Dan Gaffney will celebrate his 30th anniversary in broadcasting in early August, but he says it was not his first choice in careers. After finishing high school, he said he planned to move to New York City to pursue a career in acting.
“I wanted to be a stage actor,” Mr. Gaffney said. “But someone convinced me I would starve to death so I reasoned that working on radio is like an acting job only more stable.” Originally from Ohio, Mr. Gaffney moved to Delaware in 1986 to work as a radio host and program director in Rehoboth Beach. Over the past 30 years, he has worked in Rehoboth as well as at WAFL in Milford before accepting his current position at Delaware 105.9.
Since he began in broadcasting three decades ago, Mr. Gaffney said that radio has changed technically and competitively. However, he says that the concept of one-on-one communications is the same and the power of the medium has not changed. He said that the human voice to the human ear is the “most natural way” to connect with people.
“I believe radio delivery will migrate to the internet and a frequency controlled by the FCC will soon go away,” Mr. Gaffney said. “The need for a transmitter, tower and brick and mortar will vanish. My advice for anyone who wants to enter this business is to go ahead and start. If you have an internet connection and a smart phone, you are already on the air. Find a passion and start broadcasting.”
Mr. Gaffney says that his greatest accomplishments were not behind a microphone. He feels his greatest accomplishment is finding a woman like his wife, Becky, and “our eight beautiful children.” He said that the challenges he has faced over the years have been his own failures and faults.
“The best part about my job is talking with people and drawing out honest opinions from them,” Mr. Gaffney said. “I live broadcast every day on radio. My show is also carried locally on Mycozi TV on cable in Sussex County and throughout Maryland on Comcast 204 and Mediacom 99, so I am not just a voice behind the dials of the radio. I also can be seen on television.”
Mr. Gaffney, whose show covers many local news topics, some of which can be controversial, was instrumental in correcting signs posted on Milford School District property written in Spanish. The signs incorrectly stated that police action could be taken if fields were used without permission, something the English versions of the signs did not say. The district removed the signs and replaced them with the correct wording after Mr. Gaffney brought attention to the issue on his radio show. The issue gained national attention for a short period.
Listeners can tune into Mr. Gaffney’s show every weekday on WXDE “Delaware 105.9 FM from 5:30 to 9 AM.