WPSU Board Member Spotlight: John Pozza

The WPSU Board of Representatives is an advisory board of community members that gather on a regular basis to advise the station on programming and other activities. In this blog post series, WPSU Board Member Spotlight, we sit down with these individuals and discuss their love of public broadcasting and its impact in the communities throughout the viewing area.

John Pozza is originally from Philadelphia but grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania in Oil City, the former headquarters of the Pennzoil and Quaker State oil companies. He has always had an interest in broadcast news and sports and attended West Virginia University, where he studied under former CBS foreign correspondent Frank Kearns and former WLS Chicago reporter/broadcaster and WTAE Pittsburgh news director Herb Morrison of Hindenburg-disaster fame.

He was fortunate to get his first news/broadcast job as the Morgantown bureau chief and weekend/substitute weekday anchor for WBOY-TV, the NBC Nexstar–owned affiliate in Clarksburg, WV. He was later assigned to be the station’s sports director/anchor covering the WVU Mountaineers, often working beside fellow WVU alum Jack Fleming, the former voice of the West Virginia Mountaineers and Pittsburgh Steelers. John later moved to the New Jersey Sportsline network in Atlantic City and Philadelphia as a sports reporter covering Big 5 college basketball, the NBA’s Sixers, MLB’s Phillies, the former Stars of the USFL, and championship boxing in Atlantic City.

John moved to Brookville in north-central PA, operating his own news bureau and syndicating news stories for newspapers, radio, TV, and online services in the region.

He later became an early learning outreach specialist and Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System instructor for Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality and the Region 1 Early Learning Resource Center, based in Erie.

He is the author of three books: his memoir, Was Anybody Really Listening?; Conversations on The Neighborhood: Fred Rogers’ Lasting Legacy; and the soon-to-be-released Summer of ‘66, about living with his grandparents in Philadelphia as a young boy and discovering his family ancestry.

What inspired you to begin volunteering at WPSU?

I have been a WPSU board member since about 2019, but I was also involved with WPSU as a community volunteer for two Our Town productions in Brookville. I have always been involved in broadcasting — radio, TV, and online/digital — because of its ability to reach and impact a wide audience of viewers and listeners. I specifically volunteer as a host of the WPSU Jazz Show because of my love of all kinds of music, but jazz in particular. When I lived in the Philadelphia area, I was a long-time listener of WRTI-FM, the public jazz station based at Temple University. I am also a musician and play drums for a contemporary Christian band at St. Tobias Catholic Church in Brockway.

What WPSU programming do you connect with the most?

I connect with most of the news and public affairs programs, both locally and through NPR. My favorites are All Things Considered and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Terry has an uncanny ability to connect with her many diverse interview subjects to put them at ease, despite asking difficult questions. In television, I enjoy Masterpiece, specifically the series All Creatures Great & Small (my wife and I are both animal advocates); American Masters; and Conversations Live.

How do you see WPSU positively impacting the communities throughout Central Pennsylvania?

WPSU’s reach is quite astounding given its signal strength and ability to reach several counties in central and northern Pennsylvania. Its educational outreach is particularly impressive, providing learning materials for teachers and students. This was particularly noticeable during the COVID-19 pandemic when children were not in their classrooms.

What do you wish people knew about WPSU?

I want people to know not only how tremendously talented and outgoing the staff is, but also how all-encompassing the services and outreach WPSU provides to every community it serves are. This is not possible without members supporting these services. WPSU is so much more than a television and radio station.