Justin Dobrow ’17
Broadcasting and Mass Communication
Hometown: Seldon, New York
Role: General Manager at WTOP-10 TV
Fueling the flame: WTOP Excellence Fund (anonymous donor and Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77)
“WTOP is a huge extended family, and when we receive donor gifts, it reminds us to keep producing the best content. More importantly though, it gives us the opportunity to fix, update, expand and create content in new ways we wouldn’t have been able to before.”
Long Island, N.Y., native Justin Dobrow ’17 applied to and was accepted into several colleges with nationally recognized communication programs, but how was he going to pick the best place for him?
“People always told me that you’ll know the right place when you get there,” Dobrow said. “Well, I remember taking the tour of campus, seeing the beautiful lake, standing in the middle of the WTOP studio and hearing how it was student-run. I told myself right then that one day I want to run this place. I wanted to be hands-on. I wanted to learn. I wanted to lead. I wanted to innovate.”
As he approaches his senior year at Oswego, he said the college—and in particular his experience with WTOP—has very much allowed him to pursue all his passions. AT WTOP, he has climbed the ranks from camera man to maintenance engineer to vice president of engineering and technology to be elected general manager in his junior year—a position typically reserved for only seniors.
During his tenure, the student-run television station has expended its sports coverage to include broadcasts of nearly every home game of all sports as well as remote broadcasts of SUNYAC championships.
In addition to 18 of its original programs, the station often gets called on to broadcast college-wide events such as a recent Al Roker ’76 on-campus presentation, The Tomorrow Show campaign launch and the annual Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit, to name a few.
Now, in his second year as general manager, Dobrow looks forward to ushering in a new era for the Al Roker ’76 Television Studio—one that is in high definition.
Thanks to Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77, an anonymous donor and many others who have supported the WTOP Excellence Fund, the station is purchasing new industry standard equipment, helping to make students’ transition into the workplace after graduation a smooth one.
Dobrow has taken a leadership role in figuring out which equipment to buy, working with campus leaders to facilitate the purchase of the $500,000 HD upgrade and then to implement the conversion to HD. He will present on his experience leading this transition during the College Broadcasters Inc. National Student Electronic Media Convention in October 2016.
“WTOP is a huge extended family, and when we receive donor gifts, it reminds us to keep producing the best content,” said Dobrow, who earned a very competitive summer internship at a major network in New York City. “More importantly though, it gives us the opportunity to fix, update, expand and create content in new ways we wouldn’t have been able to before.”
Dobrow said he feels a commitment to advance the legacy of the “Toppers” who came before him and help “WTOP be the best it can be.”
“WTOP has influenced my college career—my life—more than I could even imagine, and I want that to be the story for every single person that comes into the Al Roker Studio,” he said.