Lander University broadcast and emerging media specialist Paul Crutcher has been nominated to serve as interim secretary for College Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI).
Crutcher joins the nine-member board as a voting member. In his position, he'll be on the front lines as he helps the more than 500-member college radio stations throughout the U.S.
"Whether it's helping stations with issues related to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), music licensing or providing information about job opportunities, CBI essentially serves as advocates for college broadcasters," said Crutcher.
The connection between CBI and Lander was forged by Crutcher in 2013 in Seattle when he attended a CBI conference. His energy and commitment to college radio made an impact with CBI-board member Jessica Clary, of Savannah College of Art and Design, in Atlanta, Ga. It was Clary who nominated Crutcher to his post as secretary.
"I nominated Paul because of his enthusiasm. He had a new station at Lander (XLR) and came to the CBI convention, and then returned the next year with students and presenters. He really jumped in, 100 percent, right from the start, and that really impressed me," Clary recalled. "We are a member-driven organization, and when we see members with unique stations, like XLR, we want to get them involved so that their stations are represented. I'm from an online-only station and I wanted to be sure there were more online stations being represented on the CBI board."
Emergence of XLR and Student Broadcaster Success at Lander
Crutcher was a primary driving force in the launch of Lander radio station XLR. With broadcast equipment donated by longtime broadcaster Don LaDuke and his wife Peggy in 2009, Lander student broadcasters began programming from Lander's Carnell Learning Center.
Since its launch, XLR now broadcasts 24/7 and has served as a career launching pad for former students who have since begun working in the industry.
In 2015, then-Lander senior Ann Scott O'Brian won CBI's Best Audio Documentary/Public Affairs award for her XLR-produced program about her brother, a former U.S. Marine who took his own life.
A documentary produced by fellow XLR student broadcaster Lynn Hohn was a finalist in the same category as O'Brian that same year.
In 2016, XLR student broadcaster Sydney Wells was one of only five mass communications students nationwide to be nominated for CBI's award for short audio documentary.
"It's very difficult to even be nominated for a CBI award, and the fact that we've had one winner and two finalists in such a short time is amazing by just about anyone's standards," said Crutcher. "I feel very passionate about protecting college media as a safe place for students to go live expressing creative freedom and developing career-building skills. It is beyond novelty, in my book. It's been a great pleasure to see students put in the hard work - those who are dedicated - and see them connect with faculty and staff members, their peers and their listeners or viewers advancing on in the field or other respective careers."