Ribbon-cutting celebrates TV studio upgrade from WTVD

Students and staff gathered in the Campbell TV studio this morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating significant upgrades to the studio, courtesy of generous gifts from WTVD. The station donated valuable equipment this summer,  including a newsroom desk, pedestals, a monitor and other tools of the trade.

The studio upgrade will be used by a variety of classes and programs in the Communication Studies department, but the equipment is particularly beneficial to the students of Campbell Now! TV, a show produced by undergraduates in which students present campus events, weather and sports news while learning broadcast techniques.

Brian Bowman, communication professor and broadcasting overseer, recalled the studio before this summer’s additions. The “set” was a simple green screen, a table and two chairs, which meant that every production had a virtual background. The lighting had to be just right and often slowed things down, but the cost of a real set put it a long way off in Campbell’s future — until WTVD’s donation. Now, the department hopes to increase their live show output from one per week to three per week.

Professor Brian Bowman stands in front of the new wooden and metallic newsroom desk, speaking to an audience in a black suit.

“We want to sincerely thank WTVD for investing in our students,” said Bowman. “We are so much better off and have a lot more flexibility because of it.”

As a science professor, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Michael Wells knows how good lab equipment elevates instruction.

“This is a very generous gift and a major upgrade,” said Wells, “and I’m looking forward to seeing the polished products that come out of this lab, so to speak.”

The new equipment was put in place by campus operations staff, who constructed a space to mount the set using designs from the communication department. Many students who helped paint and add finishing touches were in attendance, including senior and Wake Up, CU morning anchor Taylor Deckert.

“Over my time at Campbell I’ve worked with the teleprompter and audio and finally made my way to reporter making packages for Campbell Now,” said Deckert, looking around the studio. “I lived in this place throughout my time at college — I took naps on that couch over there, and edited for hours and hours in that room over there — and I’m just so excited for the opportunities that new students will now have in this studio.”

Chairman and associate professor J. Dean Farmer and senior and student director Hannah Long also thanked WTVD for their gift, which will give students more real-world practice and open up opportunities to learn to think on their feet. But the staff of WTVD wanted to clarify that they expected repayment of a sort for their donation. 

“I am thrilled that we are able to do this but it is not just a gift. We have an ask. And that is that you produce some great television students,” said president and station manager Caroline Welch. “Television in the future will exist in some form, it just might not be coming out of a box like our generation experienced it. But the need for reporters who ask questions, the need for reporters who listen, the need for reporters who tell people the story objectively and don’t tell them what they should believe but let them decide what they believe is greater now than it has ever been. I look forward to this generation taking on the challenge.”