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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Radio

Marywood University lit its big Christmas tree one week ago.  See Friday's blog entry for the skinny on that.

I don't attend reunions or other Marywood events, but I do hit the tree lighting every year.  It's a pattern.  I'll grab a diet soda and veg in the student center, Nazareth Hall, for a moment.  Wander through the book store.  Hit the library.  Pop in to the radio and TV stations.  Say hello to a classmate working in one of the offices.  Go to the Rotunda.  Socialize.  Watch the tree lighting.  Photos.  More socialization.  Home.

This year was different on a few fronts.  There was no Nazareth Hall visit.  I was watching the San Bernadino coverage at home and got a late start to Marywood.

The library of my era is closed and awaits the bulldozers.  I will miss it.  I tried doing the math.  College is in session for roughly 40 weeks out of the year.  Four years of school.  Two or three library visits a week.  The library had a circular design, and no matter how many times I visited, I always got lost.

The radio and TV stations are in a new home, deep below the new library.  When I paid my tree lighting day visit last year, I wrote here how it was likely my last time in the rooms where I got my start, a long, long time ago.  Great memories.

I got a tour of the new digs Friday afternoon.  It's spectacular.  The radio control room is above.  I was in a rush and didn't have time to snap off photos in the television area.  Any commercial operation would be envious of what the Marywood students now have to work with.

I'll stand by comments made in this space in the past.  The lack of live and local programming troubles me.  It's unfortunate that the radio and tv operation is so far out of sight. It seems like radio skews heavily toward being an automated jukebox rather than training broadcasters.

There is an area here called "the newsroom."  There was nothing going on during my visit.  That could be because the radio station is just playing music.  The control room wasn't ready for humans yet.

I thought of my day and how the radio/tv area was always buzzing with students.  It was the social center for broadcasters, especially when some big news event was going on.   You should have been there the afternoon President Reagan was shot in 1981.  Half of us were gathered around a television in the cable control room.  The rest were clustered around the Associated Press teletype.  The instructor practically had to drag me away from it.

I gave it some thought, and how smart phones have put the world in your pocket.  If you wanted to learn about San Bernadino, all you had to do is pull out your phone.  There's no need for a student to go to the office, so to speak.

Most of the people at Marywood are very aware of the critical things written here in the past, and most were nice, cordial, and pleasant during my visit nonetheless.

You might be wondering about why I'm a hard arse about live and local, plus news on college stations.  I do realize that not everyone wants to go in to news.  Students have to know that most of the jobs, especially the entry level jobs, are in the information side of things.  That's how you'll pay the bills until you get that chance to be an independent film producer.

Students have been handed a first class facility.  I sincerely hope they are guided to make the best use of it.