Radio-TV students learn lots, win big in Amarillo


Serina Dennis

A&M-Commerce students show off their awards after the 2017 SCBS Conference.

BJ Laudermilk, Sports Editor

On Oct. 6 and 7, seven students of the Radio-Television program at A&M-Commerce were in the Amarillo area, attending the 2017 South Central Broadcasting Society (SCBS) conference and awards at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.

A&M-Commerce students had the opportunities to not only meet and network with students from other schools, but visit Amarillo area media companies and ask questions to learn from industry professionals.

“It was one of the best things to happen to me being in the RTV program, because it’s highly beneficial, and honestly a resume boost,” junior and conference attendee Samantha Tolon said.

Students from A&M-Commerce attended tours at Townsquare Media’s radio stations in Amarillo as well as the local NBC affiliate Newschannel 4.

“The tours were excellent. The radio station tour was different than last year with all the booths right next to each other instead of on separate levels,” Recent radio-TV graduate and conference attendee Jared Taylor said.

After the tours concluded, students attended the keynote speech on Friday night. The guest speaker was Lionel Cartwright, an award-winning country music artist.

“He spoke to us about how he worked hard for little to no pay to achieve his dreams,” Taylor said. “This really hit me because it shows the perfect example of dedication one must put into this business if they are to succeed.”

Saturday morning saw workshops held where students could ask industry professionals questions they had about the business and also get another opportunity for networking. It all led up to the awards show on Saturday afternoon, where Taylor and Tolon were both grand prize winners, as well as recent radio-TV graduate Thomas Kent, and senior BJ Laudermilk. Taylor won for Radio Sports Story, Tolon for Radio Station Imaging, Kent for Television Sports Story and Laudermilk for Radio Sports Talent.

“It was definitely the highlight of the trip for me, and maybe even the highlight of my semester or of my career,” Tolon said. “It allowed us to showcase that not only do I have a lot to showcase, but so does our university, and we’re big competitors with those bigger schools that have more opportunities than we do.”

Taylor was also ecstatic about his grand prize win.

“I honestly didn’t expect to win,” he said. “When I first heard my name and my story being played, I thought I was dreaming. I think I said ‘no way, this can’t be real.’”

After the awards, the group celebrated their success at an Amarillo icon, The Big Texan Steak Ranch. No one was willing to attempt the legendary 72 ounce steak challenge unfortunately.

Overall, the conference was a success for the university and the program, offering students unique experiences they would not get in the classroom, and learning firsthand how they can stay on the path to working in the radio-television field.

“I would definitely recommend SCBS to other students to attend,” Taylor said. “It’s a great way to meet students from other schools to network with as well as meeting actual professionals in the industry.”