Inspiration is an unpredictable factor that can dictate the route of a man's destiny. Consider the fate of a Cleveland youth who in 1993 "innocently" attended his first concert -The Dead Milkmen performing at Peabody's Down Under. That night the youth realized that music is a visceral experience that reaches beyond the perimeters of a compact disc, that total strangers can share a powerful moment thanks to the magic of shared music and that he wanted to be a larger part of that process. Radio would be his future. It may have been that very moment, that window of enlightenment, which led him to another day 8 years later in Galena, Alaska.
On that March day with the temperature crouching at 20 degrees below zero, the residents of Galena, a small town in the interior of Alaska, were gathered for the their Spring Festival featuring the town's local dog sled race. For a town with no roads leading in or out, a town where the only entrance or exit is through air transport, a dog race is big news.
Standing on the frozen Yukon River, Brian Siewiorek, far from his Cleveland roots, broadcast the race live for three hours. Tension, passion and colorful commentary punctuated the detailing of events. (Brian would later be awarded a Goldie award, presented by Alaska's Broadcaster's Association, for best sports reporting). Amazing what a Dead Milkmen show can lead to. But life is, as Paul McCartney once said, a long and winding road. So let's backtrack a bit.
Brian attended college at Kent State University, studying journalism with a focus on radio and television and began broadcasting at the school's station, WKSR. He also began working at WKSU, Kent's Public Classical radio station. While there, his work won the station an Edward R. Murrow award for “Best Use of Sound”. Always on the lookout for great music, Brian traveled to neighboring Toronto, Detroit and Pittsburgh for concerts and excitement. When Galena put out a call for a new broadcaster, Brian was up for the challenge.
In September of 2001 fate once again brought Brian back to the lower 48, depositing him at WCBU in Peoria, Illinois where he became Operations Manager and began producing art features for the NPR station. His work garnered Brian a Silver Reel Award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, as well as an Associated Press Award for Best Investigate Reporting.
Brian arrived in Pittsburgh to take over the duties of WYEP’s Production Director. He enjoys discovering more about this town, professes no allegiance to any football team, and sports a Joey Ramone bobblehead on his desk. Listen for Brian as he brings you features, community spotlights and shares his love of music here on the station where the music - and it’s fated inspiration - matters.
- Rosemary Welsch-2004