Piper’s Summer Internship Report

I just started my Digital Media Leadership Internship at NRG Media in Waterloo a few weeks ago, and I am one of three UNI Digital Media students interning here. I absolutely love this work environment! For those of you who don’t know, NRG Media is the home of four radio stations: 107.3 The Party, 105.7 KOKZ, Rock 108, and News Talk 1540 KXEL.

InternshipThe Jocks, or radio DJs, are incredibly fun to be around and they are eager to teach the interns all about how their station operates. This is what I think is the best part about this internship—I’m not running meaningless errands, but I am learning about every element of this company.

So far I have gotten a chance to talk with the sales department, do some promotional work, and hang out with a few of the Jocks. Plans for the rest of the internship include sitting down one-on-one with people from each station and learning in-depth about it. If I find I am interested in one particular part of the company, I can spend more of my time as an intern there learning as much as possible.

But enough of the broad details. You may be asking yourself, “what would an intern at a radio station even do?” The answer: Everything!

InternshipMy schedule consists of a combination between office hours and outside promotional events, or remotes. During office hours, I get to design promotional pieces or talk with the jocks. During the remotes, I help set up the equipment and talk with the community as the event is going on. For instance, last week The Party was at various locations trying to get people to sign up to win Shawn Mendes tickets.

As interns, we handed out swag and talked to people to encourage them to sign up. I find the remotes to be extremely fun! The radio stations have a packed schedule this summer so if you see one of the vehicles come and say Hi! You can catch us at the Sturgis Falls Parade this coming weekend—Hope to see you there!

    

-Piper Davis

Sam’s Summer Internship Report

So far, so good! That’s how I would describe my Digital Media Leadership Internship at Cumulus Media this Summer. I didn’t know exactly what I would be doing this summer at Cumulus, and to be honest I still don’t know everything I’ll be doing. Every day is different and I love that. I have yet to be bored a single day at work because there’s always something new to learn or do!Internship

Thankfully, I have been able to learn more about audio production. That was my primary reason for doing this internship, as a radio station group is the perfect place to learn about audio production. An average day for me consists of spending the morning in the Production Office to learn about whatever my coworker is doing. He usually has a lot of work to do and can show me some interesting things I never knew about. I’m trying to get at least some kind of production lesson every morning and it’s working so far.

The rest of my morning varies pretty heavily. Sometimes I sit in on Promo meetings and learn about what the station is up to next. Other days, I might make some hooks for the station that they can use on air. I spent one day in the Traffic Office learning about how the stations schedule their commercials.

After the morning, I usually go to lunch. Sometimes I go home, since I live only five minutes away, but sometimes I get lunch with the other interns at Cumulus. I am one of ten interns at Cumulus, and though each of us have different interests, we have all grown to be friends. The other interns, as well as the employees, have really helped make my internship fun so far. I feel very fortunate to be interning at a place with such great people.

Internship

My afternoons are usually spent working on a podcast that another intern is developing. I hopped on the project as the producer of the podcast and I will have a chance to do voice work for it as well. This is what I am the most excited about! I’ve always wanted to do something like this and I really hope the podcast goes well. This is something I would continue to work on long after my internship is done. It’s also an awesome way to get experience and something great to have in my portfolio.

I usually get done at work mid-afternoon, but some days I end up doing work for them later in the evening. For example, every Wednesday there is an event that Cumulus promotes called the Zoobrew. It’s a fun event where people go to the zoo to enjoy live music and beer vendors. Last Zoobrew, I helped run this bag toss game that Cumulus had going. It was a fun way for folks to win concert tickets and other prizes.

My internship has gone pretty well so far. I’ve been enjoying it, especially given the variations in my daily tasks. I don’t need work to be consistent every day and I’m having fun and learning a lot!

-Sam King

Clara’s Summer Internship Report

“You’re in kid.” Those are the words that started it all. Those words ended my interview, and I began my Digital Media Leadership Internship a few weeks ago. I am a fourth-year UNI student currently double majoring in Digital Media Leadership and Digital Media Production with an International Business minor. This summer I am interning at Cedar Valley Broadcasting’s radio station 1650 The Fan!

Internship  What is 1650 The Fan? It is more than simply a sports radio station. As my supervisor, would say, it is “The Official Station for Cyclone Nation”. It is also home to the Chicago Cubs as well as many other sport teams. You can tune in every weekday 6-8am to listen to “Foster on the Fan.” The station’s new summer branding slogan is “Get Maximum Sports.” Cedar Valley Broadcasting is also home to two other radio networks: 93.5 The Mix and Cruisin’ KCFI. While I am exposed to all three radio station, my internship falls under the supervision of Bob Foster, program director of the sports network, 1650 The Fan.

InternshipMy job is to help promote the radio station through video! Although this may seem unusual for a radio station, since audio is their main medium and focus, transitioning to some form of video makes sense, especially with the rise of the Internet and social media. A common misconception is that radio is dying. After starting my internship, I quickly learned that it is not the case. While radio is declining, there is still a wide audience for it. My job is to help reach out to this audience, as well as new potential audience members who fit in the target demographic, and increase their interest and excitement for this sports network.

I usually go to the station for two hours, 10am-12pm, three days a week. During those six hours, I talk with and learn from my supervisor about many things. Sometimes we talk about future video projects, other times Mr. Foster teaches me how the radio network works. A few days ago, we talked about branding for the station. We have a reciprocity policy: I learn from him and he learns from me. It comes naturally. You can learn a lot from the different perspective and point of view of another person, especially with generational differences.

The main focus of my internship is to create promotional videos. Usually the first week is pre-production, in which we do creative exercise, discuss the layout and plan the shots. Then we go into production. This is done outside of the six hours, and usually in one day. After we finish filming, I complete post-production and upload the videos to 1650 The Fans’ YouTube channel. I have also worked on finding copyright free music for 1650 The Fan’s promos that air on their network.

I recently finished editing and uploading a series of videos from the ISU Tailgate Tour in Waterloo. I am just starting the pre-production phase of two video projects which I will be filming within the next two weeks. I am looking forward to what I will learn as an intern at 1650 The Fan!

-Clara Tosi

Tom’s Summer Internship Report

Summer is off to a beautiful start, and I am enjoying my Digital Media Leadership Internship here at NRG Media in Waterloo! I’ve stayed productive with all the tasks at hand and all the opportunities before me to explore the radio industry. I am exploring the world of radio broadcasting through four unique stations and formats that NRG hosts.

Internship

When I began at NRG Media, I was able to see all the pieces that come into play with the day-to-day and behind-the-scenes operations that make the broadcasting we hear as consumers happen. It’s been an amazing experience to see the amount of communication, technology, and impressive amount of adaptability needed on all levels of operations. It is fascinating to see the business take more familiar forms of media and bringing them together to reach consumers while adapting rapidly.

I’ve been able to see the ways that NRG reaches into various new forms of digital and social media. The “live” and “local” aspects of radio are some of the traditional strengths, and I see how NRG and the radio broadcast industry is updating these strengths in a competitive environment. With so many new forms of media, it is important to make sure that listeners are aware of the product, brand, and formats under the NRG Media umbrella.

I have worked with the people running the soundboard on a live remote and with those back at the station: with Craig from 105.7 KOKZ, with Connor from 107.3 The Party, and with Ned from Rock 108. I’ve seen a staggering amount of adaptability, and the on-the-fly confidence needed when it comes to running a live event or promotion. This kind of professional flexibility has been one of the most astounding things I’ve seen at NRG Media. I hope that I can hone my abilities in this internship.

I’ve also been excited to use what I have learned in Adobe Photoshop for real world applications that will soon be on various sites for the stations here at NRG.

I am excited to have the freedom and opportunity to explore NRG’s different stations, and I am even more excited to be involved in real world projects and events moving forward.

-Tom Randolph

NAB 2017: Mobile Video & Second Screening

We have returned from Las Vegas with heads swimming with new information and experiences! Our topics of mobile video advertising and streaming were not covered as explicitly as we had hoped for, but “second screening” was a big success for us. We learned extremely engaging information from one session in particular, and you can hear Zildjian talk about this in the our video below.

Mobile VideoThe session was titled “2nd Screening as the Key to Effective TV Experience Enhancement & Audience Engagement.” Topics discussed included: how to use second screens effectively, how to enhance customer value, and how to generate overall involvement with the media.

Another session, “The Mobile App-Driven Video Revolution is Here,” addressed a wide variety of topics from AR (augmented reality) and its future with television, to the distribution issue that consumers will face trying to get the content they want. Olivia discusses the most important takeaways from this session in our video:


Overall at NAB, our production team learned a great deal about what the future of TV will look like, both through the use of apps and second screens. It is not enough to just have those components available; they have to be engaging for the audience to truly be effective. Only time will tell if these trends change our TV reality.

-Zildjian Bartels, Piper Davis, Olivia Guns & Madison Steffen

NAB 2017- Virtual Reality is Sick!* (*Caution, may cause nausea)

We’re back from Las Vegas, and we are telling the whole world about what happened there, or at least our handful of internet followers! We went to the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters Show to explore existing and future Virtual Reality technologies and uses. The NAB Show gave us an extensive look at solutions industry professionals are implementing in order to push VR technologies into the media market and into our society.

Virtual Reality

We previously mentioned concerns with nausea, and we immediately discussed these issues with Edwin Rogers, owner of VR Video. Rogers, featured in our video below, said that the industry is combating some of these issues with body stabilization and other production techniques.

The newest rage in VR is 4K resolution. 4K creates beautifully immersive footage, but also requires massive files. As we know, this presents various issues for those with slow bandwidth and little storage. Currently there isn’t much of a solution for these massive files, just a suggestion to “throw money at bandwidth” via Google. The point is, we are somewhat ahead of ourselves, and the industry needs to catch up on viable options for file sharing.

Our final area of investigation involved our curiosity about consumer adoption. Sure, VR is a great tool for filmmakers and entertainers, but how can it be integrated into society? Augmented reality provides a look at existing environments that are able to be altered in order to create plans, such as realtors providing frames for future construction, or the plans of a building for a firefighter entering a dangerous area never explored previously. The point is, virtual reality is here and bigger than ever, and you might find yourself using this technology in your own field regardless of your affiliation to video production.

Here is the short video we created about our VR Adventure!

You can also check out a more personal documentation of our journey, thanks to our team member Josh Berendes, through his Daily Doc’s featured on his YouTube! (Like and subscribe, which we have to say for the sake of shutting up Josh.)

The benefits of traveling to Las Vegas as students were staggering. To be able to witness the media industry from production to distribution, including cinematography, directing, engineering, etc. gave us a one-of-a-kind opportunity to really decide what we want to pursue in this industry. It isn’t often that a university program is able to fund students to attend this sort of event. We are truly thankful to UNI Digital Media Leadership for the opportunity. It was a once in a lifetime experience!

– Josh Berendes, Marielle Gaiser, Tom Randolph & Kyle Stoutenberg

NAB 2017: Next Gen TV is Coming!

While at the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB) we saw all types of technologies one could imagine. One of the largest booths there was the NextGen TV Hub booth. NextGen TV explained the future of TV; how streaming and broadcast TV would be become one. This was the answer our group had been looking for! Broadcast TV was not afraid of competing with streaming because of new legislation being brought forward by the FCC that will allow TV stations to broadcast using the ATSC 3.0 format, a newer version of the digital transmission format used today.

Next Gen TVThis was better explained at the session tittled “DTV: The Next Generation.” Here, we sat down and listened to companies who will be assisting with this new merger between streaming and broadcast television. They discussed the positive effects that are to come with the merger and what they hope to see with the new creation coming to the world of television. So with the blending between the two digital platforms, the future looks bright for TV and streaming as they become one. Watch our video on Next Gen TV from the NAB Show for more details!

NAB Pre-Report: The Future of Virtual Reality

As virtual reality becomes more accessible to consumers we are beginning to see the true potential of this new method of media consumption. From short films to video games, Virtual Reality is the next step in media technology. However, many people have also raised questions and concerns in regards to the distribution of the content being produced. Some of the major problems with the distribution of VR content include: bandwidth needed for VR content and the transcoding of said content. At the 2017 NAB Show we plan to discover what these problems are and what some companies are doing to combat these issues.

Virtual RealityNot only does virtual reality provide impressive 360 visuals, but it also provides new environments for storytelling. We are interested on how these industry professionals plan on using these new territories. With the freedom of completely new realities, stories will begin to incorporate new elements into pre-existing mediums that we haven’t been able to capture before.

Currently smartphones dominate the VR industry, however, due to thermal issues on some headsets, most overheat after about half an hour. For widespread consumer use, these headsets need to be optimized for frequent and maintained use.

Virtual RealityNew technology often fascinates people who are inclined to pay attention to the ever-changing industry, but what about the general public? Sure there are Google cardboard headsets, but are people going to accept this new media as a popular attraction? We are heading to NAB with the intentions of securing a more substantial answer about where this media can take us in the future.

With virtual reality making waves and stealing the show at the NAB show last year, we look forward to seeing where VR finds itself in the Industry moving forward as the tools needed become more accessible to consumers and content creators alike. With glaring issues such as vertigo and nausea plaguing much of the early releases of VR now being addressed and ensuring far more practical usage, the content coming from the session planned at the 2017 NAB show hold much more potential for the future of VR.

Though virtual reality has much at stake with their progress we will be seeing at the 2017 NAB show this year, there lies much potential for augmented reality to have a chance to make waves as one of the most interesting pieces of emerging technology at the show this year in much of the same way VR did last year.

On last week’s episode of No Film School’s podcast, they announced a secret project that VR specialist 360 Designs has been working on; a 6k livestreaming VR drone. Sounds crazy right? That’s because it is. This drone is able to be operated by a single person and has the ability to send wireless signals over five miles. This is something we are excited to witness as it paves another milestone in video production!

Josh Berendes, Marielle Gonzalez-Gaiser, Tom Randolph & Kyle Stoutenberg