10222017Headline:

Editorial Reply — The End Does Not Have To Be

Editorial by Dan Brown ‘83

The recent announcement of the termination of the TV production program at Delgado is very troubling. While Delgado has many high-quality educational programs, the TV program is one that allows students to combine technology and the arts in a format where they can explore TV and radio, better form their personal vision and become not only a more competent contributing member to society with a new skill-set but a happier adult that can enjoy better dialogue with fellow man.

In this program, students get a chance to create video products that they can be proud of. As we all have experienced the reduction in print readership due to the splintering media effects of the Internet, video media can tell a compelling and adaptable story, whether that story is viewed on an old-fashioned TV set, OTT or web-streaming to a smartphone through Facebook Live. TV and radio enable social dialogue.

As a side benefit, the state of the art file-based HDTV production center and radio station (Dolphin Radio WXDR-LP 98.9 FM) enables the creation of official Delgado communications, such as training videos, announcements, and graduations.

Confession: I am a friend of Mr. Bob Dunn, the TV department’s instructor, and manager. He did not ask me to write this. No one did. I attended Delgado from 1980 to 1983, studying electronics. My real love was radio, and I have since made a successful 35-year career in major market (top ten) TV and radio engineering since I graduated from the City Park campus.

I need to highlight the fact that Mr. Dunn has spent countless and tireless hours in creating not only an effective production program but a professional radio station that is available not only on the Internet but over a real FM broadcast radio frequency within the city. This took planning, technical research, design and FCC applications that are not easy to fill out — most often consultants perform this duty. Bob did it for free, most of it on his own personal time.

I call Mr. Dunn a “professor” as his decades of experience in the broadcast industry as well as his Ph.D. level education has enabled Bob to “profess” the many interesting details of television and radio to his students with high competence, humor, and interest, one that Universities usually enjoy. Mr. Dunn’s drive, experience, and education have made TV program and radio station possible, successful, and interesting.

Dolphin Radio has a very wide range of carefully organized programming that is just not found on any other radio station in New Orleans. The station is interesting to listen to as Bob continuously guides the station’s format and the students who operate it. Most people do not have the drive, interest or experience to pull these technically complex projects off, but Mr. Dunn has done so with a zeal and sense of humor that I know is unmatched at Delgado. Bob had a vision and has achieved it, at comparatively little cost to the college, due to his thrift, personal drive, and donation of time. His efforts directly benefit the college in spades.

Mr. Dunn strives for the success of his students and donates an amazing amount of personal time-evenings, weekends and summer breaks to improve the program and radio station.  I connect with his efforts and values and am proud that Delgado has modern media facilities.

With careful and well-researched budget adjustments, I feel the TV program and the radio station can and should be saved so that the program and the students will continue to thrive. Without Mr. Dunn at the helm, the program and station will languish. I know this as I have worked in the industry for over 30 years, and have seen such efforts grow under good leadership and wane under leaders who do not have the interest or vision.

The TV program and radio station has created increased confidence, community connection and well-being in the students, promoted school functions, and is a good public relations organ for the college to the city abroad. This student training and experience is usable in commercial TV, radio as well as new “social media” avenues such as web streaming and related online media. The TV program helps the students to learn how to communicate professionally and interpersonally; ways that people today have increasing difficulty. Please do not restrict the options for the success of your good students. They deserve continued opportunity, success and a vision, as does Bob.

Of course, I encourage dialogue on this subject.

Dan Brown ‘83

Boston, MA

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