Getting to know Ian Bush, the first graduate of the Villanova Communication Graduate Program

By Nicole Puccio, Junior Communication Major with Public Relations Specialization


I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Ian Bush about his time at Villanova University and his career. Bush is currently an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor at KYW Newsradio.  Additionally, and quite notably, Bush was the first ever graduate from the Villanova Graduate Program in Communication in May 2006 after receiving a Bachelor’s degree from Villanova, where he also majored in Communication. Bush said, “I didn’t feel I could do better than the familiar, welcoming, and intellectually challenging environment I’d enjoyed throughout my undergraduate career at Villanova.  The chance to get in on the ground floor of the new program was exciting, as was the chance to continue working with many wonderfully talented professors whose work wowed me.”  Bush appreciated what he learned from Villanova’s theoretical-practical approach, in which he thought critically about the ‘who, what, where, why, and how’ unlike some of his colleagues and competitors who received only practical training in journalism.

With an interest in radio dating back to before his time at Villanova, Bush started his work in the industry as an undergrad. In fact, he even remembers touring Villanova’s radio studio during Candidates’ Weekend. As early as his freshman year, Bush was involved at WXVU, Villanova’s student-run radio station. He did a half-hour news show followed by a four-hour music show on Friday nights.  During this time, he realized that he didn’t want to be a music DJ, but rather focus on reporting news. Additionally, he also volunteered as a station host at a public radio station in Bethlehem, Pa, while he was in prep school.  He read the weather, traffic, and local news during the local breaks and did some documentary work. His background helped launch him into a career in radio. Bush spoke about how he got his start at KYW: “A Villanova professor told me of a Broadcast Pioneers event at NBC 10 in Philadelphia.  It was there that I met then-KYW garden reporter (and legendary TV weatherman) Herb Clarke.  He introduced me to KYW’s program director, and I started an internship during my sophomore year.  2013 will mark my 11th year at KYW.”

Bush said that he doesn’t have a “typical” workday.  He said, “One day, I’m anchoring midday news broadcasts, taking live reports from our correspondents in Rome and Washington, DC, and hosting our ‘Reporters Roundup’ programs.  The next, I’m out on the street, jostling for position in a scrum of reporters questioning police about a threat to a mayor.”  Some of his most memorable days would be talking to shore residents days after Hurricane Sandy, or being on a bloody scene in rural Montgomery County in the middle of the night.  Some happier stories that he remembers working on are senior citizens learning from high school students how to tweet, and a South Philly woman who swears she saw Jesus on her vertical blinds.  Bush said he really couldn’t pick a favorite.

Before I finished my interview with Bush, I wanted to see if the first Communication Graduate Program graduate could give any advice to current Communication majors.  Bush quickly answered, “Internships — get them.  Before you graduate — apart from enjoying college life — LIVE your desired field.”  He said students should really think about the career they want to be in and try to get the real-world experience.  “And whether you’re interested in journalism, PR, crisis communications, research — anything, really — write well and economically.  There is no greater skill, besides knowing how to create a perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

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