New Audio Arts program to launch in June, search is on for new faculty member

By Emily Kulkus

February 4, 2014

If someone says, “I want to work in radio,” what do you think of? A deejay at a sound board, keeping tabs on the phone lines and reading the forecast? Probably. Or maybe you visualize a sales rep, hustling up advertising spots from a pizza parlor or a one-man-band reporter, out covering a story for a news radio station.
All of these still exist, of course, but talk to Newhouse associate professor Douglas Quin for five minutes and you come to realize that that’s just one click on the radio dial—one small piece of an industry that is exploding as fast as the technology that delivers it.
“This isn’t something you do as a hobby. This is a career path that can be exciting, fun and lucrative,” says Quin, pointing out growing industry heavyweights such as Pandora, Spotify and NPR.
To prepare students and professionals for this evolving audio landscape, the Newhouse School is about to launch a new, one-year graduate degree program in Audio Arts. The first class is expected to begin study on June 30. The program is also looking to hire a new faculty member to help shape the curriculum, teach some of the first Audio Arts graduate degree classes and identify future industry trends that will help direct the major.
The Audio Arts master’s degree will be a joint program with the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Students can focus on one of four areas: music industry studies, sound production and recording arts, radio horizons and music video. Students will learn many facets of the industry including production, management, business and entrepreneurship, among others. Students will take classes at Newhouse, VPA and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
The search is on for an industry leader to take on this new Audio Arts faculty position at Newhouse, says Quin, whose eyes light up when he talks about the job’s potential. This person should have a solid handle on the current industry but also be nimble enough to identify future audio trends, according to Quin and the job description. The school has advertised the position in trade publications such as Billboard and Hollywood Reporter magazines.
“It’s exciting to be building something new,” he says. “We’re inventing it as we go.”
That’s in line with the industry, says Quin. Media hungry consumers are using, producing and demanding new audio experiences every day, Quin says. The industry is shifting, changing and growing all the time.
“There’s this myth that radio is dead,” he says. “Students need to realize it’s a huge area and it’s one in which they can do well. There’s a need for audio proficiency across the board.”
For more information about the Audio Arts program, visit program pages at Newhouse and VPA.