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FHSU converged media program evolves as industry changes

FHSU University Relations

Tiger Media Network, which went live in fall 2013 on the Fort Hays State University campus, combines print, radio, television and Web publication into one converged media model. Todd Elsen, the newly hired Tiger Media Network executive producer, moved into his office July 21 in the Center for Networked Learning, the newest building on campus.

tmn tiger media network USE

Elsen’s goal within the first five years is to set the standards for a converged media model that other institutions will want to emulate, he said. Other universities throughout Kansas still have separate entities for print, radio and television. FHSU, said Elsen, recognizes that separate entities are no longer effective as the world has turned to social media and other online venues for its news.

“Year one is to get TMN known on campus and in the community,” said Elsen.

todd elsen

Todd Elsen/TMN photo

Elsen conducted a campus poll, asking students if they knew about TMN. He found that many students know nothing about TMN and don’t even realize FHSU has the KFHS radio station.

“Newspapers are dying, and only papers like the New York Times will still be around,” said Elsen. “We can’t get students ready for a dying industry.”

Elsen wants to help students build a portfolio to show prospective businesses the diversity of their knowledge in media.

Born in Hawaii, Elsen moved to Colorado at the age of 4. He earned an undergraduate degree in information networking and telecommunications and a Master of Liberal Studies in history, both from Fort Hays State University.

After graduating, Elsen interned at KHOW Radio in Denver for two years and worked as the technical director for the next four. He also spent time working with Professional Wood Care, the Elsen family business in Lakewood, Colo.

In Georgia, Elsen worked as a music director and an on-air personality for WGAA in Cedartown, as a merchandise and music manager for Barnes & Noble, and taught history part-time at Georgia Highlands College in Rome.

Elsen moved back to Colorado in 2011 and worked as director of operations for his family business until he saw the opening for executive director of Tiger Media Network.

Back on campus after nearly 20 years, Elsen said the technology, such as the audio control board, has advanced “quite a bit.”

“When I was here, we were using a board that was about 40 years old, probably from the 60s,” said Elsen.

Tiger Media Network is updating its website constantly and plans to print the University Leader once a month during the school year. The first edition will be distributed Aug. 15. The staff plans to do a “hard launch” this fall with TMN News television broadcasts Tuesday and Thursday through Eagle Communications and Nex-Tech.

“Listen and read because we have a lot of new stuff coming and big plans ahead,” said Elsen.

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