Student effort reinvents Radio Lobo

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 8:35:00 PM

Campus radio and TV stations and newspapers often provide important venues for the voices of students, as these aspiring journalists and broadcasters hone the craft of interviewing, writing, producing, and announcing. So it’s perhaps appropriate that it was a student voice that helped reinvigorate those very venues at Stritch.

The campus radio station – Radio Lobo – has been known to most Stritch students for years, but it was extensively retooled last fall, thanks to the efforts of senior communications arts major Joshua Albrecht. Today, Lobo is only one part of a new student-run communications channel called the Lobo Network.

Lobo Network Logo

The network’s outlets now include not only radio, but also television (Lobo TV), and online news (Lobo News). Through these outlets, the network has begun offering a diverse set of programming including talk, sports, comedy, arts and entertainment, and music.

The efforts to reinvent Lobo began as a personal labor of love for Albrecht, who was concerned about the lack of specific on-campus communications venues for students interested in broadcasting and writing.

“I came up with this whole idea of this being a network, and to make Radio Lobo just a portion,” he said. “I wanted this to be its own thing, so the Lobo Network was born and I just started running with it. Before you knew it, we had a brand new website built.”

Joshua Albrecht at Lobo Network

But to make the Lobo Network a reality, he knew he needed help – from both faculty and like-minded students.

“I started to formulate a plan of what I wanted to do,” he said. “Radio was constant in the plan but I knew that if I was going to build anything else I needed more students. So I reached out to the faculty from the Comm. Arts and Visual Art departments, and they were pushing for Radio Lobo.”

For the Lobo Network to function, enhanced facilities were needed, especially for television production. As a result, Albrecht worked with faculty to find a new location for the studio, which was located in the basement of Joan Steele Stein Center for Communication Studies/Fine Arts. They eventually converted a large first-floor classroom adjacent to the Northwestern Mutual Art Gallery in the Stein Center into a studio that could accommodate radio and television production.

A new sense of purpose for Lobo, coupled with a larger and more visible physical presence on campus, has resulted in considerable student interest. About 25 students are now involved in various capacities, with the majority involved in radio.

“We got so many kids coming in to do radio shows,” Albrecht said. “I pulled some of them aside and I asked, ‘Are you interested in writing at all? Are you interested in video at all?’ I get really excited when a kid says they want to do a show and it’s something that’s completely different. We had two guys that wanted to do a video game show, and I thought, ‘Perfect,’ because we don’t have that.”

Each of the three media outlets has an individual student leader:  Hannah Trafton is the Joan Steele Stein Center for Communication Studies/Fine Arts station manager for Radio Lobo, Sawyer Veseth is editor-in-chief of Lobo News, and Roy Mitchell is technical producer for Lobo TV.

“The Communication Department has been trying to get a successful radio station going for almost 20 years. Josh has made it happen in little over a year,” said Cheri Frey-Hartel, assistant professor and chair of the Communication Arts Department. “Having Lobo right across the hall brings so much life to the building. There is a lot of energy in the studio.”

Albrecht, who graduates in May, is proud of the momentum surrounding the Lobo Network and is eager to see where other students will take what he was able to begin.

 “My time is ending, but I know that this is something that is going to bring in kids,” he said. “This is about fueling your passion through broadcast. I would like to see another student come in and have a better idea than me and make it even better.”

To tune in to the Lobo Network, or for more information, please visit