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September 2014

Welcome to the first of several e-publications to update our alumni and other stakeholders on the exciting developments in the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.

You don’t want to miss the exciting, “Grads are Back: Reloaded” on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Sign up today, see


With so much to share from SJGC, I am focusing on just a few highlights in this issue:

  • SJGC students whose exciting summer internships were hosted by top media companies in New York city.
  • Introductions to new instructors.  
  • Update on the SJGC partnership with the Black Television News Channel LLC cable network.


We began our 2014-2015 academic year on Aug. 11, 2014, when new and returning instructors checked in on campus. We are excited to welcome the following new faculty:


  • Douglas Blackburn, Adjunct Instructor and Tallahassee Democrat reporter
  • Matthew Galka, Adjunct Instructor and WCTV (CBS) reporter
  • Anosh Gill, Visiting Instructor, Graphic Communication
  • Alicia Hope, Visiting Instructor, Graphic Communication
  • Francine Huff, Knight  Chair for Student Success
  • Leah Hunter, Ph.D., Visiting Asst. Prof., Journalism
  • Maurice Johnson, Visiting Instructor, Journalism

You will learn more about our faculty in our next issue.


On Sept. 10, 2014, I presented an information update to the FAMU  Board of Trustees. I am sharing my message points to the BOT:

SONY, BTNC and FAMU began its architectural design and engineering process on our campus. This means that a space plan for BTNC employees and interns is being created along with energy load management plans; A/C and water specs; and a plan for signage and external lease hold improvements. 

This architectural and engineering phase will take about two to three months to complete. 


SONY's engineers spent two days on campus in August 2014 conducting a broadcast facilities "needs assessment.”  SONY is preparing its engineering plan for BTNC's automated newsroom, network op-center, broadcast studios, post-production facilities, graphic arts and virtual reality design workstations, and teleport.  Included in this engineering plan will be the equipment needed to upgrade, replace and/or equip FAMU's existing studio facilities, media training center, newsroom workstations for student interns, graphic arts and VR workstations for students and a server based video archive system that will grant students access to BTNC's cloud.

FAMU’s President Dr. Elmira Mangum also met with SONY’s engineers while they were on campus. SONY and BTNC have been generous in supporting SJGC. In fact, during that visit, SONY and BTNC agreed to add another $500,000 to improvements for student newsroom workstations and studios. The photographs from the visit will accompany a future news release to highlight the $10.5 million+plus hardware and software enhancements from SONY.

BTNC’s management and FAMU administrators and faculty have been meeting to explore ways to get students involved in the creation of the network's original music scores, interior designs, virtual reality newsroom environments, marketing and promotions. So far, this has included lengthy discussions and plans with leaders of the School of Architecture and Engineering Technology, the School of Social Sciences Arts and Humanities; the Music Department and the SJGC faculty and students. More such conversations will begin with the leaders of every school and college on our campus.


BTNC and many supporters are engaged in its ongoing discussions with the FCC regarding a temporary waiver request to operate on the Direct-broadcast satellite’s Public Interest channel with reduced advertising. No opposition was filed during the comment period.


Finally, the often asked question is, ‘when will this privately-operated cable channel launch its on-air programming?’ The answer from BTNC is the fourth quarter of 2015.

This concludes my remarks to the FAMU BOT.


I also replied to questions from BOT members and received kudos for the utilization of the talent on FAMU’s campus in the BTNC venture.


Several media outlets continue to follow the developments of BTNC. I am attaching a few recent links for additional information,

Please contact me via 850-599-3387;; @awkimbrough


We appreciate your support and please consider donating to your SJGC, go to the “Give to SJGC” and locate the SJGC accounts.

Keep striking.