State grant to fund major upgrade of broadcasting facilities

Image of students practicing field productionThe facilities of SUNY Oswego’s Lanigan Hall and the opportunities in its broadcasting program will receive a major upgrade through an $875,000 state grant secured by state Sen. James W. Wright.

“By updating these facilities we are providing students an opportunity to learn on state-of-the-art equipment. This will help prepare them for a seamless transition into the workplace since they are learning on current tools of the trade,” said Wright, a 1971 SUNY Oswego alumnus.

Fritz Messere, professor and chair of communication studies at SUNY Oswego, said the funding will enable the college to move purposefully into the digital age with high-definition cameras and production and editing equipment.

“We’ve only had two studio cameras functioning for the past 10 years, so now we’re hoping to start up interview shows that can be broadcast to the campus and community,” he said. With a renovated Studio A receiving the new wide-screen technology, the current equipment will allow the department to put Studio B back into use.

Broadcasting faculty member Doug Smart has revamped the curriculum to put greater emphasis on long-form productions such as sitcoms, dramas and musicals, and the studio capacity to produce these shows will augment the learning process, Messere said.

The grant will help the department move the Poucher Hall radio lab and the Wilber Hall graphic arts labs, where some layout courses are taught, into Lanigan Hall.

“For the first time, we’ll have all of our facilities clustered together, which should make for a much better teaching environment,” Messere said.

In addition, the online publication produced in the Journalism 319 class can go multimedia as originally envisioned. The integrated facilities and addition of Eileen Gilligan to teach the online journalism course and run the Center for Community Journalism will give the program another huge boost, Messere said.

Renovations will begin this summer, with spring 2006 the target date for the new television facilities and fall of that year for opening the radio lab. “There are a lot of things happening in Lanigan in the next year that will be exciting,” Messere said.

“Oswego’s broadcasting program is one of our best known, having produced Al Roker for NBC, anchors for ESPN and CNN, and many executives behind the scenes,” SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said. “To keep producing graduates of this caliber, we need facilities in line with the latest industry standards, and these funds will provide them,” she added, thanking Wright.

The senator noted the importance of the program to the community. “SUNY Oswego is an outstanding local resource,” Wright said. “By ensuring that its programs are of the highest quality, we are investing not only in the college and its future but the future of the whole Oswego community.”

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(Posted: May 04, 2005)