Radio & Television

Whether you aspire to rock the airwaves as a radio personality, seamlessly produce the newscast, or break news as a big network reporter, St. Ambrose has the program, the facilities, and the opportunities that prepare you to achieve your goals.

Our graduates work at CBS, Big Ten Network, Harpo Productions, KWQC-TV, NBC Olympics, and many other TV and radio outlets.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Hands-On Skills and Classes
  • Get Involved On Day One
  • We Know Your Name

SAUtv set

KALA sound room

two women at anchor desk

Our expert faculty encourage creativity, hone your professional skills, and guide you in mastering state-of-the-art technology used in TV and radio stations today. You will be exceedingly prepared to immediately launch your career or enter graduate studies.

See Our Television and Radio Major Fact Sheet (pdf)

SAUtv: Year in Review

On Air and On Screen
You can tell a story and report the news

With two radio outlets and a TV station, the SAU Communication Department gives you plenty of experience – and sets you up for valuable internships – to get started on your broadcasting career.

More Information on the Television and Radio Program

What will I learn?

You'll learn every stage of radio and television production: writing for Radio/TV, media ethics, and news broadcasting and audio production. Other courses teach you skills in media management and give you a foundation in communication law.

With this major, we layer your education so each year of courses builds on the last. First-year students are encouraged to take radio and television production courses to get hands-on training in operating audio and video equipment and reporting broadcast news.St. Ambrose is envied by larger universities because our radio and television studios are state-of-the-art, equipped with the same technology used by on-air television and radio stations. We want you to learn by doing, so we give you these opportunities, and more:

  • SAUtv is a 24/7 station that offers programming on education and technology. Our students produce a weekly newscast, operate cameras, edit video on state-of-the-art equipment, broadcast live sporting events, and work as on-air talent. Check out the SAUtv YouTube Channel
  • KALA Radio broadcasts 24/7 on 88.5 and 106.1 FM, featuring everything from blues to gospel to urban to rock. We also have The Stinger, an online-only radio station featuring pop, alternative, and some new country music. Best of all, our students choose the shows, program music, edit news specials, volunteer at community events, and broadcast live sporting events under the direction of an expert staff advisor.
  • Our faculty encourages their students to be creative and professional, and they soar. Each year they earn several awards from the Iowa Broadcast News Association (see below).
2017 IBNA Awards

Large Market Radio

First Place Public Affairs - Relevant or Irrelevant - Jay Swords, Rick Sweet, & David Baker (SAU/KALA Staff Member & Community Volunteers)

Honorable Mention Public Affairs - "Healing Harmonies: The Story of Charles Harper" - Johnna Kerres (SAU/KALA Staff Member)

Student Market Radio

First Place Sports Play-by-Play - Carter Foley (Sophomore - Davenport, Iowa)

First Place Best Newscast - "KALA This Week" - Luke Maiers ‘17 (Holy Cross, Iowa) & Storm Bogs ‘17 (Marion, Iowa)

Student Market Television

First Place Overall Excellence in Anchoring - Natalie Johnson (Sophomore - Monmouth, Ill.)

First Place Sports Play-by-Play - Carter Foley (Sophomore - Davenport, Iowa)

Second Place News Photography - "FCA" - Griffin Rasche (Senior - Clinton, Iowa)

Third Place In-Depth/Series - "Everett" - Griffin Rasche (Clinton, Iowa)

Third Place Feature - "A Night to Shine" - Griffin Rasche (Clinton, Iowa)

Third Place General Reporting - "Steve Tappa Fundraiser" - Abbey Nimrick (Johnsburg, Ill.)

Third Place Overall Excellence - "Year in Review" - Abbey Nimrick (Junior - Johnsburg, Ill.), Carter Foley (Sophomore - Davenport, Iowa) & Natalie Johnson (Sophomore - Monmouth, Ill.)

Honorable Mention Sports Coverage - "Micheal Ohoize" - Dustin Nolan (Senior - Bells, Texas)

Past Awards

The Communication Department at St. Ambrose has been winning awards for many years. Here are the most recent awards.


KALA - Large Market Radio
First Place - Public Affairs, "Ebony Expressions" - Shellie Moore Guy & David Baker

KALA - Student Market Radio
First Place - Political Coverage, "Election Night" - Amanda Bertolozzi, Storm Bogs, Luke Maiers, Christine La, & Shelby Scott
First Place - Best Newscast - Shelby Scott
Honorable Mention - Sports Play-by-Play - Luke Maiers

SAUtv - Student Market TV
Second Place - Best Newscast - SAUtv Staff
Second Place - News Photography, "Killer Bee"5K - Abbey Nimrick
Third Place - Overall Excellence in Anchoring - Abbey Nimrick
Third Place - Sports Coverage - "NAIA Golf Coverage" - Hailey Cook, Abbey Nimrick, Luke Maiers, & Jake Hannon

Former Ambrosians Janelle Tucker (KMCH radio, Manchester, Iowa) and Mike Ortiz '87 (KWQC-TV) again won awards this year from the IBNA.


SAU senior Mitch Widmeier earned top honors at the prestigious Eric Sevareid Awards. He won first place for sports play-by-play and an "Award of Merit" for his "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" sports talk show on KALA. Each year, the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association presents awards to the best work done by broadcast news operations and journalists working in small, medium and large markets in the six-state region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska.

Widmeier led a group of SAU students with several awards from the Iowa Broadcast News Association. The 2014 winners from "News Excellence" are listed below:

Student TV
1st place Sports Play-By- Play - Mitch Widmeier - Compilation
2nd place Overall Excellence - SAUtv Staff - SAUtv Compilation
3rd place Political Coverage - Danielle Baresel - Political Debates at Galvin
3rd place Sports Coverage - Ryan McEvoy - Ashley Dexter
3rd place General Reporting - Shelby Shepherd - Preventing Assault on College Campuses

Student Radio
1st place Sports Coverage - Mitch Widmeier - 2014 Sports Coverage Compilation
1st place Sports Play-By-Play - Mitch Widmeier - Compilation
1st place Best Newscast - Shelby Shepherd & Mitch Widmeier - KALA This Week

Large Market Radio (KALA)
1st place Public Affairs - Johnna Kerres, David Baker, Shelby Shepherd, Shelby Steger, Mitch Widmeier, Aly Blech - In Their Own Words: Voices of Our Veterans

1st place Best Use of Online Media - Johnna Kerres, David Baker, Shelby Shepherd, Shelby Steger, Mitch Widmeier, Aly Blech - In Their Own Words: Voices of Our Veterans

Large Market Radio (KJOC)
3rd place Sports Play-By-Play - Mitch Widmeier - KJOC High School Sports Play-By-Play

Former Ambrosians, Mike Ortiz '87 (KWQC-TV) and Janelle Tucker (KMCH radio), were IBNA award winners as well.


KALA Student Winners
Sports Coverage: First Place "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" – Mitch Widmeier
Sports Play-By Play: First place "Sports Play By Play" – Mitch Widmeier
Best Newscast: First Place "KALA This Week" - November 12, 2013 – Tom Prior/Kelly Steiner
In-Depth/Series: 2nd Place "Ambrosian Time Machine - Flood of 1965" – Mary Madormo '13

SAUtv Student Winners
Best Newscast: 2nd place "Dateline SAU - September 27, 2013" – Dateline SAU Staff
Best Sportscast: 3rd place "Dateline SAU: Best Sportscast - November 8, 2013" – Shelby Steger
Feature category: 2nd place "Ambrosian Oaks" – Mary Schechinger '13
3rd place "Chicago" – Nick Vlasin

Additionally, John Kealey, Jay Swords and David Baker '88 garnered a "Large Market Radio" award in the Public Affairs category for the interview/discussion show, "Relevant Or Irrelevant."

It was also a great night for KMCH radio in Manchester, IA. Station news director (and former Ambrosian) Janelle Tucker accepted awards for 1st Place for Overall Excellence in Small Market Radio, 1st Place for Overall Excellence in Anchoring, 2nd Place for Feature Story, 3rd Place for Best Newscast, 3rd Place for Political Coverage and Honorable Mention for Overall Excellence in Reporting.

KMCH was also honored with 1st Place for Overall Excellence in Weather Coverage and Janelle was elected to the board of the IBNA. She writes, "Congrats to SAU on all the awards... Proud to have roots at St. Ambrose."

What other unique learning opportunities do I have?

You can build your reporting and communications skills by getting involved with The Buzz, SAU's student-run newspaper. When you join the staff, you can help choose content, report and edit stories, handle design and layout pages, be a photographer, and sell and design advertising.

Intern! You will get hands-on, marketable experience, learn from professionals, and network with your future colleagues while you are still in college. Our Communication Department faculty have deep connections in the media world, and working with the SAU Career Center, they give you every opportunity to learn in the field. For instance:

  • Radio and Television majors have interned with local NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX affiliates, and with many area radio stations.
  • Public Relations and Strategic Communication majors have interned with Quad City Mallards, Genesis Medical Center, The District of Rock Island, Quad City River Bandits, and several advertising and public relations agencies.
  • Journalism students have interned with local NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX affiliates, and newspapers including the Quad-City Times and The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus.
What are some potential career outcomes?

Many of our graduates work at TV and radio stations, as on-air talent, producers, directors, photographers, and more.

You'll also find jobs at corporate audio/visual production departments, training centers, or creative agencies.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Stephanie (Massick) Alexander '01 is a Public Relations Specialist at Skiff Medical Center. Previously, she worked as a print journalist and copy editor, and as a writer and web designer for a major healthcare provider.
  • Kelly Christopher '02 has skills at the camera and a love for sports which have taken him coast to coast. NFL Superbowl? NBA All-Star Game? Major League baseball playoffs? He's been front row (and sometimes on field) at all of them as a freelance camera operator. A Des Moines native, Kelly also was a student-athlete at SAU.
  • Haley Gibbs '16 was always on the move at SAU. She was editor-in-chief of The Buzz, an intern at KALA and KWQC-TV, and a top reporter/anchor for SAUtv - all while completing a double major in Journalism and Radio/TV, along with a minor in Spanish. A winner of several student awards from the Iowa Broadcast News Association, she has taken her passion for writing and storytelling to RealWorld Marketing in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Faculty and Staff

Ann Preston, Chair and Professor

Jim Baumann, Assoc. Professor
Brett Billman, Asst. Professor
Marianne Fenn, Assoc. Professor
Alan Sivell, Asst. Professor

Communication Center/SAUtv and KALA Radio Staff and Instructors
Jon Anderson, Chief Engineer
Dave Baker, KALA Operations Manager
Ken Colwell, Professor and Director
Duke Schneider, SAUtv Operations Manager

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Radio & Television (40 credits)

COMM 224 Radio & Television Production
COMM 225 Introduction to Visual Communication
COMM 230 Media Writing
COMM 232 Media & Society
COMM 305 Media Theory & Ethics
COMM 334 News Broadcasting (Fall only)
COMM 335 Techniques in Audio Production (Fall only)
COMM 337 Television Practicum I
COMM 338 Television Practicum II
COMM 339 Broadcast Technologies (Spring only)
COMM 375 Media Programming & Management
COMM 432 Communication Law
COMM 475 Convergent Electronic Production

C+ required in 224, 225, 230 and 232. C+ Average required throughout the major.

Minor in Radio/TV (15 credits)


COMM 224 Radio & Television Production
COMM 232 Media & Society
COMM 334 News Broadcasting (Fall only)
COMM 335 Techniques in Audio Production (Fall only)
COMM 337 Television Practicum I

Click here to read course descriptions in the online course catalog

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Radio/TV. This plan assumes the student has not taken three years of foreign language in high school.

Year One

COMM 232 3 COMM 230 3
ENGL 101 3 COMM 225 3
COMM 224 4 COMM 129 3
Foreign Language 101 3 THEO/PHIL 3
NSS 101 New Student Seminar 1 Foreign Language 102 3
Wellness Concepts 1 Information Literacy 1
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 16

Year Two

COMM 335 3 COMM 337 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3 COMM 375 3
Social Science 3 THEO/PHIL 3
Humanities 3 Natural Science 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Three

COMM 338 3 COMM 339 3
Social Science 3 Humanities 3
Humanities 3 Electives 6
Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

COMM 305 3 COMM 475 3
COMM 334 3 THEO/PHIL (300-400 level)              3
Creative Arts              3 Electives 9
Electives 6
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Note: Some courses need prerequisites, which have been factored into this plan.

Scholarships and Grants


For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full-tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Scholarships (2018-19)

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Menke Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation form (pdf) to be completed by your pastor.

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 academic year.

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Institutional Aid

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award

Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Criteria: Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership
Award: $12,500/year for new transfer students, renewable each year up to eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

Out-of-State Grant

Criteria: non-Iowa resident
Award: $2,000/year

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship

Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate; on-campus students only
Award: $1,000/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Award

Criteria: accepted diverse student
Award: $1,000/year on-campus; $500/year off-campus

Athletics Scholarship

Criteria: performance and ability
Marching band scholarships also available
Award varies

Fine Arts Scholarship

Criteria: performance and ability in art, music, theatre
Audition or portfolio required
Award varies

Dual Admission Scholarship

Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 maximum

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant

Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $5,920 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study Award

Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Iowa Tuition Grant

Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: @{Iowa-Tuition-Grant}

Carver Scholarship

Criteria: Iowa resident and entering junior, visit for eligibility details, deadline April 1.
Award: $7,600 maximum

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Tim McNicholas '13

"A couple months after graduating, I landed a job doing exactly what I wanted to: reporting the news. Six months later, I was able to jump more than 30 markets and do the same job in a much bigger city. Because of the hands-on experience offered at SAU, I entered my field already familiar with the expectations of a professional journalist."

Read about another Communication Department graduate, Tim Bladel '14.

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!