TENTATIVE SYLLABUS
ELECTRONIC MEDIA PROGRAMMING
COMM 112 Section 01
DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE, COMMUNICATION AND FINE ARTS

SPRING, 2014

Last updated:  January 12, 2014

INSTRUCTOR: AJ Miceli
OFFICE LOCATION: Rm. 007 Scottino Hall
PHONES: 871-7492 (Office) 454-2976 (Home)
E-mail:  miceli@gannon.edu (primary gannon address)
              ajmiceli@verizon.net  (personal e-mail)
Twitter @AJMiceli
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/aj.miceli
ONLINE SYLLABUS -- http://www.ajmiceli.com/syllabus/comm112-2014.html
Scheduled Office Hours: MWF 10:45A - 11:30A    TR 8:45A -- 9:20A, 11:00A-11:45A
Others by appointment
Class Meeting Times: MWF, 9:05A-10:00A
Credit Hours: 3
REQUIRED TEXT: The War For Late Night, Bill Carter, Plume (Paperback), ISBN: 978-0-452-29749-4

COURSE DESCRIPTION

A study of the theory and technique of programming for radio, television and Internet. Topics include the design and implementation of radio formats and television program schedules with a focus on the marketing and managerial aspects of the program executive's role in station operations.

GENERAL STATEMENT

There has never been a good text for this course. One of the problems with programming is that most of the people who are successful programmers are still working. Most successful programmers also believe that they are successful because of what they know, and, if they write it down, then their competitors will be able to use it against them. Another problem relates to the dynamic nature of programming. By the time a book gets published, fads and hot ideas have changed, not to mention the whole network or market environment. That being said, there is no text for the radio and web portions of this course.  Those of you who saved your copy of Head's Broadcasting in America from last semester's Intro course will find some useful chapters in there.

The required text, The War For Late Night, is also not a "how-to" book, but a "how it's really done" book.  It's written in a style that's easy for you to read; and I'm sure you'll find it interesting.  The book was published recently, so you'll be familiar with a lot of the programs that it talks about.  It will introduce you to the people and to the business of television -- and that's really what television is all about at the national level.

DEPARTMENTAL OUTCOMES ADDRESSED:
TCAFA Outcome #2: The student will be able to research, write and deliver a sustained-form business presentation using appropriate rhetorical strategies and technology.
TCAFA Outcome #4: The student will understand and participate in the patterns of scholarly and productive discussion using both interpersonal and professional skills.
TCAFA Outcome #6: The student will identify and critically describe the historical context of the media and/or the theatre.
TCAFA Outcome #7: The student will recognize the need for adaptability/resilience in the theatre and the electronic arts, and be able to collaborate with faculty, peers, and technology to produce quality theatrical and electronic projects.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

Though many specific and practical systems that are used in radio and TV stations every day will be discussed in class, the single most desired objective of this course is that you develop an understanding of each medium and its audience from a marketing perspective. It is this understanding that drives all successful programming strategies.  Today, more than ever before, this course is about content and audiences.

Thus, at the end of the course the student will:

1)  Understand why audiences use the various electronic media;
2)  Understand why audiences choose one station, program, video channel or website over another;
3)  Be able to choose and define specific target audiences;
4)  Understand the elements that are the building blocks of radio or TV and video program schedules;
5)  Understand how to acquire content;
6)  Understand audience estimates used in radio, TV and on the net;
7)  Be able to design a coherent radio format;
8)  Be able to choose programs for a TV of video channel schedule;
9)  Be able to design an internet community website.

THE COURSE

The course will be divided into general sections:

I: General Overview and Marketing Considerations -- Approx. Jan 13 -- Feb 3
--Markets and Audiences
--Communication/Selection Models
--Audience Attraction
--Programming Appeals
--The Internet Content Triad
--Programming: Art or Science?
--The Product Life Cycle

II:  Ratings and Research -- Approx. Feb 7 -- Feb 26
--Broadcast Ratings and Research
--Beginning Webstats

III: Radio Programming -- Approx. Mar 10 -- Mar 24
--Program Directorship
--Formats
--Music Research
--Music Programming
--Commercial Programming
--Programs and Features
--Announcers

IV:  Contests and Promotions -- Approx. Mar.28 -- Apr 4
--Types of Contests
--Lottery
--Station and Program Promotions
--Sales Promotions

III: Television and Video Programming -- Approx. Apr 7 -- Apr 16
--Sources of Programs
--Acquiring Programs
--Channel Concepts
--Scheduling and Total Audience Strategies

IV:  Internet Community Website -- Approx. Apr 23 -- May 2
--Defining "Community"
--Choosing the market/segment
--Acquiring Content
--Designing the Site
--Measuring Success

ATTENDANCE

Your attendance is expected. Attendance will be taken daily. Rules regarding freshman attendance and absences found in the student handbook will be followed. Much of the test material will be drawn from class notes, including the "current events" portion of each class.

For a much fuller treatment of the attendance policy, see the 2013-2014 Student Handbook.

Your attention is called to the following portion of policy manual:

"Freshmen who absent themselves, whether it be excused or unexcused,  from a particular course in excess of twice the number of credit hours assigned to that course may be withdrawn from the course, upon recommendation by the faculty member or the Dean of the student's college. ...Missing an 80-minute period is counted as one and one-half absences."

ACADEMIC HONESTY

Academic honesty is an extremely important virtue of students and scholars. Any students, therefore, found guilty of serious academic dishonesty (e.g. cheating during exams, plagiarism, etc.) may receive a failing grade for the course. See the 2013-2014 Student Handbook for the Gannon University Code of Academic Integrity.

 

RESOLUTION OF CONCERN WITH AN INSTRUCTOR

 

If you have a concern with an instructor or a course, the resolution begins by speaking with the instructor.  If the concern continues after this conversation, speak with the chair/director of the instructor’s department.  Any continuing concerns should be taken to the Dean’s Office in the College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences in PAC 2024.

CELL PHONES, ELECTRONIC DEVICES AND CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR

Cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off in class and placed out of sight throughout each class period.  Students with a confirmed “emergency” situation must receive approval from the professor before class for any exceptions to be granted.

Guidelines and rules for good classroom behavior will be presented in class.

ASSIGNMENTS, ASSESSMENT, AND GRADING:

ASSESSMENT OVERVIEW:

OUTCOME OR OBJECTIVE

QUIZ/EXAM

WRITTEN

ASSIGNMENT

GROUP PRESENTATION

GROUP PROJECT

DISCUSSION BOARD

TCAFA #2

X

TCAFA #4

X

X

TCAFA #6

X

X

TCAFA #7

X

CO #1

X

X

CO #2

X

CO #3

X

CO #4

X

X

CO #5

X

CO #6

X

X

CO #7

X

CO #8

X

CO #9

X

READINGS:  You will be responsible for reading a chapter or two from The War For Late Night each week of the course, according the following schedule.  There will be a 5-10 question quiz each Friday on the assigned material.

Chapters

Quiz Date

Chap. 1

Jan. 17

Chap. 2

Jan. 24

Chap. 3

Jan. 31

Chap. 4

Feb. 7

Chap. 5

Feb. 14

Chap. 6

Feb. 21

Chap. 7

Mar. 14

Chap. 8

Mar. 21

Chap. 9

Mar. 28

Chap. 10

Apr. 4

Chap. 11

Apr. 11

Chap. 12

Apr. 25

Epilogue/Afterword

May 2

ASSIGNMENTS:  Various assignments will be given during the semester.  At this time I am planning the following assignments:

1 -- Audience Interview
1 -- Ratings Homework
1 -- Monitoring Homework
(others may be added as announced)

GROUP PROJECTS:  You will also be divided up into groups.  Each group will be responsible for three design/presentations:

1 -- Radio Format
1 -- Pitch a Television Program
1 -- Website Design

DISCUSSION BOARD:  You are expected to make at least one relevant posting per month to the discussion board in the ANGEL course server.

Assignments and Group Presentations will be graded with letter grades.  Individual student grades for group work can also have a "plus" or a "minus" attached to them, based on participation.  For calculation purposes, the following numeric translations will be used:

A = 94 pts    B = 84 pts    C = 74 pts    D = 65 pts    F = 40 pts
"plus" = plus 4 pts
"minus' = minus 6 pts

EXAMS:  I am planning four exams at this time:

Exam #1 Wednesday, February 5
Mid-Term Exam Friday, February 28
Exam #3 Monday, March 31
Final Exam Wednesday, May 7-- 8:30AM

FINAL GRADE CALCULATION:  Exams will be averaged together and that average will count for 50% of the final grade. Assignments and participation in the Discussion board on ANGEL will count for 15%.  Group Grades will be 15% of the final grade. The War For Late Night quiz averages 20% of final grade.

GRADING SCALE:

98 - 100 = A+
94 - 97 = A

91 - 93 = A-
88 - 90 = B+
84 - 87 = B
81 - 83 = B-
           78 - 80 = C+
71 - 77 = C
68 - 70 = C-
60 - 67 = D
Below 60 = F

 

Your instructor follows the guidelines of "Fair Classroom Procedure" described in the 2013-2014 Student Handbook.

SUPPLEMENTAL READING: Weekly reading of various trade publications is recommended, as well as daily reading of consumer entertainment and information sites like the Life Section of  USA TODAY and Entertainment Weekly.  Trade publications include: Television Week Online, Broadcasting and Cable (in the library), Broadcasting and Cable Online, Variety Online, Billboard Online, and others.  These are read from cover to cover every week by radio and TV program executives. They should also be read weekly by radio and TV students.

OFFICIAL VERSION:  Please note that the "official version" of the syllabus will be available in ANGEL and can also be found at:

  http://www.ajmiceli.com/syllabus/comm112-2014.html

Long Live Murray the K!