The new faces of Rocky Mountain Student Media

Danny Bishop

Students experience change in the fall every year: a new school year, changing leaves and a new Rocky Mountain Student Media administration.

The RMSMC administration is the backbone of Colorado State University student media. At the top of the food chain is the Executive Editor, who oversees the whole organization and has a hand in the all facets of student media.

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Skyler Leonard, a junior studying journalism and English, is taking on the challenge of being the leader of RMSMC and will be Executive Editor in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Leonard said he is excited because the Executive Editor job offers him an opportunity to work in management in the news outlet that he has been a part of since his freshman year.

“It was the next logical step for me,” Leonard said. “I want to give back to student media for all the experience it has given me.”

Leonard endured an exhaustive hiring process which involved one-on-one interviews, presentations and questions from leaders in RMSMC and the Coloradoan.

Leonard said next year he wants to focus the attention of the Collegian on a strong digital product and collaboration across news platforms. He said he wants to encourage reporters to step out of their comfort zones and become proficient in a number of story telling mediums like video and photo, which he said will be an adjustment.

“Next year the Collegian and CTV are going to be pretty different than they are now,” Leonard said. “We really need to focus on online and there are a lot of ways to do that.”

Also involved in this digital focused shift will be the new Student Video Productions Manager Samie Sposato.

Sposato, a junior studying journalism, has worked in a number of video production roles for RMSMC from camera operator to assistant producer.

As SVP Manager, Sposato is responsible for overseeing the SVP crew and CTV crew operators.

The SVP team produces video for clients all around Colorado. All revenue from the video projects they create goes to RMSMC.

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Sposato said this job will offer her valuable, hands-on experience that will be attractive to future employers. She said she is excited to take on the challenge of being the leader.

“Since freshman year I have worked my way up and it felt natural to take this on next,” Sposato said.

The KCSU Station Manager mediates the student-run radio programs which ranges from news shows to specialty music shows.

Rebekah Romberg, a junior studying journalism, has been involved in KCSU since her freshman year and will take over as Station Manager in fall 2015.

Like Leonard, Romberg wants to encourage more collaboration with the Collegian and CTV.

“Cross platform collaboration will be a win-win for everyone,” Romberg said. “This will produce good content for KCSU and it will show reporters about how to produce a radio piece.”

Romberg said as Station Manager she wants to focus on increasing KCSU visibility on campus. She believes KCSU can offer listeners content they cannot hear on any other station.

“College radio is unique,” Romberg said. “What makes us unique is our on-air personalities. We expose people to music they otherwise wouldn’t hear. I want people to hear KCSU everywhere they go.”

Alexa Phillips, a sophomore studying journalism and apparel and merchandising, is taking over as Editor of College Avenue. She said she wants to increase recognition of College Ave on campus and in Fort Collins.

“I am excited to implement change,” Phillips said. “Businesses still don’t know the College Ave name, so I want to get that name more recognized around the community as well as CSU students. That way people don’t just know the Collegian but know College Ave as well.”

Phillips said she was happy to take the job, especially since she will only be a junior in the fall, and most media heads are seniors.

Current Executive Editor Kate Winkle, whose position Leonard will take over fall 2015, said she is excited about the RMSMC leaders of next year. She said Leonard, Sposato and Romberg have worked hard since freshman year and offer fresh ideas for RMSMC moving forward.

“I am really excited for next year,” Winkle said. “The people in those positions are really solid and they will work well together. Even though it’s not the same medium, it’s important we are interdependent and one company.”

Collegian City Beat Reporter Danny Bishop can be reached at news@collegian.com and on Twitter @DannyDBishiop.