NMU broadcasting alumnus Jim Gleason (BS '90) was recently featured in a newspaper profile of his Radio Wasteland Records store, which opened in 2017 in Midland. Gleason turned a longtime collecting hobby into an entrepreneurial venture. He sells new and vintage vinyl while working to replicate the 1970s and ‘80s atmosphere of people listening to music playing on a turntable while thumbing through records.
“I had always been a record collector, went to stores in Ann Arbor and East Lansing,” said Gleason in the Laredo Morning Times spotlight. “Through college, I kept buying records here and there. After I got my job at TV6 and could afford it, I got into the more serious side of buying records. When we moved here, I cut my collection in half. In 2016, I started selling some records online. My family suggested that I should open a record store.”
Radio Wasteland Records, like many businesses, was closed for several weeks because of COVID-19.
“The closure was not a fun experience to make it through, but we did make it with curbside service and appointments,” Gleason said. “A bunch of people still discovered us through the closure and have supported us. In times of stress and change, for some people, music is an important part of their lives. Being a vinyl record store, we provide an avenue to give people something for that part of their lives. Music is essential, even if record stores aren't.”
After working in front of the camera at WLUC-TV6 in Marquette, Gleason served as a professor in Delta College's broadcasting program before starting his own business. Read his full Laredo Morning Times spotlight here.