SIUE’s Jazz Station To Begin ‘From The Sidelines’ Feature Series

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WSIE-FM (88.7) The Jazz Station begins a new feature, From the Sidelines, on April 3, to be broadcast just after the 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. news on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The programs present what I think are thought-provoking, often funny, occasionally inspiring glances at life.

WSIE-FM (88.7) The Jazz Station—broadcasting from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville—begins a new feature, From the Sidelines, on April 3, to be aired just after the 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. news on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The series of vignettes—musings, memories and humorous anecdotes—is written and anchored by Tom Dehner, retired WSIE news and public affairs director and a veteran of 40 years in broadcasting, public relations and higher education in the St. Louis area. The series is being underwritten by TheBANK of Edwardsville and The Simmons Firm of Alton.

"Dehner presents slice-of-life stories and personal reflections on experiences as well as observations, all designed to inform, entertain, inspire and hopefully motivate our St. Louis area listeners," said Greg Conroy, WSIE general manager. "Tom’s style is personable, using humor, anecdotes, human interest and events past and present in conveying thoughts and ideas about both common, everyday goings on and the people and events of day-to-day life,” Conroy said.

From the Sidelines finds Dehner waxing eloquent about many topics, including how technology is not his friend, about students and co-workers and about others who have over the many years made an impression. "From time-to-time I offer different perspectives on issues from what might be considered the norm or politically correct,” Dehner said.

The series focuses on such diverse topics as Sniglets, Spitwads, Separation Anxiety and the Secret Service; Grandpa's Oatmeal and Ostrich Racing; Pancakes, Performance Enhancers and Political Action Committees; Baseball, Bucket Lists and a special lady known affectionately as Ms. Blue. Content ranges from serious to tongue-in-cheek.

"For example, there's an episode from my college days, in the '60s, when a group of us marched 60 miles, carrying blank signs to 'Protest Nothing' and another about how public relations is more challenging than rocket science,” he said. “I share work experiences and the lessons learned from people I've been fortunate enough to meet and work with—some celebrities, some not.

“Successes and failures in radio and during my time in PR are chronicled, with a moral to each story discussed at the end. Yet, it's not preaching," Dehner assures. “The programs present what I think are thought-provoking, often funny, occasionally inspiring glances at life.
"My son asked why anyone would be interested in anything I have to say. That's a good question. I replied that the From the Sidelines tells stories that everyday people can identify with—because I am 'Joe Lunchbucket' myself."

Conroy said the title is derived from Dehner's recent retirement. "Tom has moved from being on the field and in the game, so to speak, to viewing life more as an observer." Says Dehner: "But I'm not ready to just sit idly in the bleachers."

According to Conroy, those who know Dehner are enthusiastic about hearing what he has to say because “while at the station he always seemed to have something to say. The segments last a couple of minutes each and we think the audience will find them enjoyable listening and time well spent," he said.

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