For 40 years, Jim Bishop has had his hands in all forms of local media.
And while he aims to stick around for a bit longer, he says next week will mark the beginning of the end.
On Jan. 7, the 65-year-old Belmont Estates resident will give his final broadcast of “Friday Night Jukebox” on WEMC’s 91.7FM, which he has hosted weekly for nearly 11 years.
Bishop began the music show in February 2000 at the suggestion of a former WEMC station manager. The 1950s music program, which runs between 8 and 9 p.m., features Bishop’s personal music library. He started collecting vinyl records in 1956, when he was in the sixth-grade.
“I’ve always loved radio and I always wanted to do something with it,” Bishop said. “I jumped on it because I really enjoyed it. It’s been my escape valve and I’m going to miss it.”
As public information officer for Eastern Mennonite University, Bishop is often quoted in local media outlets about the school. He’s also the author of “Bishop’s Mantle,” a weekly column in the Daily News-Record, and the host of the Saturday morning EMU activities report on WBTX 1470AM.
Bishop has written the DN-R column for more than 20 years and has also contributed essays on health and wellness for Rockingham Memorial Hospital’s magazine, RMH HealthQuest, and a regular column for the Mennonite Weekly Review, a church newspaper in Kansas.
“These things are not things I was planning to do,” Bishop said. “They just happened and I enjoyed them very much.”
Bishop will retire from EMU on June 30, completing his 40th year at the school.
He hasn’t yet made any decisions about his column writing, but plans to continue freelance writing and traveling around the United States. He’s always wanted to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Graceland and the California coast.
“I never had a big audience but the people who listened were very loyal,” Bishop said. “I got requests from all over, including one I always got by mail. He also sent me a birthday and Christmas card every year.”