A.H. Belo Corporation Foundation Funds TV Equipment

Date of release: 01/24/00

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — The A.H. Belo Corporation, one of the nation’s largest media companies, has donated $10,000 to the Department of Mass Communication at Southwest Texas State University to be used to upgrade equipment in the department’s growing broadcast sequence.

The A.H. Belo Corporation Foundation check was presented to SWT officials Wednesday (Jan. 19) by Belo Vice President and General Manager Bob McGann. In the official transmittal letter, foundation president Judith Garrett Segura wrote, “We appreciate the opportunity to be partners with KENS-TV in support of SWT.”

The corporation, which is headquartered in Dallas, owns and operates a diversified group of television broadcasting, newspaper publishing, cable news and interactive media assets in 11 markets throughout the nation. Among the Belo’s television holdings are KENS-TV in San Antonio and KVUE-TV in Austin.

Accepting for SWT were Gerald Hill, vice president for university advancement; Richard Cheatham, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication; Mike McBride, acting chair of the Department of Mass Communication; and Tim England, the department’s broadcast sequence coordinator.

England said the funds would be used to purchase cameras and editing equipment that will go a long way toward updating the department’s editing bays.

Due to the Belo gift, the department became eligible to receive an additional $10,000 from an equipment-matching dollar grant through the university’s own Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

SWT’s Department of Mass Communication (formerly known as journalism )obtained departmental status in 1947. Today it has an enrollment of almost 1,800 students, including close to 1,000 majors. A high-profile department, it prepares students for careers in print media, television, radio, advertising, public relations and mass communication. The department’s strengths have always been based on strong individualized instruction, enthusiastic faculty and ample opportunities for both print and electronic media students to get experience through campus media outlets and an extensive internship network.

In recent years, mass communication students have been involved with art, marketing and business students to field SWT’s award-winning American Advertising Federation (AAF) college competition teams. The AAF team won the regional championship and competed in nationals in 1999.

There has long been a close connection between SWT and the Belo Corporation’s KENS-TV in San Antonio, due in part to SWT’s close proximity to the Alamo City and KENS’ active news operation. Also, many SWT students and alumni live in the Bexar County area. KENS was one of the original sponsors of SWT’s highly successful National Minority Job Expo Job, held each spring.