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Columbia College Chicago
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The Radio Department offers a program that provides each student with a comprehensive overview of the art and business of radio broadcasting while developing in-depth knowledge and skills in on-air talent and show hosting, production, programming and producing for commercial and public radio formats including satellite radio, podcasting and webcasting.

Our full-time faculty all work in the radio industry—some you will hear weekly on Chicago radio stations—others provide consulting and meet regularly with General Managers in marketing, sales and promotions.  Our adjunct faculty are production directors, news reporters and anchors, music and talk show hosts, morning show producers and sportscasters in both commercial and public radio.

Our philosophy is that succeeding in the radio industry is more than raw talent. That talent needs to be nurtured. Students are encouraged to find their own creative route to success, but with the guidance that helps them determine what they really want while exposing them to the whole range of opportunities in the world of radio. This is bolstered with a firm foundation in the day-to-day business of radio that gives them the knowledge—indeed the confidence-- to navigate the competitive landscape. We want our students to have experiences that will set them apart as leaders and innovators.

Our program is built on the conviction that if you really want to do something—you can. Ours is a rigorous program, one that requires hours outside of class preparing and practicing, one that requires the kind of commitment and passion that makes getting up at 3:00 am to host a morning show, a joy and not a job. And we believe broadcasting is a responsibility—ethics and civic engagement are vital parts of the curriculum. Our students write and produce public service announcements for local not-for-profit organizations and each year host a college-wide fund raising drive for charity.

We offer small classes, one-on-one faculty advising, and a structured internship program that provides hands-on experiences working with Chicago public and commercial radio. Our student-managed radio station, WCRX 88.1 FM, has won numerous national awards
in on-air talent, production, news and public affairs and is streamed live on the worldwide web at http://www.wcrx.net  Our collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago gives students experience in play-by-play sportscasting. Our students work with members of the National Audio Theatre Festivals who are active in writing and producing work that is aired on radio and published in audio books. And our students sit down with sales and promotions directors and apply classroom knowledge immediately.

You can hear our alumni everyday on the radio in Chicago and throughout the country. They are music and talk show hosts, news directors, and sportscasters. Our alumni produce morning shows, direct marketing and promotions, and are managers in radio sales –a multi-billion dollar industry. Many go on to work in related areas: television, public relations, media management.  Many go to graduate school. Our goal is that all students have an opportunity to be the very best they can be, find and realize their dreams, and ultimately contribute to their community and the world.

Barbara Calabrese,
Chair of the Radio Department
School of Media Arts
Columbia College Chicago