Guam – The community gathered on Sunday to bid a final farewell to local media icon Jon Anderson in a solemn memorial held at Jeff Pirates’ Cove in Talofofo on Sunday.
For many island residents, the sound of Jon Anderson’s voice brought calm in the midst of a storm. He was known as “The Father of Talk Radio.”
“Something about his voice I mean he had that perfect radio voice where it commands attention and says, hey, listen to me because I have something important to say,” said Sen. Louise Muna “And I think one of the things that I really learned listening to Jon all the years of his career that he knew exactly how to get the point across in so little time. I think that’s one of the things I learned to do on radio is just try to maximize your message with as little words as possible.”
Anderson was an inspiration for many in broadcast journalism.
“I met Jon through work. I was one of the first few reporters of Micronesian descent. I remember meeting Jon at a Spelling Bee while I was working at Pacific Daily News as an education reporter,” said Oyal Ngirairikl, former communications director and now an editor at the Guam Daily Post. “I remember that he was so stoked that we had young Palauans, young Micronesians who were breaking into the industry so to speak and he had such great words of encouragement for me. Of course I was a little star struck.”
Anderson’s professionalism and dedication to keeping the island informed left a lasting impact on radio listeners on Guam.
“Jon and I go way back to 1989 so this is the 30th year of Jon bringing me on island for seminars and training. First came on a company called PSI seminars for the kids information then it was partners in excellence then it was mastery and performance and we’ve touched literally thousands of lives on island as a result of the connection,” said Dan Dore.
Anderson’s legacy will be carried on through the Jon A. Anderson Journalism Scholarship, which was launched Sunday by the University of Guam.
The scholarship program will be offered to those interested in pursuing a career journalism.
“Guam needs truth-tellers and truth-seekers. The Jon A. Anderson Journalism Scholarship is our collective way of supporting this belief, and honoring a man who illustrated it perfectly,” said Rex Sorensen, CEO of the Sorensen Media Group, which Anderson helped found.
The tuition assistance program, created by Anderson’s family as a tribute to the Father of Talk Radio on Guam, will be supported through the UOG Endowment Foundation. Once fully implemented, the scholarship will allow aspiring newspaper reporters, television broadcasters, and talk show hosts to be mentored and educated by the very best in the field.
“Jon had such a big impact on my career, and I can’t think of a better way to pay his generosity forward by ensuring a bright future in journalism on Guam,” said Patti Arroyo, who co-hosted Newstalk K57’s flagship morning show with Jon for 10 years. “I encourage his colleagues in media, and anyone who was touched by the sound of his voice, to donate if they can.
The UOG Endowment Foundation is accepting donations for the program.
The scholarship is not the only tribute made to the media giant. This morning, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt Gov. Josh Tenorio conferred Anderson with a posthumous Ancient Order of Chamorri award, the highest civilian honor bestowed on a non-native resident of Guam. The award was presented to Anderson’s family.