In the communications department at Ohio Northern University, there has been an empty spot for a professor that works with TV. Ian Punnett filled that place last year but had to leave after the spring semester ended. The department then went on the hunt for another professor again. Greg Phipps applied for the position and has now settled into his role as an instructor for the multimedia journalism major.
Phipps came into the department with experience in broadcasting, a degree in electrical engineering and is working on his doctorate in digital communications. Phipps also has a lot of experience in the broadcast industry. He worked with Sony as a product manager and bought a Fox affiliate station in Lima, Ohio.
When asked about why he went from engineering to broadcast, Phipps said, “Back then, the only way you could really get your hands on, to use the tools creatively, was to be an engineer… It took engineering, the engineering folks, to be able to do it on your own.”
Later on in his career, Phipps brought the CBS and ABC affiliates to his station as well, which was something that Lima had never had before. “I’m kind of proud of that because I started something that never existed before in town,” said Phipps. But as his station grew, he wanted to go back to basics and start working hands-on with the technology again.
“When you own your own production company or TV stations, you have payroll; you have employees, you have taxes, you have health insurance, you have the FCC licensing… You get further and further away from the things you really loved,” commented Phipps.
He accepted a multimedia position at Rhodes College and worked there for nine years, and afterward came to ONU.
Phipps mentioned enjoying working with young people and college students, because “they are always bringing new ideas and ways of looking at things and fresh energy.” One thing that he has always enjoyed doing is playing with the ”toys” as he put it when referring to broadcast technology.
One of his primary goals during his time here is to get ONU3-TV up and running again. The television station has been out of commission for the better part of a decade and is seeing its first full-time use since then, this year.