SIOUX CITY -- When Jonathan Covert's twice-a-week program airs live on Morningside College's student-operated radio station, listeners can hear the Algona, Iowa, native express opinions on everything from the New Jersey Devils to the Toronto Blue Jays to Alice Cooper.
Wait, what does a 1970s shock rocker have to do with a sports show?
Actually, the 9-11 p.m. Tuesday night "Covert Show" and the 6-8 p.m. Thursday night "Thursday Classroom" combine sports, music and anything else that crosses the Morningside mass communications sophomore's mind.
"One week, I was struggling to come up with a non-sports-related topic for my Thursday night show," Covert said, inside the KMSC 92.9 FM control booth. "Then I called my mom, who asked me why don't I talk about Alice Cooper? Hey, seemed like a good idea to me."
After only seven months on the air, Covert is already winning acclaim for his unusual jock talk/dad rock hybrid mix. He was one of only six student broadcasters, from across the country, to be recognized with a finalist award for "Best Specialty Music Show" at the 78th annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) International Media Conference, held in New York, March 1-3.
A nonprofit education corporation founded in 1940, IBS represents more than 1,000 member radio, TV and webcasting stations. Its college broadcasting awards competition annually receives more than 7,000 entries.
Covert said he is pleased to be selected as a finalist, but is also quick to give credit to his college and the station.
"We were competing with schools that are much bigger than Morningside, as well as some that are smaller," he said. "The best thing about Morningside is that they give you all of the hands-on experience that you want."
This is something that Covert clearly relishes.
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Initially involved with broadcasting at his high school, the 2017 Algona High School graduate immediately knew he wanted to pursue mass communications in college.
Since then, Covert has been the go-to guy for sports programming that airs on KMSC-FM as well as on MCTV, Morningside's cable television station.
"I've done some play-by-play stuff for sporting events," he said. "I've even done behind-the-scenes work as a director."
Still, Covert enjoys his hosting duties over everything else.
Luckily, he was able to observe how the nation's top broadcasters in the Big Apple do their jobs.
"When we were in New York for IBS, we were also able to tour stations like WCBS News Radio and WFAN Sports Radio," Covert recalled. "It was amazing how (the announcers) would be talking to us, one minute, before shifting gears and going on the air. It's pretty effortless."
Indeed, this experience has him reaching for the stars. He said doing play-by-play for the Blue Jays would be a dream job.
Or, perhaps, Covert can do a show that combines sports scores with a little Billy Joel.
"Well, you have to admit that Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start the Fire' is a classic," he said.