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Walk into the reception area of Entercom Upstate Radio and you’re likely to hear anything from Katy Perry to Dave Ramsey to Adele to Rush, both the band and the political commentator. Entercom Upstate is the largest radio broadcaster in the Greenville area and boasts the largest cluster of stations in the state including 93.3 the Planet, B93.7, Magic 98.9, Classic Rock 101.1, 106.3 WORD, and ESPN Upstate, the newest station in the lineup.
But amidst the rock and roll and conservative talk radio is a strong heartbeat pumping inside the company. Entercom has a long reputation of philanthropy and charitable partnerships with local nonprofit organizations. “One of the things the company believes in, and I believe in, is that as a broadcaster you serve the public,” says Steve Sinicropi, Entercom Upstate’s vice- president and market president.
“So part of what you do in serving the public is touch on the needs of the public. That means getting involved with your local community and supporting the things that are important to the community.”
One of the largest charitable projects Entercom undertakes is the annual Radiothon, benefiting the GHS Children’s Hospital. “The Children’s Hospital is near and dear to our heart,” says Sinicropi. “It’s great to have an asset like that here.”
As a father of three, including twins, Sinicropi knows first hand what it’s like to be a parent watching a child fight for life. “I have a son who was born premature and who spent time in a neonatal intensive care unit in Milwaukee,” he says. “So I’ve got some personal experience with that and I understand what parents go through when they have some scary times and face those challenges.”
This year, the two-day Radiothon raised more than $330,000 for Children’s Hospital. “That makes our total since we’ve been doing this in excess of $2 million dollars,” says Sinicropi. “I’m very proud of our team and the work they put in there and I’m very thankful that we have so many listeners and advertisers that support it.”
Another organization that is dear to Entercom’s heart is the Blood Connection. “We do the Rock and Roll Up Your Sleeve Blood Drive,” says Sinicropi. “It’s a multi-day event and the largest blood drive the Blood Connection does all year. We promote it with our stations and our employees really get behind it.”
Entercom also works closely with “Guard Your Life” an organization that provides half-day driving clinics for teens at the BMW Performance Center. “Teenagers can go through this program for free,” says Sinicropi. “They get an education from the professional drivers at the BMW Performance Center, and then the kids actually go out and drive while they are supervised by the professionals on a distracted driving course, a stopping exercise course, and on a skid pad. It’s pretty cool because they are driving shiny new BMWs and learning skills that could save their life in some sort of difficult driving situation.”
Entercom supports many other charities including the March of Dimes and the annual Beach Ball, and Sinicropi admits that being in the broadcasting business yields many requests from local charities. “Almost everyone who has a fundraiser crosses our door,” he says. “And we try to help out in the ways that we can. We try to rise to the occasion and help make the Upstate an even better place to live.”
COMMUNITY GARDEN // Meet the other fourth annual Charitable Giving Award recipients.