiate Broadcasters Inc. (CBI).

WONC is one of the most honored collegiate radio stations in America and has won national and state awards in commercial and collegiate competitions. In addition, the station has won 20 Marconi College Radio Awards. No other college or university radio station is the country has won more.

A student-run and staffed station, WONC has a station manager and directors of programming, production, promotions, music, news, sports, public affairs and underwriting. Since 1980, Madormo has overseen the station’s operations and believes the most important thing for new students, whatever their level of broadcasting experience or interest, is to get involved in the station and on the air as soon as possible. Students who work at the station and choose to major in broadcast communication graduate as all-platform journalists ready to hit the ground running in radio, TV, Internet and social media venues.

With a 30-mile listening radius and potential listening audience of four million people, WONC’s pure rock music format broadcasts a mix of news, sports, traffic, music and public affairs programming 24 hours a day, year-round. Listen live at