Despite the economic downturn, at least one local school is certain of the potential for its graduates to enter an industry in growth mode. According to Broadcast Center owner and President Ralph Stanley, “At a time like this in our history, the free service provided by radio and TV stations is more essential than ever.”
Research conducted this year by Ball State University states that radio has added 6 million listeners since 2005. Radio has more than six times the amount of listeners that iPod and all other MP3 players have combined, with satellite radio at 4 percent of the total radio listenership.
Stanley cited the recent 2009 “State of St. Louis Workforce Report” as another reason for optimism. Jobs in the broadcast field are expected to increase by 3.7 percent in the St. Louis region in the next 12 months. That outpaces the projected growth of any other industry, including the health care and education sectors.
In light of instability in the economy, many considering a career in broadcasting and media have questions about the viability of the industry and job opportunities in radio and TV. “Let’s face it,” Stanley says, “we’ve seen quite a few local media personalities lose their jobs in the last year, but we’re bullish on the future of radio and TV, and we’re on the frontline of new media. Most of our graduates start their careers in small and medium markets.” Stanley also states that radio and TV stations outside larger media markets like St. Louis are less likely to be owned by publicly held companies, and, therefore, under less pressure from shareholders to reduce expenses.
With a 37-year history in preparing students for careers in radio and TV broadcasting, the Broadcast Center provides a student-centric, hands-on education. While Broadcast Center’s core curriculum focuses on TV and radio broadcasting, it offers a gamut of specialized programs and courses in communications training for professionals, Web design, video production and more.