Looking back at his time at Union Endicott High School, Corey Moran never wanted to be in radio.
“I wrote for the newspaper and was a part of the yearbook club,” Moran said. “I once called the local radio station for a song request and got too nervous that I hung up.”
Today, the quarterback of #TeamPXY on 98PXY in Rochester, N.Y. has become a familiar alumnus of The College at Brockport.
During his college application process, Moran only applied to three colleges (Arizona State, University of Georgia and Brockport). After being declined admission to the first two, Moran was accepted to Brockport.
“With Brockport only three hours away, I was able to go home on holidays and weekends,” Moran said. “It felt like the right fit for me.”
As a freshman, Moran’s only friend on campus was his roommate. But one day, Moran was walking through the Seymour College Union when he a bright red paper recruitment paper to join the college’s radio station, 89.1 the Point caught his attention. After much consideration, Moran decided to give it go.
From day one, Moran became sucked into the atmosphere of being on-air, being a part of the promotions department and was the production and programming director. It was during his time as summer staff at the Point when he had an epiphany.
“I was on the air every day over the summer and I realized that this is what I want to do as a career,” Moran said.
During his junior year, Moran gained an internship with iHeart media in Rochester, running the board on Friday and Saturday nights while all his friends were out partying. He eventually switched to programming before deciding that he wanted to be part of the on-air staff. But, his former boss at iHeart, who is no longer in the business, doubted Corey’s talent.
“He flat out said I would never be on the air,” Moran said. “I knew I needed to prove him wrong.”
Moran left iHeart, determined to find another opportunity. That’s when Mike Danger, programming director at 98PXY, reached out to Moran on Myspace to offer him a part-time job. But before the job began, Moran hit a snag.
“Due to me working at iHeart, I had to deal with a six-month non-compete agreement,” Moran said. “Looking back, those six months were well worth it.”
After the agreement was over, Moran jumped right in, working his way up to an on-air DJ. Danger says that Moran earned his respect with his work ethic and commitment to the industry.
“I have been a fan of Corey’s dating back to his senior year at Brockport,” Danger said. “It was great watching him evolve from a part time on-air personality at PXY to a full-time career as a broadcaster.”
Graduating from The College at Brockport in 2006, Moran bounced around the radio waves, making stops at WKKF in Albany, N.Y. and WVHT in Virginia Beach, V.A. as an on-air personality. But when his contract at WVHT ended, Moran came back to Rochester for a fresh start.
Back in the area, Mike Danger gave Moran the opportunity to co-host #TeamPXY with then Meghan Carter. Looking back, Moran cannot thank Danger enough for the opportunity.
“I owe [Danger] everything, as he easily could have moved on,” he said. “I see him as a mentor and someone that I could reach out to get his opinion on certain situations.”
A new gig meant a new DJ name for Moran. He decided on his middle name, James, since Bill Moran of 95.1 already used the Moran name. Bill has no relation to Corey.
Before COVID-19, Moran’s 4:00 a.m. alarm and a fresh cup of coffee came along for his 40 minute commute from Canandaigua to Rochester.
“[The commute] gave me time to think about what we are going to talk about on the show, even though everything is already planned out a day in advance,” Moran said.
With the early mornings, Moran has found time to balance home and work life. In 2019, Moran had two people come into his life: his wife Courtney and son Mason. Moran met his wife when he interviewed her for a job with the Rochester Business Journal, who has a partnership with Entercom Rochester. After the interview, Courtney and Corey went their separate ways, only to reconnect a year later.
“I ran into her at an awards event and reconnected via Facebook,” he said. “Her friend ended up taking her phone and set up a date with me and the rest is history.”
Corey and Courtney have been married since February, but their son Mason was born on April 14, 2019. Before the Coronavirus, Moran had a routine of picking up his son from daycare and having fun with him in the afternoons. But with Moran now broadcasting from home, he says it has strengthened their father and son relationship.
“It has been eye opening being at home with Courtney and Mason,” Moran said. “Being able to wake up in the morning and see my son has become a blessing.”
Being an employee of Entercom Rochester, Moran has numerous relationships with local non-profits, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Special Olympics of New York, and the Pirate Toy Fund. Moran says these experiences have opened his eyes to how strong the Rochester community is.
“I feel I have an obligation to give back to the community,” Moran said. “The Polar Plunge is one of my favorites, as I am in a giant tent for two hours for a crazy party watching hundreds of people jump into a freezing lake.”
While working for 98PXY, Moran has heard hundreds of listeners say that they love waking up to himself and his co-host Breezy during their commute. Those comments keep Moran going.
“It blows my mind and it is very powerful,” Moran said. “We recently got a text from a nurse saying that the show puts her in a good mood to start the day, which is awesome to hear during these unknown times.”
With the Coronavirus changing our everyday lives, Moran has adjusted to broadcasting from home. The broadcast is 45 minutes ahead, cutting out much of the audience interaction. Callers are recorded ahead of time and all social media has to be updated constantly. With these changes, Moran believes that there is a silver lining.
“We try to provide a balance of positive and negative while on-air,” he said. “We recently talked to a junior from Webster who has been delivering handwritten notes to people, so those are the stories we share.”
Warren Kozireski, general manager of 89.1 the Point, is proud of Moran’s accomplishments.
“Corey has embraced the social media aspect and has taken advantage of working for a media company who gets it,” Kozireski said. “His accomplishments represent that the station has been successful as a vehicle for students to gain real-world experience.”
Moran remembers an interaction with Koz involving a golf cart while being a member of the station.
“We were playing in the Point’s golf tournament and Koz was driving crazy in the golf cart, almost throwing me out as we went from hole to hole,” Moran said. “I got my payback by jerking the wheel, knocking Koz out of the golf cart and injuring his shoulder, but at least it wasn’t broken.”
Moran isn’t the only Brockport alum that is a part of Entercom. Chris Debbins (DJ on PXY), Sandy Waters (DJ for 98.9 The Buzz) and Michael Doyle (Regional President/President of Sales Operations for Entercom) have each had successful careers in the company. Moran credits Brockport’s journalism and broadcasting program as well as the Point for his success.
“The legitimacy of the program prepares majors to immediately join the job force,” he said. “Brockport and the Point model the professional station vibe and I am glad I chose to become a Golden Eagle.”
Moran’s success in Rochester has created large market radio opportunities in the past. He has been a finalist for jobs in Detroit, Tampa, and Albany. But, Moran plans on staying in Rochester and has some advice for people who are trying to get to the top.
“I am very happy here in Rochester, as the city has changed for the better with new breweries and restaurants,” Moran said. “There is no need to chase the higher opportunities if you are living in a good position.”