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Radio transitions into digital only

By Joel Wright
On November 16, 2009

Radio and broadcasting at Ottawa University is undergoing a transformation this year.

After being an analog radio station since its start, the broadcasting group will be making the digital leap to streaming internet radio. Shannon Dyer, the chair of the division of communications studies and interim adviser to the radio station, is excited about the switch.

"This is probably the most influential time to take radio," Dyer said. "Students have more input now than later students will because they're designing the class."

The class suffered its initial change when long-time teacher Galen Bunning, who also held a position in the alumni office, took a job as director of annual giving at Bethany College in August.

"Initially I didn't know Bunning left," Jeff Savage, Sophomore co-manager said. "It all kind of changed especially with numbers in the class being down."

Sophomore Kailey Honeycutt, who also is co-manager in the class, felt the changes were unexpected, but enjoyable.

"It's been a challenge this semester because changing has been something new and definitely intriguing," Honeycutt said.

Dyer said she figured it was the best time to make the transition. All of the computers were taken off air and reconfigured with new software. Students are also responsible for writing a chapter of the manual that will be used in the future for the class.

"Classes like (radio) are student run," Dyer said. "Students will be able to produce their own shows, and all of our students will have an opportunity to call a game."

According to Dyer, Ottawa University radio should be online by the first couple of weeks in the spring semester, and there are some big plans set in place, for then and on into next year. Setting up educational programming and having more variety in music are possibilities, to mention a few.

"We're experimenting with covering sports besides just football and basketball, starting with soccer," Dyer said. "Also we'll be looking at making creative and original ‘webisodes,' so we can do a little video with radio."

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