Geron Scates, local WIKK radio personality and announcer for Eagle sports will be leaving the area for a great opportunity at the end of July.


Geron Scates, local WIKK radio personality and announcer for Eagle sports will be leaving the area for a great opportunity at the end of July.

Scates, a Bethalto native, but for the last 15 years known as Newton's own, will be heading to Snyder, Texas to become a faculty member at Western Texas College.

While at Western Scates will teach a Radio Broadcasting Class as well as manage the College's radio station, KGWB-FM.

While many know Scates as a radio personality and sales executive for WIKK, he did earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a teaching certificate from Olivet Nazarene University in suburban Chicago.

But, how did he decide on Texas you may ask? Well, the President of Western Texas College, Dr. Mike Dreith, was an old school mate of Scates at Civic Memorial High School in Bethalto. Dreith was President of Frontier Community College in Fairfield and was driving through the area and caught a baseball game on the radio. He enjoyed listening to the play-by-play voice and was thrilled to hear at the end that it was his old school mate Geron Scates. He contacted the station and got in touch with Scates and they renewed their friendship.

In 2007, Dreith left Frontier to accept the presidency at WTC. He constructed a radio station and immediately thought of his friend. "Mike called me about the opportunity, but I wasn't ready to relocate in Texas at that time," says Scates. "Then, after careful discussion with my family, I called him back and said, 'If the opportunity ever comes up again, please let me know."

Well, the opportunity presented itself and Scates took the offer. He will have fifteen new radio students and six returning students. At KGWB, Scates will work with Texas radio icon Tumbleweed Smith, who will remain as an adjunct instructor and Bobby Allen, a former newspaperman from Snyder. Allen will move on to a new post at the college as the Director of College News Service, but he will keep a hand in the station.

KGWB's format is news, talk, and classic rock during the day and hit music at night. According to a Press Release from Dr. Dreith, while at the station Scates will supervise an upgrade to the station's infrastructure when the power is boosted from its current 244 watts to over 55,000 watts. A FCC construction permit is on file to complete the power boost in the next two years.

Scates stated, "Well, I'm excited about the great opportunity for another stage and direction in my career. I hold dear all the people and the friends that we've made here in the time that we've lived here. We've graduated four children from Newton Community High School and forged bonds and friendships that will last the rest of our lifetime. We will miss everyone dearly. I'll miss the broadcasting of Eagle sports because that was one of the real loves of my job that I had and I've been fortunate to work with so many good people. It's rare when you're in a position to help people from the standpoint of marketing sales and yet those people are not just your customers or clients, but your friends. We appreciate everyone's prayers as we have several different things happening in our family as far as our boys trying to grow into their own lives as well as this new venture of 960 miles away from here. So, we will keep in contact and will certainly come back to visit whenever the opportunity presents itself. Jasper County is not just a place where we stopped over and lived for a while, but its become a real part of the fabric and lives of our family."

Scates continued, "If you go to the college's website (www.wtc.edu), I would guess in about 60 days or so there will be a link for a contact us type form on there for an email and you will be able to contact me at my work email for those who wish to keep in touch. I also appreciate the working relationship that I've had the opportunity to have with the local paper the Newton Press-Mentor and the Jasper County News Eagle. In most situations those are two entities that normally don't share a lot of things in common, but I think it's a testament to the character of the people here when the two local media representatives can work together to inform the public of information that's available to them. So, on behalf of my wife Linda and our sons, Chris, Andrew, Joe and David, we thank you all for being a part of our lives and we will miss you, but we will still have sons living in Jasper County after we leave, so instead of saying goodbye, I think I'll just say 'til next time or 'til we see you again.