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Former Aggie-turned-corporate radio executive comes home to USU

February 4th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

LOGAN—How do social media “play” in over-the-air broadcasting? What are the job prospects in radio today?

John Dimick, vice president of programming and operations for radio at Lincoln Financial Media, returns to Utah State University on Friday, Feb. 11, as the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Distinguished Alumni Speaker to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

Dimick’s talk—“You can take the boy out of the country…”—recounts his 27-year career in radio and addresses the future of over-the-air-broadcast in an open forum format.

“I am extremely excited to come home. I’ve been away far too long from an institution that was instrumental to the success that I enjoy today,” Dimick said. “I come from a very poor small town in southeastern Utah and USU introduced me to the world.”

Dimick, USU ’90, began working in radio at age 15 and never stopped. As an undergraduate, he worked the 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift at local radio stations and served on the first TV broadcast team of the Cache Valley Report with classmate Kerry Bringhurst, who now serves as news director Utah Public Radio.

“Radio is what helped pay for my education at USU,” Dimick says.

He spent the next three decades honing his skills at stations from Seattle to New York, working as a news anchor, on-air talent and program executive for one of the nation’s largest hip hop stations. The former history major is now responsible for the general oversight of station brands, as well as developing the interactive and HD strategies for the radio division at Lincoln Financial Media.

“If it wasn’t for Utah State I wouldn’t be working in radio on this scale,” Dimick said. “One of the best lessons I learned at USU was that even a small town boy can do something out in the real world given caring instructors and a good education.”

Inspiration for his talk came from the experiences he learned growing up in rural Utah, and from faculty at USU, which he later applied in the business world, Dimick said.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences welcomes renowned alumni back to campus throughout the year to discuss emerging topics in their field. Talks are open to all. However, students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are encouraged to attend to hear firsthand how their education at USU can help open doors.

“The best part about these alumni visits—aside from amusing stories about old professors—is putting successful JCOM graduates together with students,” said Ted Pease, head of the journalism and communication department. “Our students, especially the staff at Aggie radio, are looking forward to connecting with a radio industry professional of John’s caliber and picking his brain.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Journalism & Communication’s Morris Media & Society Lecture Series, which is dedicated to bringing media experts to campus to elicit discussions of issues in mass media and in society. Dimick also will meet with JCOM students and the staff at Aggie Radio, USU’s student HD radio station.

Dimick speaks Friday, Feb. 11, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the David B. Haight Alumni Center. For information on the Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, contact Natalie Smoot in the college office at 435-797-2796.

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