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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches
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By Andrew Scot Bolsinger
News-Record [Harrisonburg, VA] Staff Writer
After 13 Years In Valley, Burman Starts New Gig
For local "personalities," the Valley is a relatively small fishbowl. But itís a little roomier now because last week the fishbowl lost one of its bigger fish.
Dave Burman worked for Mid-Atlantic Radio and Clear Channel Communications for 13 years. He was a common fixture at public events and one of the more widely recognized media figures. The Bob Corso of radio, if you will.
"A whole lot of eating contests, dunk tanks, you know," he said about his time in the Valley.
Members of the media are often viewed as outsiders, people simply looking to move to the next bigger and better stop. All too often, people in this business live down to that impression, acting at times like college students who canít wait for graduation day.
Burman was an exception, bucking those unfortunate stereotypes for 13 years. He loved the local scene and was actively involved in everything from baseball to First Night parades to the dreaded dunk tanks.
Last week, Burman moved with his family to Lewistown, Pa. The water in our bowl is a tad less interesting now that he is gone.
When itís been 13 years since your last one, a first day can be tough. Burman was doing fine, however, when I caught up with him on his first day at WKVA.
"Itís pretty cool," he said. "Itís an old-fashioned radio station, man. Like back in the day."
He is the sports director and afternoon drive personality for the Lewistown area, which is about 25 miles from State College, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions. The small station is "mom and pop owned," Burman said, a far cry from his last two years with Clear Channel, the worldís largest radio company.
Burman is a high-energy guy. And the first-day jitters had him rolling at triple-espresso speed as we talked. His first introduction was manning the WKVA weather line.
"Believe it or not," he said, "the big thing up here is a phone weather line. You get about 200 people a day calling this thing."
Callers were in for an excited surprise with Burmanís weather update on the other end of the phone.
Despite the new challenges, the move was a bit of a reluctant one for Burman, who agreed to move at the urging of his wife and stepson, both of whom hail from the area. Burman is a Chester, Pa., homeboy, which is a couple of hours from Lewistown.
Burman is adapting quickly, but that still doesnít make a first day on the job easy.
"It was tough [to leave], I am starting all over again. I loved my job; Iím a big sports guy. Iím glad to see people getting pumped up about high school athletics back there. Especially this year."
Burman is also excited about the new possibilities. Local high school sports in Lewistown have "passionate" followers, he says. Penn State is always a big deal as well.
"[Football coach] Joe Paternoís gotta start winning. Thatís the big talk up here. Everyoneís very pessimistic, even though they are ranked 24th. Joe Pa is legend, but people still are worried."
When one of the most successful coaches in college football history is feeling the pressure to win, you know the region is serious about sports. Burman will be a duck to water in that pond.
Going To Miss It
Still, Burman is going to miss the local things he loved, like doing play-by-play at Harrisonburg Turks games, doing remotes for the radio station and going down to The Burger House on Saturday morning to talk sports.
"I am going to miss that," he said.
And his greatest memory after 13 years?
"Oh man, I did a live remote at The Hole in the Wall [a downtown adult store]," he said with a chuckle. "It was a mob down there. My wife really let me have it for that one."
Andrew Scot Bolsinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
(An article from the Daily News-Record of Harrisonburg, VA)
Distinctive Voice Leaving Valley
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© 2002 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 10/17/05