Center for Media Studies
The Radio Television Building, formerly known as Heather Hall, was renamed the Center for Media Studies in April, 2013. It is nestled in a pretty setting between Forsyth Library and Malloy Hall. This small 4,615 gross square foot building was erected in 1981 and presently houses the department of Informatics and the KFHS Radio/TV News Room.
The building was formerly named in honor of Jack R. Heather who was employed by President Cunningham in 1950 to develop the radio curriculum and provide proper experience and training for the broadcasting industry. The program began in the Speech Department. The radio curriculum was revised in 1956 to include the medium of television. The first college television program was broadcast in 1956 over KCKT-TV in Great Bend, Kansas. This necessitated taking the performers and all program support material and personnel to Great Bend, some sixty miles away. The cooperative arrangement with KCKT-TV ended in 1961. By then eighteen programs, about six per year, had been presented to western Kansas over that station. The radio curriculum continued, and eighteen hours of credit were offered in radio and television. In 1960 the college began to present television programs over KAYS-TV in Hays. In order to teach television production and develop programs, the students and the instructor had to use KAYS-TV equipment when the station was off the air. Teaching and production were accomplished after the late movies. Jack Heather and his students would arrive about 1:00 a.m. during the week or they would work from about 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. The campus radio station, KFHS, went on the air in February, 1962.
The radio-television operation was moved to Malloy Hall in 1965. Closed circuit television was added in 1969. In 1977, Jack Heather was still the only instructor in this department. The television system converted to color in 1979. The Radio Television Building was specifically designed for radio and television and each area had its own studio. From its humble beginnings, the department continues to grow and evolve as more advanced technologies are developed.