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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

Taylor is 'fresh voice' on WGTE-FM

BY SALLY VALLONGO
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

WGTE FM 91 has been airing a fresh-faced voice since last March, a radio personality who knows her way around often-challenging composer and musician names yet who brings the enthusiasm of an ingenue to the airwaves.

Haley Taylor, the new Morning Classics host, stepped into the position vacated earlier this year by Jennifer Scott.

From 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays, Taylor plays classical DJ, "spinning" CDs and providing lively intros and information.

"Haley sounds fresh and enthusiastic, which is always nice in the morning," says station music director Brad Cresswell. "What makes her stand out, though, is that she brings a lot of sincerity to the air along with that enthusiasm."

A singer and musician who grew up in Temperance, Taylor earned a BS degree in communication studies from Spring Arbor University a year ago.

While there, she accumulated some serious chops.

Taylor created a popular podcast series; was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and produced a radio news feature that won an award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, college division.

Moreover, she was an on-air personality for 106.9 Home FM, a community-supported radio station which programs Christian and mainstream music in Spring Arbor, Mich.

After earning her diploma, Taylor fell into the same situation facing millions of recent college grads: a shortage of job opportunities in her field, but no lack of loan debt. To stay fresh, Taylor began writing a blog about the job-search process -- The Mundane Struggle Bus.

After he read her blog, Cresswell suggested she volunteer at the public broadcasting station, converting it into podcasts. Called Rough Draft Diaries, they gave voice to vulnerabilities shared by new grads in a tight job market.

"I felt like a carton of eggs. If you don't beat the expiration date and get a job, you're no longer a college grad but just another unemployed 20-something," wrote Taylor.

In March, the hard work for no salary became a paying gig at WGTE.

"At first, it was surreal coming to work every morning," recalled Taylor.

"I had been a viewer and listener of WGTE for so long, it felt odd being on the production side of things, but I think it was a comfortable transition and I'm just really happy to be a part of the team," said Taylor.

She's busy putting her own stamp on the two-hour program.

Now, Taylor is training to replace Quarie Marshall, morning news host, when he takes a six-week hiatus next month.

Further down the road, Taylor says she'd love to produce her own show, something Cresswell has done with his New Music from BGSU series, just renewed for another season by WFMT.

For this college grad, the future sounds bright. The Rough Draft Diaries are accessible through the WGTE Website.

Contact Sally Vallongo at svallongo@theblade.com.



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