Campus media outlets take home broadcast awards


Nowshin Chowdhury

WXOU employees participate in Kindness Day activities on February 14.

Two of Oakland’s student media outlets were honored in the 2017 Michigan Student Broadcast Awards, presented by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation. The student radio station, WXOU-88.3 FM, and OUTV, a cable television station operated by OU staff and students, recently earned a total of eight awards, including first place in the On-Air Personality or Team and Digital Media Experience categories.

All Michigan high school and college students could participate in the program, which is designed to promote education and advancement in the broadcasting industry. Entries are judged based on the category description and listed criteria. Entries were awarded during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo, which was held in Lansing on March 8.

“I was happy to hear that they placed in their respective categories, and I think that it’s great that they make such an effort to compete in each year,” said Marty Shafer, WXOU advisor and coordinator of broadcast services. “It’s something that never really used to take place at WXOU, but has now been a major concern for our station.”

At this year’s ceremony, the WXOU team of Kenny Kott, Jake Rapanotti and Lawson Robinson earned first-place awards in the On-Air Personality or Team category for Happy Hour, while OUTV’s Matthew J. McCormick, Katie Radin, Sarah Griffith and Aidan Schieber took first place in the Digital Media Experience category.

“I wasn’t sure . . . we were going to win, but it was definitely very fortunate that we did,” Schieber said. “It opens up a lot of opportunities, especially in my future, seeing that it’s from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, which in my kind of field, is a great reward to even be nominated in, as well as win.”

For WXOU, winning these awards means a sense of recognition from the surrounding radio stations.

“For our state of Michigan, it does provide some significance because metro Detroit and the surrounding areas are such a competitive market for radio and TV broadcasting,” Shafer said. “I think for Oakland University and WXOU, it just shows that we are serious about our program being in what we try to accomplish as a station.”

Winning these awards also means a brighter future for OUTV.

“We’re planning on getting a bunch of upgrades over the summer, which is a big impact of those awards, as it shows that we can still do a lot, but if we had more, we would be able to do so much more,” Schieber said. “It doesn’t really mean much for the department or me personally, but for the future, it can really open up a lot.”

Other honors for OU at this year’s Michigan Student Broadcast Awards ceremony included:

Most Innovative Media Technology:

  • Second Place – “Wireless Audio Operation for Portable Devices” by Matthew J. McCormick
  • Second Place – “Automatic Emergency Broadcast Test System” by Lawson Robinson

Promotional Announcement:

  • Second Place – “WXOU Recruitment Angel” by Jake Rapanotti, Kevin Hawthorne, Lawson Robinson and David Bugg

Digital Media Experience:

  • Second Place – “WXOU Digital Media Experience” by Jake Rapanotti, Matthew J. McCormick, Jasmine McNeal and Drew Marczewski

Public Service Announcement:

  • Honorable Mention – “Nutrition PSA” by Sarah Griffith
  • Honorable Mention- “Texting and Driving” by David Bugg and Kenneth Kott