Tag Archives: Internship

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.


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.


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

Radio is Rebounding: My Experience at a Sports & News Radio Station

The radio industry is not doing as badly as you might have heard. And my experience interning at Cedar Valley Broadcasting in Cedar Falls bore that out. I quickly learned that radio in general is still thriving in the commercial sector. Companies know that their ads will reach a customer base, and that radio is an effective avenue to deliver their message.

In recent history, radio giants in New York and California have filed for bankruptcy, or posted horrid profits. But this is not because radio is dying, but because those giants tried to change the way they market and how radio works. While moving towards a mobile market, like iHeartRadio did, is one of the obvious trends in radio, it is not the only way to make money in the market. My radio station met and exceeded their sales goals in the three months that I interned there.

Many people cite the trend towards online media and that radio is losing out to apps like Pandora or Spotify, but these companies are nothing new. People have been listening to alternative forms of audio over radio for decades. Since the inception of the vinyl record the radio market has been finding new alternative ways to reach people and deal with new forms of audio technology.

So, I will say it now, in my own opinion – and the opinion of the rest of the radio world–RADIO IS NOT DEAD, IT’S JUST CHANGING.

Radio InternshipI spent my summer as the primary News Intern and during that time I learned a lot about sound editing, news writing, and broadcasting on a large spectrum network. Though most of my work was in news, I also offered my voice to several commercials and ad spots on all three of our stations. The main station I was broadcast on was AM 1650 The Fan, a sports station that carries national sports talk radio shows, with local and national news at the top and bottom of the hour. Though I wasn’t working as a hard hitting journalist, it was a good station for me to learn from my mistakes and understand what it means to tell a story.

When you are given strict guidelines for your stories you are forced to discover the meat of a story, and distill what people actually need to hear to understand a news event. I also learned just how little people respect or trust reporters. I was repeatedly sidelined by secretaries that promised to “pass my message along,” but then I would never hear from the person I wished to interview.

It is widely believed by public officials that reporters are only out to find the dirt and to spin stories against businesses and people. Even when there was no possible way to spin a story in a negative light, such as reporting on the cross-state bike race, RAGBRAI, I met with opposition in certain towns. I would only receive carefully written statements, that danced around definitive answers, and never truly answered my questions.

Radio Internship All in all I believe that radio will provide a great deal of news and entertainment for many decades to come not matter how “terrible” radio seems to be doing.

Thomas Winkelman

My Busy Summer in the Media Biz: Internships in Radio + Television

This summer, I worked two internship positions at both iHeartMedia (a Des Moines radio group) and KDSM (a local Des Moines TV station), and I gained a wealth of experience at both companies and will benefit from my time there for years to come.

IHeartMedia BlogAt iHeartMedia I was able to spend some time in almost every department, but the bulk of my work was within the promotions and marketing department. I, along with the other interns, worked at a number of promotional events, concerts, and festivals. Our goal was to connect with the public and get them excited about the many different radio stations owned by iHeartMedia serving the Des Moines area.

In addition to this, I contributed to event organization and execution as well as data and demographic analytics. Working with the program directors for various stations was a great opportunity to learn how the radio industry really works and what they do on a day-to-day basis. During my internship I got to sit in on sales meetings and live broadcasts, attend concerts, and talk to professionals from all areas of the radio and music industries.

I Heart Media Blog 2At KDSM I was the TV Production Intern and worked mostly with creative services. I helped to produce many commercials for local businesses as well as weekly segments of the “Des Moines Buzz”, a one-minute video with themed episodes airing up to five times a week.

I also had the privilege of working on thirteen videos featuring the winners of the 2015 Iowa Character Association Awards, primarily as an editor and camera operator. I had the wonderful experience of meeting with the director of the Iowa Character Association, several Des Moines business leaders, and an Olympic Gold Medal winner over the course of filming these interviews. The finished videos were shown at the Iowa Character Awards Banquet and subsequently broadcast on a local TV station.

Our other big project at KDSM was the broadcast of the annual Iowa State Fair Parade. The fair is recorded in advance of broadcast but is presented as live. I ran the handheld street camera as a tag team effort with another production assistant. To help prepare for the event, I helped construct graphics for the broadcast.

Olivia Guns

A Media Empire in the Middle of Iowa – Interning with iHeartMedia

The Des Moines metro area is home to more than two dozen radio stations. Seven of them are located under one roof. The iHeartMedia building sends out radio waves that appeal to almost any listener, whether it’s pop, country, alternative, news or sports.

iHeartMediaDes Moines’ iHeart group is just a small sliver of the company on a national scale. iHeartMedia fits approximately 850 stations under its massive umbrella, as well as iHeartRadio, an online radio service that users can tweak to listen to virtually anything they want.

The recurring theme I have noticed during my time at iHeart has been “spread out.” The internship process at this specific iHeart location has not been repetitive or focused on one aspect of radio. Rather, I have had the privilege of experiencing multiple aspects, including marketing, promotions, on-air and social media. No shift during the week is the same. Outside of the office, there have been several events in the area that draw thousands of attendees, including the 80/35 Music Festival and Des Moines Arts Festival. Our biggest task of the Summer, however, is yet to come. The Iowa State Fair, a mammoth attraction for the Midwest, will have employees and interns keeping very busy during its 10 day stretch.

As a student who managed and participated in the University of Northern Iowa’s college radio station, interning in the professional environment of iHeart has given me loads of perspective. Everything on social media is so precise, daily shows are almost always pre-recorded, and sales are what keep the company moving. It is fairly common knowledge that a station depends on all of these elements, but to see it all in motion is is still so new and unfamiliar. Any student who suddenly takes part in this world of professional radio has to realize that new, fresh ideas are vital every day of the week. Popular music has to be sought out ahead of the competitors. News on the shows and Facebook pages has to be not only recent, but unique. Listeners may love hearing their same favorite songs for a while, but the idea-machine under iHeart’s roof has to keep cranking.

iheatmedia internshipNow, that may sound stressful. But in this building, the confidence and composure of some of Des Moines’ most popular DJs and industry professionals is equally important. Everyone has a great idea of what they want to see from their specific station, or all of the stations in general. And from what I have seen so far, there isn’t too much friction. Ideas flow seamlessly from employee to employee, and the freedom allowed for each station coordinator or host makes for a better work and listening experience. All of the elements I’ve seen from iHeart can be plugged into the UNI station, or any amateur/college station for that matter. It’s been a real pleasure witnessing the organic ideas and precise, appreciated work put into the radio group.

iheartmedia internshipMost of my tasks at iHeart have been things that my bosses could work on themselves. That’s how I know what I am doing every week is important. Whether it’s generating posts on Facebook (some posts that will go until the end of the year) or organizing marketing information that the rest of the team depends on, it all keeps Des Moines’ biggest radio machine moving forward.

But before I sign-off, I have one last request: Take a listen to my favorite Summer station: ALT 1063, Iowa’s Alternative. After all, there’s a wide spectrum of radio out there!

– Brendan Wood

Radio is Alive and Booming in the Cedar Valley

Radio broadcasting has been rumored to be dying due to the emergence of satellite and Internet radio that can be personalized to listeners’ musical preferences. I thought this was true as well, but then I saw the statistics: radio reaches 90 percent of people each week, and 66 percent each day. There are 13,500 radio stations sprinkled throughout the U.S. that cover over 40 different formats. The top formats in radio today are country, news/talk, and pop/contemporary hit radio. At Cedar Valley Broadcasting we cover all of those formats and more.

Ali 1I am an intern at Cedar Valley Broadcasting in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It is a family owned radio company, with eleven stations in Iowa. Three of the eleven stations are produced in Cedar Falls: KCVM 93.5 The Mix, KCNZ 1650 The Fan, and Cruisin’ KCFI 1250 and 105.1.

The first station I mentioned, 93.5 The Mix, is an adult contemporary station with a primary audience of women ages 25-54 years. 93.5 The Mix has also been recognized for multiple prestigious accolades. The station was presented with the Crystal Award four times and was also recognized as a small market finalist for the Marconi Award in 2013. The next station, 1650 The Fan is a male-skewing station, reaching out to men, ages 25-54. The Fan is our sports station and generally reaches out to those with higher incomes. The third station is Cruisin’ KCFI, a unique station that is the only station that plays a true oldies format in the market. A really neat program our station has to offer is the non-profit organization Magical Mix Kids, which was created to send chronically and terminally ill children and their families on a worry-free vacation to Walt Disney World. Between the three stations, there is something for everyone to enjoy, as Cedar Valley Broadcasting really has a wide variety of content to offer to its listeners.

Ali 2As an intern at Cedar Valley Broadcasting, I have been given to opportunity to see behind a lot of the doors in the building. From observing the sales and promotions team to copywriting commercials to learning how to record radio shows, I have been exposed to many of the departments that allow these radio stations to run so smoothly. I was given the opportunity to help out the sales and promotions team by researching prospects that could be potential clients, and then going out into the field to speak with some of the business owners to try and set up a more formal appointment with them. I also learned to use the Radio Advertising Bureau website for other information when working on advertising pieces. I have also done some copywriting as well as voicing some of those commercials. I worked on designing the visual layout of packages for sponsors of “Teacher of the Month” and “The Magical Mix Kids Snowflake Express”.

In addition to all of the in-station activities that I have done, I also was able to hang out at the My Waterloo Days and Sturgis Falls festivals at the station booth, handing out freebies to the passers-by. At the end of August, I will work the Summer Jam event, which I am especially excited for! I really enjoy the broad variety of activities I have experienced in order to help myself obtain an idea of what I may want to do as a future career.

All in all, working at a radio station is not what I pictured myself doing this summer, but after being involved in the internship and being able to work with all of the great staff at the station, I can honestly say it was a spontaneous choice I am very happy to have made. I am learning more and more every day, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time at Cedar Valley Broadcasting has in store for me.

Ali Holtz