The University has a new official media outlet, and it’s available on iTunes.
UR’s “QuadCast” is the brainchild of senior and Audio and Music Engineering major Nick Bruno, who pitched the idea of a podcast to University Communications at the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester.
With just five episodes released so far, the podcast is still in its early stage, but Bruno is excited about its potential.
“The idea was to create a podcast that would touch on current events here at UR,” Bruno said. He first proposed the idea to former press officer Monique Patenaude, and then to UR Communications’ Associate Vice President for Content Scott Hauser, who approved the podcast for production.
QuadCast’s first five episodes, released on iTunes and on the University web site, cover a range of topics driven by current events and the interests of faculty members. Bruno produced the first few podcasts largely independently, he said.
“I was coming up with the topics, conducting the interviews, recording it, and doing post-production work,” he said.
Lately, however, episodes have been conducted by press officers at UR Communications, like former NPR reporter Sandra Knispel, with Bruno handling the production and engineering of the episodes.
The episodes are structured around conversations with UR professors and other faculty, on some topic that falls within their area of expertise. In the most recently released QuadCast episode, Bruno interviewed Director of the Institute for Popular Music John Covach, a professor of music theory, discussing the 2017 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bruno said this was his favorite episode yet, along with the March 2 episode on sound engineering.
“Music and audio are my passions, though, so of course I’m biased,” Bruno joked.
In earlier episodes, QuadCast has covered sound engineering and the Grammy Awards, Big Data, World War II history, and the River Campus Libraries’ newly-discovered collection of letters from the women’s suffrage movement.
UR Communications’ Director of Content for Arts, Sciences and Engineering Jim Ver Steeg is also key to QuadCast’s production. Ver Steeg describes himself as a “former podcaster” and said that the show is one of his major interests.
He calls the podcast “really open to telling the stories of the University,” and said that the show currently has a flexible schedule, with Bruno recording and producing the episodes as ideas arise.
With Bruno set to graduate in May, Ver Steeg plans to keep the podcast on the air in future semester by having UR Communications’ press officers and other student interns continue to produce episodes.
He also said he is excited about mixing up the format of the show with “QuickCasts,” shorter, five-minute episodes that will.
“Ideally, I’d like to do three or four a month,” Ver Steeg said, but noted that this might change, depending on how many people get involved.
He opened an invitation to any current students with an interest in podcast production.
“If you’re […] interested in journalism, broadcasting, podcasting, interviewing, or sound engineering, we want to hear from you,” Ver Steeg added.
Both Bruno and Ver Steeg invited readers to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, where the first five episodes were recently published.