Two decades after graduating from Fordham and launching a media career that took him from Sirius Satellite Radio to Amazon Music, where he oversaw catalog programming globally, Rich McLaughlin, FCRH ’01, GABELLI ’10, has returned to his roots.

In June, he was named program director at WFUV (90.7 FM,, the University’s public media service, succeeding the late Rita Houston.

“Rich is uniquely qualified for this role,” said Chuck Singleton, WFUV’s general manager, citing McLaughlin’s blend of terrestrial, digital, and streaming radio experience. “His accomplishments speak directly to the transition WFUV and the wider industry is experiencing. Rich’s leadership will be a booster shot for our content development and programming outreach to diverse new audiences.”

McLaughlin, who earned a bachelor’s degree and an M.B.A. from Fordham, gave listeners a sense of his musical taste when he joined Paul Cavalconte, FCRH ’83, as guest co-host of Cavalcade, Cavalconte’s Sunday evening show, on June 13.

He kicked things off with what Cavalconte called a set of “fist-pump-in-the-air great New York songs”—from “An Open Letter to NYC” by the Beastie Boys to Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx” to St. Vincent’s “New York”—before playing a song in memory of Houston, his former mentor and WFUV’s longtime program director, music director, and DJ who died of ovarian cancer last December after 26 years at the station.

“Rita’s last show was poignant and touching, to say the least,” McLaughlin said, noting that “until the very last song, which happened to be ‘In My Time on Earth’ by the Waterboys,” she was committed to introducing listeners to new music. “And so I thought I’d play her a Waterboys song to start off my stint at WFUV.”

The song he played, “The Whole of the Moon,” with its refrain, “I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon,” was a fitting tribute to the woman who took him under her wing when he was an undergraduate working at the station.

“WFUV’s rich history and culture is steeped in its training mission,” McLaughlin said. “The education I received from Rita is evidence of her mission accomplished.”

McLaughlin also spoke about the sense of community that unites the station’s staff, listeners, and donors—and he and Cavalconte underscored the station’s commitment to music discovery. “I love the fact that we are music discovery on all fronts,” Cavalconte said, “not just for brand-new music but also deep dives into the past.”

And they both said they’re looking forward to a return to live events, particularly for WFUV’s marquee members. “I think it’s going to be very special,” McLaughlin said.


Ryan Stellabotte is the Senior Editorial Director of FORDHAM magazine. He can be reached at 212-636-6537 or [email protected].