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Radio Executive Returns to Where It All Began

Story by Tabatha Piper '15

When Emily Boldon was at Otterbein University in the mid 1990s, she chose communication as a major because she knew she was good at talking. What she didn’t know was that 20 years later, not only would she still be talking, but she would be honored as one of the most influential women in radio in 2013.

Boldon '94 is the vice president of Stratus Music Programming and the corporate program director for Cumulus Media. She made her way to the top by never giving up on her passionate dream of working in the radio industry. She has collaborated with software designers to build a state-of-the-art program for more than 500 FM and AM stations and personally staffs and manages 52 FM radio stations across the country. 

How does she manage it all?

“I am a big list person,” said Boldon. “I have learned the hard way that delegation is one of the best skills you can have. I may be on a plane to a different state when I need someone to fill in for me. It’s important to find the team members that are strong around you.” 

While at Otterbein, Boldon had her own show on WOBN, the campus radio station, minored in equine science and was a member of Kappa Phi Omega sorority. Traveling to several different radio stations each week, she has faced the challenge of a male-dominated field. “I have found that managing men older than me is tough because they are set in their ways and they think, ‘who is this woman?’” said Boldon. 

Between her full workload and heavy travel schedule, Boldon finds time to watch her boys play hockey and golf. “I play a lot of golf with the boys,” she said. 

Constantly racking up Delta frequent flyer points, Boldon loves to travel and explore new places. “My advice is if you have vacation time, take it. What if you get hit by a bus tomorrow? The company will still move on so take your vacation.”

What does Boldon look for in new hires? “It is a lot about show and how passionate you are,” said Boldon. “I will hire someone who is more passionate and tenacious then hire a person just because they’ve earned a four-year degree who demands a high salary.”

Learn more about communication at Otterbein here.