New Media Production Facilities on Hold

By Mike Natoli

Staff Writer

(TEANECK) – In 2013, FDU began planning new television production facilities in Becton Hall.

It’s almost 2017, and they’re still planning.

The current studio space is more than eight years old and has been updated several times.

“Personally, I believe that having a new TV production facility would be extremely beneficial for students,” said Dr. Karen Buzzard, director of the Communications Department. “Providing students with the skills necessary to perform to the best of their ability is our top priority, and a new studio would better enhance what we could teach to them.”

Plans include new production facilities on the fourth floor of Becton Hall with four different areas included in the studio, according to Dr. Buzzard. The first would be a digital media center, complete with five editing bays and a television production set. The second component includes a multiplatform journalism classroom with 20 computers. The third, which has already been built, is a new computer lab, and the fourth would be a radio practicum lab with areas for sound recording.

The studio would be run by students who are interested, not just communications majors.

  Currently, the video production and editing courses are taught in a classroom studio that has all of the components of a regular studio in one room (control room, audio room, studio, edit rooms, etc.).

Television production professor Robert Fox is one of the chief architects of the upgrade project. Fox has led network operations and media teams at CNN and has worked for Avid Technologies, makers of video editing software, running their broadcast field support teams.

  Fox is currently heading a team of broadcast professionals building a new business for a major media software company in North America. He is an alumnus of FDU’s electrical engineering program, and was instrumental in revamping the TV studio with other students when he attended the school.

Fox proposed the construction of the new studio on the top floor of Becton Hall, which has the size to house video editing labs and a fully functioning control room.

  “When I went to FDU and the old TV station was still operating,” Fox said, “WFDU-TV wasn’t just an educational tool, it was a place where students could go to have fun and create something of their own – short films, TV interviews, sports coverage. There’s really something for everyone here.”

  According to Fox and others, the project was originally supposed to begin construction two years ago, but a fire in Becton Hall caused it to be postponed. Now, with the recent renovation of Becton and renewed student interest, a collective effort has started to get the project back on track.

“A new studio would enable us to be fully operational, create products to put on the air and get used to working in the professional setting,” said sophomore Molly Holt.

Holt said it was important to have a working control room and video-editing lab in order to complete the necessary teaching environment for the program.

  FDU President Christopher Capuano said the new media facilities are on a list of projects the university plans to achieve.