The Richard Eaton Broadcast Center at the University of Maryland is home to UMTV and the Capital News Service (CNS) Broadcast Bureau. It is also used by many broadcast classes at the Merrill College.

Located in Tawes Hall, the facilities were named in honor of broadcasting pioneer Richard Eaton by University President C.D. Mote Jr. at ceremonies on May 1, 2000. The current Eaton Broadcast Chair is Professor Mark Feldstein.

Watching UMTV

UMTV is on campus channel 38 or 78. Comcast customers can watch on Channel 73 in Prince George’s County and on Channel 2 in Montgomery County. On Verizon, UMTV is on channel 40 in both counties.

 

UMTV

UMTV Services

UMTV has the ability to produce 1-3 camera switched feeds of your campus event at reasonable cost. Studio A in Tawes Hall is available for reasonably priced interviews or productions. The station also has audio booths that can record tracks, podcasts, etc. Please contact Senior Communications Manager Dave Ottalini for more information, pricing, etc.

UMTV can provide faculty with a live talk-back capability with media via a fiberline to the Verizon AVOC switch in Washington, D.C. We are working to provide ISDN radio feeds as well.

The station offers free broadcast of PowerPoint slides to promote campus events. Please see our FAQ for more information.

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First Eaton Chair Lee Thornton with then-Dean Tom Kunkel and Eaton Foundation President Jerry Hroblak in May, 2000.


The Richard Eaton Foundation

The Richard Eaton Foundation provided $2 million dollars in gifts in 1996 and 1999 not only to support UMTV, but also to establish a Richard Eaton Chair in Broadcast Journalism. The first Eaton Chair – established in 1996 – was Dr. Lee Thornton, who was a former Howard University journalism professor, senior producer at CNN and CBS News White House correspondent. When Thornton retired from the Merrill College in 2011, she was replaced by former investigative reporter Mark Feldstein, who worked at NBC, CNN, ABC and a number of local stations including WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C.

The broadcast center named in Eaton’s honor includes a modern newsroom and news studio where journalism students get hands-on experience producing live newscasts three days a week, as well as UMTV studio space. In 2015, Merrill College upgraded the equipment and capabilities for Capital News Service students working in the Eaton Broadcast Center (Studio B) so that they could stream their newscasts on YouTube in HD. Ultimately, Studio A will also have HD capabilities.


About Richard Eaton

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Richard Eaton in an undated photo.

Richard Eaton was chairman of United Broadcasting Co., which owned and operated 17 radio stations.

He pioneered black-oriented radio programming in the United States by establishing WOOK in Silver Spring in 1947. He also operated the first Cuban-oriented radio station in Miami and the first Japanese-language TV station in Honolulu.

Before launching United Broadcasting, Eaton was a weekly newspaper publisher, a radio news commentator for WINX in Washington, D.C.  and a reporter for the Mutual Broadcasting radio network. He died in 1981.

“Richard Eaton played an extraordinarily important role in the early years of broadcasting,” then-dean Reese Cleghorn said when the funding plan was approved in 1999. “And with this generous gift from his foundation, his legacy will continue to help shape the industry by providing support to its future leaders.”

Cleghorn praised Gerald Hroblak, president of the Eaton Foundation and a member of the college’s Board of Visitors. Hroblak, a business administration and economics graduate of the University of Maryland’s University College, played a critical role in both gifts.

“With the help, guidance and support of Jerry and the foundation, we are confident that we will be able to make our broadcast news journalism division the best in the nation,” Cleghorn said.