Established in 2011, the Robert K. Zimmerman Endowment for Student Broadcasting is a permanent fund managed by The Pennsylvania State University and Penn State Media Association. The Robert K. Zimmerman Endowment’s present principal value is $30,000 and generates an average annual revenue of five percent, or approximately $1,500 a year. Half of this revenue is available each year in the form of grant money to support student broadcasting, while the other half is returned to the principal, so that the fund continues to grow over time.
At the present time, the Penn State Media Association aims to support the student broadcasting efforts of The LION 90.7fm (WKPS), The Soundtrack to Penn State, which broadcasts from State College, Pennsylvania both terrestrially and online.
The Penn State Media Association accepts applications for the Robert K. Zimmerman Endowment’s annual grant from The LION 90.7fm’s student leadership. Grants are awarded at the discretion of the Board of Directors of the Penn State Media Association based on merit and demonstration of necessity.
Robert K. Zimmerman mentored, advised, and guided The LION 90.7fm since its founding, and was loved by those who came to know him. A candid and fervent Penn Stater, Bob Zimmerman was our lion, and though we lost him in January 2007, we remember him fondly, and his spirit continues to guide our actions. This tribute show, a special extended edition of Radio Free Penn State, aired on The LION 90.7fm on Jan. 19, 2007.
About Robert K. Zimmerman
Bob Zimmerman began his broadcast career as a disc jockey at WARD (now WTLK) in Johnstown, while still in high school. He worked part-time as an announcer at WDFM while attending Penn State. In 1958, he returned to Johnstown as a radio and TV announcer. Four years later he moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as announcer, salesman, sales manager, and general manager of the all-news radio station WAVA.
In 1972, Zimmerman returned to State College. He and partner Roger Neuhoff purchased stations WRSC-AM and WQWK-FM. They expanded their holdings to thirteen stations and named the company Eastern Broadcasting Corporation. Zimmerman also opened a TV commercial production house, a cable ad sales office, and a cable videotext office. He retired as president of Tele-Media Broadcasting, the company formed from merging Eastern and Telemedia Cable.
Because of his reputation as an outstanding manager, Zimmerman was named one of America’s eleven best radio managers in the 1985 book In Search of Excellence, a study of radio management by the National Association of Broadcasters and McKinsey Company. He has been a frequent speaker at NAB meetings.
Zimmerman’s activities in the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters include sixteen years as a member of the Board of Directors. He served as PAB Joint Board Chairman in 1985. In 1991 he received the PAB Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1988, Zimmerman was designated a Paul Harris Fellow with the Rotary Humanitarian Award. He served as president of Back-the-Lions, the Visitors and Convention Bureau, the American Heart Association, and Centre Stage. He also served on the Board of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
In 1997, he was named Alumni Fellow, the Penn State Alumni Association’s highest award. He serves on the board of directors of the Mt. Nittany Conservancy and the Centre County Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. Zimmerman is past president of Penn State’s College of Communications Alumni Society and chair of the College’s Telecommunications Liaison Committee.
He is a member of the advisory board of student radio station WKPS. Zimmerman was instrumental in securing a permanent home for PAB’s Hall of Fame at Penn State.