Local listeners knew him as Nick Bazoo, host of a radio program on WOWY 97.1 FM. Colleagues knew Nicholas Ferrara Jr. as a tremendous talent that was passionate about radio and mentoring younger people entering the profession
Ferrara, 59, died Friday evening in an automobile accident in Harrison County, Miss., the Sun Herald of Biloxi-Gulfport reported. He retired from Results Radio 18 months ago, where he worked locally as a host and operations manager and moved to Gulfport to be closer to family.
He had a long career in radio that began in New Orleans in the 1980s. He also worked in other major markets, like San Francisco and Pittsburgh, before arriving in Happy Valley.
Steve Hilton, radio personality with B94.5, worked with Ferrara locally and knew him for 10 years. Despite having a wealth of experience and working with notable figures in radio over the years, Hilton said Ferrara was humble and down to Earth. He was a “walking encyclopedia” that could rattle off not only song titles and artists but also trivia about the music he played, like the year songs were released and their peak chart positions.
Ferrara was also willing to help and coach newcomers to the business. He worked with interns from the College of Communication at Penn State and told them to always believe in and be themselves. The advice motivated and helped many to succeed, Hilton said.
Cody Robinson, on-air personality with NOW 100.5 in Sacramento, Calif., worked with Ferrara as an intern at WOWY in spring 2011. Ferrara took her under his wing and taught her how to be a disc jockey, she said.
“If it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today,” she said.
She said that while his personality really came out on the air, he was quiet and shy in person. He had a great desire to pass on the things he knew to others and wanted them to succeed, she added.
He was the kind of person that meant it when he said he would help you out if he could, Hilton said.
“He was probably one of the kindest hearted people you’d want to meet,” Hilton said.
Radio was Ferrara’s passion and loved the people he met through the airwaves, both colleagues and fans alike.
“He lived for his listeners,” Hilton said. “Some people called in every day and it made his day to hear from them.”