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The Communications Department: For Top of the Line Technology

May 3rd, 2007

The television studio will be overhauled for the first time in its 13 year existence in the O’Malley Center, according to John Carroll University’s Communications and Theatre Arts Department Chair, Mary Ann Flannery.
This summer the designs for a digital studio will be implemented, which, according to Flannery, will benefit students immensely.
The plan began with the encouragement of Flannery who wanted it to be carried out for years.
With the support of administrators, including, President the Rev. Robert Niehoff and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Linda Eisenman, Flannery was able to get started in November of 2006.
“Without them it couldn’t happen.  They saw the wisdom that we needed this,” said Flannery.
To begin, they needed a design.  It wasn’t for any of the external structures but for the wiring underneath, which will be changed from analogue to digital.
“It’s like looking at the body of an automobile. It’s not the outside that makes it work. It’s what’s under the hood that matters,” said Flannery.
The effort was a combination of a committee consisting of JCU faculty, Flannery, Communications Professor Doug Bruce, Communications Professor Alan Stephenson, General Manager of the Radio Station Mark Krieger, Director of Information Services James Burke, Media Services Coordinator Lisa Lewis and Chief Project Engineer John Kenedy and his team from Patlin Design Inc.
JCU staff members did a preliminary study on what was needed to teach this new system, a requirement not needed by professional studios.
Patlin then incorporated these needs into the designs.
It took 16 drawings to lay out and plan what needed to be changed.
Everything needs rewiring from TV monitors, lighting and cameras, to the editing bays.
Flannery said three rooms will be affected by these changes which are the master control room, the technical center and the studio.
Now that John Carroll has all of the designs laid out they are looking to find another company to install it.  Although they are searching they haven’t signed a contract with anyone yet.
One area it will improve is the transferring of John Carroll’s archives.  People from all around the world request videos from the thousands of newscasts and famous events in Ohio.
For example, Flannery said that many will be requesting footage from the shooting that took place at Kent this week in 1970.  It will also make the taping and distributing of graduation tapes easier because they can just transfer the footage right onto CDs.
This technology update will be completed and in use by fall 2007.
This is good timing because all professional studios are required by the FCC to be digital by February of 2009. Students will now be exposed to technology compatible with the real world.
“That is the essential thing is that our students will learn more,” said Flannery.