April 02, 2013
The music industry has certainly changed over the past decade,
and Ed Franke ’88SVC has had a front-row seat.
“The landscape today is drastically different,” explained Franke,
who previously worked for over 20 years in a variety of roles at
Sony, Warner Brothers, Universal and other music labels. “Today,
people consume their music for free, because everything is digital.
Years ago, however, it used to be prestigious to own a record or a
CD. Boy, times have changed, and now people just seem to want to
spend their 10 or 20 dollars elsewhere.”
As the industry declined, Franke found himself looking for a new
job and, ultimately, a new career. And thanks to his versatile St.
John’s education, he seamlessly transitioned into the radio
industry and currently serves as Account Executive at 95.5 WPLJ-FM, one of New York’s most
popular pop-music stations. Working in the Marketing and Sales
Departments, Franke uses his vast knowledge of the music industry
to ensure that the station continues to grow financially.
“I love what I do,” Franke said. “Every day is so much fun, and –
believe me – I understand how fortunate I am. Music’s digital
explosion really took off maybe three years ago, when computers and
tablets became more accessible than ever. So I’ve seen a lot of
friends and colleagues lose their jobs because of it – I’m just
glad that I’ve been able to translate my knowledge to the world of
Franke’s successful career shift is hardly a surprise. During his
student years, he was incredibly active in extracurricular
activities, serving as Events Director of the on-campus
WSJU radio station and as Executive Officer of
Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity.
“The organizations I participated in had a huge impact on me,” he
said. “In fact, I’m still involved with the guys at TKE as the
President of the Alumni Board of Directors. The fraternity is still
doing well on campus, and it’s very rewarding to stay involved and
meet all the different generations of guys throughout the years,
watching them develop and succeed in their respective
Today, Franke is no stranger to the Queens campus, coming back
whenever he can to participate in events and assist current
students. He recently served as Keynote Speaker at the Alumni
Insider’s View…Speed Networking program, sharing his insight on how
to build a professional network.
“I’m glad to come back and speak to students, especially in light
of my recent career change,” he noted. “After all, I was in the
exact same shoes as these students not long ago, looking for a job
and switching my industry. I hope I provided them with valuable
advice and served as a good role model, as these students get set
to graduate and hit the job market themselves.”
And if you ever need to find Franke, look no further than a St.
John’s Men’s Basketball game. A lifelong Johnnies fan, he attends
just about every home game, cheering on the team as he mingles with
friends and former classmates.
“I grew up locally here in Queens, so my parents would take me to
St. John’s games all the time,” he said. “That was part of my
decision to come here as a student, and it’s a decision I’m so glad
He added, “And to have the chance to come back to campus today and
help students? You can always count me in.”