Return of Rider: The Student Has Become the Teacher



Photo provided by: @RadioRider31
Photo provided by: @RadioRider31
Bryan Ready

Michael “Mike” Rider, an alumnus from Lewis and Clark Community College and imaging director at ESPN, has returned to teach as production teacher of the very program he graduated from: The L&C Radio Broadcasting program and WLCA radio station.

From his early childhood, Rider has always wanted to be in radio. He would do mock radio shows and interviews and had a deep interest in music. Claiming that he couldn’t sing or play an instrument, he felt radio was the place for him to go.

“I loved it,” Rider said. “I knew it was something that I was excelling at and it helped me mature and become myself.”

He even went as far as crediting a teacher within the program for the success he’s had in professional radio.

“My teacher for production was Tim Albright, and he got me the internship with The River,” Rider said. “After my internship, I was hired as an on-air personality on 101.1 HD2 station called I-Channel. After 101 flipped formats, my knowledge of radio and other positions landed me a job as a board op at 101 ESPN.”

Another one of Rider’s teachers, current station manager for WLCA and a long time teacher within the program, Michael Lemons said, “Mike was an exceptional student. Many of my memories of Mike come from his work as the station’s music director. Mike’s preparation and attention to detail was quite remarkable.”

Lemons went on to explain why he chose Rider for this position.

“The person who had taught the class for several years took another career path and his new schedule would not allow time for teaching,” Lemons said. “I knew that Mike had been progressively climbing the ladder at 101.1 ESPN and that he was doing the station’s imaging. He had been thinking about teaching for some time and was excited about the opportunity.”

Rider welcomed the challenge.

“It was something I’ve always wanted to do,” Rider said. “After years in radio, I found that I enjoyed training new employees. I also wanted to give back to a program that I owe so much to. If it wasn’t for WLCA I wouldn’t be where I am today. I just hope I can have as big of an impact on my students that my former instructors had on me.”

For those who want to know more about WLCA go to or contact Mike Lemons at (618) 468-4940 or

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