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"Don't be discouraged if you don't know exactly what you want to do right out of high school; it's okay to be unsure. Harford’s where you want to be to explore a little bit of everything. You'll certainly be prepared enough to transfer to a four-year institution or jump into a career."
Harford alum Scott Lester ’04, never expected that volunteering at Harford’s on-campus radio station, WHFC 91.1, would lead him to where he is today. Like a lot of high school students, Scott was unsure about his future career plans. When he enrolled at Harford, things changed. It was close to his home and according to Scott, afforded him the opportunity to figure out what direction he wanted to go. Starting with general classes at first, Scott then narrowed down his educational track and chose the Mass Communications field: “It all started when I began volunteering at WHFC, and I finally figured out what industry really appealed to me," says Lester. "Working at the station really opened my eyes to the possibilities beyond the microphone."
With a new sense of direction, Scott pursued his Mass Comm degree and continued gaining experience and training in the radio station. He sharpened his skills and honed his talents under the direction of his professor Wayne Hepler and WHFC station manager Gary Helton. Scott believes that both of them fostered his love for radio and helped him discover something he truly loved to do. "Wayne was tremendous – not only as an instructor but as a person. I was going through a health situation at the time, and he would take time to talk with me and genuinely express concern over how I was doing, how I could still participate in assignments, and make sure I wasn't falling behind. We still keep in contact to this day." Scott also still connects with Gary Helton, sharing stories about the radio industry. Gary gave Scott a chance of a lifetime by allowing him to broadcast his own show over WHFC's airwaves. After that, Scott says, he knew he could actually do this line of work for a living after college.
Today, you'll find Scott Lester in a top spot with iHeart radio as a producer for the nationally syndicated morning show "Valentine in the Morning," based in Los Angeles, CA, a position he is truly excited and proud of. He is also a writer and producer for the "Ellen K Weekend Show." His journey to these positions has been an interesting one; right after earning his degree from Harford, he was hired by CBS Radio (now Entercom Radio) in Baltimore as an assistant producer for the morning show on Mix 106.5, eventually being elevated to executive producer.
As a result of a budget cut, Scott was out of radio for about a year but then got a call to be the executive producer for a nationally syndicated Sunday night show for iHeartRadio (then ClearChannel) that became a highlight of his career. He launched a Washington, DC-based show, "Club Kane," in March 2010 on eight markets across the eastern United States. Shortly after "Club Kane" launched, he was brought on board as a producer for the morning "Kane Show," also out of DC. For the weekday morning show, he was able to work out of the Baltimore iHeartRadio cluster and stayed a part of both shows for a decade, keeping extremely busy while gaining tremendous experience. Scott briefly left iHeart in January 2020 due to a company restructure and "Club Kane" remained on in over 100 markets coast to coast at that time, something he was extremely proud to help build from the ground up.
Now in his new position with iHeart Radio, he plans to move to the Los Angeles area once the COVID-19 situation has settled and it's safe to go. In the meantime, Scott works remotely out of his home studio and is mapped to the L.A. iHeartRadio network, so he can work on projects as if he's in the room next to the morning show.
Scott thoroughly enjoyed his time at Harford. "I loved the camaraderie of the student body at HCC and the fact that the professors I had really cared about their students." He also says, "Don't be discouraged if you don't know exactly what you want to do right out of high school; it's okay to be unsure. Harford's where you want to be to explore a little bit of everything. You'll certainly be prepared enough to transfer to a four-year institution or jump into a career."
Outside of radio, Scott is a songwriter and musician. He's released a solo album and had a song placed with the CBS television show NCIS: New Orleans. Scott is also a lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist in a rock band called Letterbox and hosts his own podcast called The Vanity Prodcast, a mashup of a project and podcast that’s available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and iHeartRadio. Learn more about this amazing alum by visiting his website at www.producerscott.com.
Written by Lauren L. Ciambruschini, Communications Specialist, Office of Communications
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