SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — WSOU 89.5 FM, Seton Hall University’s legendary radio station, welcomed two new inductees into the station’s Hall of Fame on April 5: Joe Garifo ’72 and Matt DeVoti ’84. In addition, Clayton Collier ’16 was presented with the WSOU Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.
The WSOU Hall of Fame and Young Alumnus Award honor distinguished alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions and recognizes their involvement with SHU’s radio station. Inductees are chosen based on their professional accomplishments, WSOU student career activities, service to WSOU and SHU after graduation, support of current students, personal examples of servant leadership and involvement with alumni activities.
“This year, our inductees are highly reflective of the WSOU experience and the type of alumni we produce,” said Mark Maben, the station’s general manager. “Matt’s career spans virtually even facet of broadcasting — DJ, promotions, sales, marketing, management, voiceover talent and more. Joe’s record as a news director, public affairs officer and educator is exemplary, and Clayton’s rising star demonstrates that WSOU remains at the forefront of training students for 21st-century media careers.”
Through a storied career, DeVoti has had many unique experiences. From asking Paul McCartney to play at his wedding — he said no — to singing “You’re So Vain” with Carly Simon over dinner in New York City, to waiting with two contest winners at Linden Airport for a “July 4th City Tour on the Pizza Hut Blimp,” only to discover it had just crashed on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, DeVoti’s years in the business have been filled with surprises.
DeVoti’s resume features on-camera work and being the voice of ESPN Classic & National TV commercials. He also earned top ratings as an Adult Contemporary Radio programmer and air personality at WOBM-FM in the 1980s. His on-air history also includes other formats such as syndicated “Smooth Jazz” with SW Networks and rock radio in New York at both WNEW-FM and WAXQ throughout the 1990s, where his midday show at Q104.3 had the largest rock radio audience in the country. He has also enjoyed management positions in production, marketing and sales at WNEW-FM, WDHA/WMTR, 1010 WINS and now Altice Media. In 2012 DeVoti was named Sales Manager of the Year at the National Association of Broadcasters radio convention in Dallas. In 2008, he joined the WSOU advisory board, and since 2013 has directed the WSOU Endowed Student Scholarship Fund.
“It just felt right returning to my roots and helping current students continue the WSOU legacy in their own way,” said DeVoti, who is currently the sales manager at Altice Media’s News 12 New Jersey & Central New Jersey Optimum Systems.
Garifo, an adjunct professor at Seton Hall’s College of Communication and the Arts for more than 20 years, has worked for WRDI-WRDR-FM in Hammonton, WMTR in Morristown and WDHA-FM in Dover as a news writer, reporter, sports director and news director. He was honored by the New Jersey Association of Counties for Outstanding News Reporting by a Broadcast Journalist. Garifo was the public information director for Morris County for 24 years and played an instrumental role in reconstituting the Morris County Tourism Bureau, serving as the Visitor’s Center’s first president. At Seton Hall, Garifo also worked at WSOU as a DJ and newscaster. He was on the student board of directors as a junior and senior, serving as director of announcing and assistant program director as a junior and program director during his senior year. As the assistant program director, he oversaw the station’s first morning program, called “In the Morning,” which consisted of news, weather, traffic and folk and soft rock. He served on the original WSOU Student Scholarship Committee and is a member of the Anniversary Dinner Committee and the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He currently resides in West Orange.
Collier is a sports anchor/reporter for ABC Local 24 and CW30 in Memphis, Tenn., where he covers the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and Division I football and basketball with the Memphis Tigers. Collier also co-hosts Sonic High School Sports Blast, a weekly 30-minute preps sports program on CW30. Prior to Memphis, Clayton was a weekend sports anchor at KFYR-TV in Bismarck, N.D., covering everything from high school sports to the North Dakota State Bison to the rodeo. As the sports director for WSOU 89.5 FM, he provided play-by-play commentary for Seton Hall men’s and women’s basketball games, including the Pirates’ 2016 BIG EAST Championship win over Villanova.