KACU will be getting a new general manager and director of Broadcast Operations in October. Nathan Gibbs will be arriving at ACU on Oct. 28.
The search for a new general manager began in April before KACU’s general manager John Best retired on July 31. Dr. Cheryl Bacon, chair of the department of journalism and mass communication, and staff members of the department set out to find someone who would make a positive addition to the station.
“There had been an ongoing search for a new general manager and director of Broadcast Operations,” Bacon said. “We had interviewed several other candidates for the position.”
Previously, Best oversaw KACU. The department wanted to return to the model they had used when Dr. Larry Bradshaw was a faculty member and general manager.
“We were interested in bringing Nate in because he was interested in and qualified for a faculty position, so he’s being brought in as an assistant professor on tenure track as the director of Broadcast Operations,” Bacon said.
Gibbs is an ACU alumnus and worked at KACU as a student. He graduated with a bachelor of science in electronic media and went on to attain a masters of fine arts in electronic arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic University in Troy, N.Y.
While in N.Y., Gibbs hosted a radio program at WRPI, a campus radio station at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He then moved to San Diego, Calif., to work as a Media Production Specialist and is now the Interactive Product Specialist for KPBS, a public radio, television and web station, where he has been for nine years.
“He is qualified in so many different ways,” Bacon said. “He qualifies academically because he got his MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and also taught a few classes for part of the time he was in California. He is also bringing wonderful broadcasting skills and his professional experience in a major market will help him to take a cutting edge approach toward KACU.”
Coming back to Abilene from San Diego will be a smooth transition for Gibbs with the history that he has here, and he is excited to return.
Gibbs said, “I’m impressed with what Dr. Bacon has done with the department. She’s made some smart decisions with the direction she’s taken the department.”
Upon his arrival, Gibbs plans to jump right in and put his skills to work. He wants to create new professional experiences for students and is interested in adding new programs to the station.
“I plan on pushing KACU and upping its game,” Gibbs said.
Meagan Freeman, director of news and operations, will be working as Gibbs’ “second in command” and has high hopes for what their partnership will bring.
“It’s always nice to have to have change and he will be bringing a lot of exciting ideas,” Freeman said. “We’ve been doing a lot of stuff right, but now we will be able to do greater things. People think we’re this little radio station in the corner of Don Morris, but with his experience in such a large publication, we will be able to make KACU better.”