Monday January 22, 2018

Flyer Media Convergence

A University of Dayton alumnus with nearly 20 years' experience leading Dayton-area television newsrooms will help create a fully integrated, student-run media organization that combines the University's award-winning Flyer TV, Flyer Radio and Flyer News operations, and also establish a digital presence for student media.

Pat Enright ’94, who most recently served as assistant news director at Dayton’s WKEF-TV ABC 22 and WRGT-TV Fox 45, has been named the University’s first director of Flyer Media. He starts his new role Feb. 1.

Flyer Media will converge the University’s existing student media platforms into a single organization under the department of communication to equip students with the skills needed for successful careers in the modern media industry.

Enright was an executive producer at CBS affiliate WHIO-TV in 2011 when Cox Media Group combined the operations of its Dayton-area newspaper, TV, radio and digital divisions into a single organization. The result is a shared newsroom that provides content for all of Cox’s local media properties, including News Center 7, the Dayton Daily News and WHIO Radio.

“I worked and managed in one of the first cross-platform collaborative newsrooms in the country,” Enright said. “At Cox Media Group, we found ways to coordinate our TV and digital properties with newspaper and radio. My experience there taught me invaluable lessons about all types of media.”

Combining Flyer News, TV and Radio into a single entity will introduce students to multiple types of media, teach them the importance of collaboration across platforms and make them more marketable to employers, said Laura Toomb, a department of communication lecturer who chaired the Flyer Media director search committee.

Toomb previously co-chaired a faculty, staff and student task force in fall 2016 to develop the vision for an integrated, converged media model connected to the curriculum, yet open to students from across the University.

“We feel this organization will represent the collaboration and cutting edge of the future of digital media,” Toomb said.

Enright taught a media writing course at the University in 2015 as adjunct faculty, but will not teach in the near term, said Joe Valenzano, associate professor and chair of the department of communication. Enright has mentored many University graduates and helped launch their careers as reporters, camera operators and producers.

“Pat’s knowledge of media, engaging personality and wealth of professional experience make him the right person to be the inaugural Flyer Media director as we transition these student organizations into a vocational experiential learning program for our students that leads to great careers,” Valenzano said.

Enright started at WHIO-TV in 1996 as an assignment desk editor, became a producer later that year and was named executive producer in 2000. In January 2012, he became assistant news director at WKEF/WRGT, managing that station’s newsroom and helping manage news operations budgets.

He will be responsible for designing Flyer Media’s operational structure and integrating the budgets of the existing student media platforms. He also will develop a strategic business plan, develop and provide opportunities for students to create and manage content on and off campus, and collaborate with faculty in journalism, media production, marketing and other units to integrate student co-curricular experience with academic preparation. In addition, he will identify and assist in internship opportunities for students.

“I have dozens of friends and colleagues in newsrooms across the region and look forward to establishing partnerships with media outlets in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Indianapolis and many other cities,” Enright said.

Valenzano said the University’s media production program will increase its focus on documentary media projects and preparing students for media production at the graduate level with the addition of Jesseca Ynez Simmons, an award-winning director and cinematographer who currently serves as filmmaker-in-residence at Northwestern University. She will join the University of Dayton faculty in fall 2018 as an assistant professor.

Flyer News faculty advisor J. Frazier Smith and Flyer TV manager Roy Flynn will both continue in those roles, working closely with Enright and others. Flyer News co-advisor Amy Lopez-Matthews will serve as an advisory board member for the new media organization.

Founded in 1959, Flyer News is the University’s student newspaper and publishes every other week when school is in session. WUDR Flyer Radio is the noncommercial, student-operated radio station that broadcasts at 99.5 and 98.1 FM. Flyer TV, the student-run television station, is funded by the department of communication and broadcasts on University campus cable channel 510.1.

The Flyer Media director search committee also included Karen Velasquez, Gwen Fox Stump and Mark Hillman. The task force was co-chaired by Lopez-Matthews and included Velasquez, Dave Larsen, David Wright and then-student Dan Cone ’17, who is now a production technician at WDTN-TV in Dayton.

- Dave Larsen, communication coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences

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