In the summer of 1984, Campbellsville College began the process of establishing a campus television station. It was planned for use as a working classroom in its original home in Bethany House, located at that time where the president’s home is today.
Virginia Flanagan, director of alumni and public relations, was in charge of the development. One of the original goals was to help students obtain experience that would help them serve churches adding broadcast equipment to film their services. Her team in the beginning included Ed McGuire, Joan McKinney, Diane Rogers and David Shaffer. Connie Wilson joined also.
Flanagan said McGuire, a regional specialist with Kentucky Educational Television and a 1961 alumnus of Campbellsville College, was instrumental in forming the studio and taught a telecommunications class for video production. Flanagan also taught some classes, and McGuire has remained a part of the television production to this date.
The station began producing eight in-house 30-minute shows with “Tigers’ Den” and “What’s Cooking, Neighbor?” remaining today.
Al Hardy, dean of academic support, has supervised television operations since 2002 when he asked for the opportunity to take responsibility for TV-4 and try to demonstrate its value. In the mid 1980s, when he was chair of Campbellsville City Council’s cable development committee, he secured a gift of $35,000 from Telescripts Cable with which to purchase startup equipment. At about the same time, he said, The Southern Baptist Convention was starting the American Christian Television System (ACTS) network and looking for cable opportunities. The SBC helped CU with dish equipment which would put them on the air 24/7 and also give CU the right to use as much time as desired for its own programming. Sponsorships were added to help with costs of operations along with station identification so the public could identify TV-4 on local cable channel 10 and know that it was the voice of Campbellsville University.
George Owen, owner of Commonwealth Broadcasting, offered TV-4 as a gift and the university added it to programming that was already airing. TV-4 was being operated at WCKQ, Q-104’s station on Greensburg Road in Campbellsville.
Jimmie Wooley, director of broadcast services, became part of the leadership team in 2005 followed by Jeannie Clark, WLCU technician specialist, in 2007. Other managers of the station have included Bryan Blair, Janet Graham, Sabrina Nallia, Corky Mohedano and David Shaffer.
As Hardy contemplates retirement he’s excited to also see a CU radio station in place and broadcast growing into a full academic program. He said several people supported the effort to apply for the radio license that has resulted in WLCU-FM 88.7 making its debut on the air March 31, 2011. The application was also made for a change in call letters and WLCU (We Love Campbellsville University) received FCC approval for both radio and television stations.
“To my knowledge,” Hardy said, “Campbellsville University is the only private institution in Kentucky to own and broadcast on both television and radio.”
As the 2011-2012 school year begins, WLCU will be under the direction of Dr. Keith Spears, CU vice president for regional and professional development.
Thu, March 31, 2011
by Linda Waggener