Studio in IU's Media School to be named for former broadcaster Ken Beckley and his wife, Audrey

  • April 12, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Media School at Indiana University has received a gift from former broadcaster Ken Beckley and his wife, Audrey, both IU alumni, to support the new television studio in renovated Franklin Hall, which will become the school’s home this summer.

The Ken and Audrey Beckley Studio will serve as a facility for TV broadcast news classes and production workshops, as well as for IUSTV, the campus’s student-run television station, for student coverage of basketball and football half-time shows and for a variety of other activities.

“This gift comes at an opportune time for us to amplify what we do in the area of television and video production,” said James Shanahan, dean of The Media School. “We’re grateful to the Beckleys for stepping in to help us make our facilities as excellent as they can be, both technologically and in terms of the expanded role our studio facilities can play in our new curricula.”

“To be able to support this new school that will prepare students for careers and teach them the fundamentals of broadcasting means a great deal to me,” said Ken Beckley, who graduated in 1962 with a degree in telecommunications. “We are especially excited to be involved with the project in a way that will teach practical studio production.”

Beckley used his degree to launch a 14-year career as a TV news anchor and reporter in Terre Haute, Ind., Asheville, N.C., and Indianapolis, before spending 20 years as a senior executive and the public face of electronics retailer HH Gregg.

“The practical experiences I had in radio and television at IU set me up for my career, but my academics taught me how to think and reason, which shaped my career, as well,” he said.

Jay Kincaid, director of facilities and technology for The Media School, said the studio is “phenomenal.”

“We could do a top-flight network-caliber show here,” said Kincaid, who earned a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications at IU in 1982 and went on to win national and regional Emmy Awards for his work with NBC, MLB Network and WTIU. “Any show I could do in New York, you’ll be able to do in this studio. I think the facility will be second to none.”

Technology in the studio will include:

  • Eight high-definition cameras (four robotic cameras; three traditional manned cameras; one jib/camera boom).
  • 3M/E Grass Valley Switcher for switching between video sources.
  • Six server channels of video playback/record.
  • Two-channel ChyronHego Mosaic graphics system for lower-third and full-screen graphics.
  • NewTek TalkShow system, for live interviews via Skype.
  • Multiview Monitor Wall (six 58-inch video monitors combining to produce a single display).
  • Camera connections from commons and large lecture hall.
  • Fiber connection to the Radio-TV Building, which then connects to the world.
  • Video router and intercom systems with the capability to interface with Studio 5 in R-TV; the school will retain use of the studio, which underwent a $1 million renovation last summer.
  • Connection to the Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology at Assembly Hall.

In addition, the studio will feature polarizing filter technology that will allow camera operators to shoot video with a view of the Old Crescent as a backdrop. Initially, the plan called for covering the windows to avoid overexposure of video recordings. Instead, Kincaid proposed installing RoscoVIEW panels, which he had seen CBS Sports use for golf coverage.

In the Beckley Studio, matching polarizing filters on the windows and cameras will enable video engineers to adapt camera filters depending on outdoor conditions. Kincaid said IU likely is the first university using RoscoVIEW technology.

The studio itself has been designed as a news loft, with a full news broadcast set, a small stage, a green screen and stand-up spots.

Christopher Rhoton, a 2016 graduate from the MFA program in scenic design, created the studio design using reclaimed lumber and recycled materials. Lighting and studio manager Mike Gray, a 2007 telecommunications graduate, is building the set with the help of several Media School students.

Rhoton said he wanted to create a multi-functional studio with a sense of history that also is modern and timeless.

"I aimed to create a space that was very flexible and able to achieve a number of dynamic looks,” Rhoton said. “Unlike most television sets, which are only finished as far as the camera can see, this set can be viewed from almost any camera angle and still be visually interesting and look great on camera."

In addition to his broadcast career and his work for HH Gregg, Beckley served from 1977 to 1983 as the first director of university relations for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. In 2002, he became president and CEO of the IU Alumni Association. During his five years in the position, he led a campaign that raised more than $8 million to support the IU Alumni Association.

Beckley has received the university’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award and the President’s Medal for Excellence. He is an inductee in the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. He is a charter member of the Media School’s Dean’s Advisory Board.

Audrey Beckley, BS’64, worked for almost 30 years as a medical technologist. She received the IUAA’s Gertrude Rich Award in 2007 for volunteer service, participating in events throughout the university system and around the country.

The Beckleys were co-chairs for the Division of Allied Health Sciences development campaign during a capital campaign for IUPUI.

Their gift to The Media School counts toward the $2.5 billion campaign, "For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign."

For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses: IU Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast. The campaign will conclude in December 2019 to coincide with IU’s bicentennial year celebration in 2020. To learn more about the campaign, its impact and how to participate, please visit

Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university. Today, the IU Foundation oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country, with a market value of approximately $1.9 billion. In fiscal year 2015, IU received $359.3 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.

Related Links

Ken and Audrey Beckley

Ken and Audrey Beckley

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The Ken and Audrey Beckley Studio

The Ken and Audrey Beckley Studio

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Media Contacts

George Vlahakis

  • IU Communications
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Anne Kibbler

  • The Media School at Indiana University
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