A new view for radio

Editor’s note: This is a series of columns by John Malcolm on his “50 years at Fredonia.” Retired, he is a professor emeritus at Fredonia State.

Radio (audio) was taken on solely by Daniel Berggren. Interestingly enough Mr. Berggren was originally hired by accident. He thought he was applying for an audio support position in the Instructional Resources Center (IRC). Happily the acting director and chief engineer Charles Blohm suggested that he take on the teaching position and this he did for 24 productive years. (Bill Jungels had a similar experience but more about him later.)

The studio he inherited in 1977 was in desperate shape. The roof leaked and the water was dripping on some of the equipment. Only one control room was operative. “Dan” was also the only person occupying an office in the east wing of the third floor.

He was also appointed “Faculty Adviser” to WCVF; his only payment was a reduced load of three hours. WCVF occupied space in the former lounge of Gregory Hall, now the Housing Office. This was one more step in their odyssey from Fenton to Dods press booth to Jewett TV. WCVF was made a non-credit co-curricular activity that a student could sign up for and it would appear on his or her transcript. (This was done for all co-curricular activities and gave us good credit for use of facilities.)

Dan survived the first year and over the years moved to see the installation of cutting edge multi-track computer controlled systems. (No more using a razor blade, china marker, and cutting bar.) Dan also participated fully in the life of the college by organizing and broadcasting folk concerts, doing sound tracks for the Theatre Department, commercials for campus events, and numerous other kindnesses for faculty, staff, and students – not to mention his many community friends.

He produced numerous music recordings that were widely distributed. He even established his own recording company “Sleeping Giant Records.” Dan went on to win the President’s Award for Excellence and was promoted to full professor. This last was hard to win without a doctorate but Dan proved he did not have to “pile it higher and deeper.” He retired in 2004 to become a full-time professional musician.

Down on the ground floor TV studio of McEwen things were not much better for Bill Jungels in 1977. The equipment had not kept up with the times. While the Image Orthicon black and white cameras were good maneuvering tools they did not live up to what most people expected from television. Editing was done on a two-inch helical scan tape recorder and edits often took long minutes. (Compare to today’s computer based non-mechanical systems.) Bill went so far as to use his own equipment to teach. He, like Dan, had his own independent production company.

Bill also commuted from Buffalo for over 20 years and missed very few days. He even went so far as to bring his students to Buffalo to use his editing facilities.

John Malcolm is a Fredonia resident.