Andy Nash: King of The LION
If you are a fan of Penn State’s radio station The LION 90.7fm, you may have come across the show “Radio Free Penn State.” If you happen to be a fan of this long-running, public affairs talk show, you may have noticed that it’s host, Andy Nash, has manned the helm for longer than any undergraduate could possibly remain in college (at least without trying really hard not to succeed). In order to crack this mystery, let’s take a journey into the life of Andy Nash.
Nash began his career at The LION in 1995, leading an evening show every night, and became involved in a public affairs show called “Point Counterpoint,” in 1997. At the time, Nash was very displeased with the “copy and paste” style of Penn State news outlets like The Daily Collegian.
“There was no question of authority,” Nash said. He recalled attending a Fireside Discussion with [Grandpa] Graham Spanier. As the conversation ambulated through a variety of issues, the majority present mindlessly nodded. Nash, on the other hand, began asking hard questions, which resulted in a flushed Spanier; the audience of journalism students/ sorority girls baffled by someone having the audacity to challenge the school president.
Nash desired to initiate a show that was raw, aggressive, and full of irreverence, and so in 1999 “Radio Free Penn State,” was born. Now, over 11 years later, Nash has interviewed an impressive list of guests, including figures like Senator Pat Toomey, Ann Coulter, and Dinesh D’Souza . An independent-minded conservative libertarian (“I’m not in a camp, I’m not following some herd,”), Nash has sought to analyze pressing local issues (and, at times, issues at large) on his show in a Bull Session-esque manner. “The spirit in which we challenge things was not to push an agenda per say, but to honestly question things that are not being questioned, or not questioned in a robust way,” he said.
Nash has also assumed a position as an advisor at the station, helping guard against potential pit falls and other obstacles thrown at the station. The LION, being an entirely student-run station, lacks any full time employees to ensure the passing down of information from year to year. Nash has attempted to fill this void, but solely as a volunteer, helping out in any way that he can through acts like hosting training session 3-4 weeks every semester.
On January 3, 2011, Nash launched “Inside Academia,” a weekly web video program that provides an introspective look into the issues of the college academics and lifestyle.
Nash’s extensive role in the Penn State radio sphere has been nothing short of a thrill for him. “I really believe in what I am doing. I would never second guess it. I will keep doing it as long as it feels right,” he said.
Nash also offered a few tips to the student’s of Penn State:
- Don’t be intellectually lazy. Always be a thinking person; always be a creative person.
- Consider your college experience as more than a consumer exchange. Work to develop good character and fellowship amongst students.
- Learn how to drink. Not don’t drink, learn how to drink.
You can tune into “Radio Free Penn State,” on 90.7 FM weekdays from 5-6 pm, and check out a new webisode of “Inside Academia,” every Sunday night.
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