Be a Light On the Hill, BYU Broadcasting Director Inspires Knight Society Donors
Jun 2019Story by Natalie Ipson, BYU Campus News Manager
BYU Broadcasting stands on the shoulders of giants, according to managing director Michael Dunn.
Although it’s currently a globally available broadcasting platform, BYU Broadcasting had humble beginnings as a weak KBYU radio signal following the end of World War II – the radio signal was only strong enough to broadcast to the borders of campus.
Speaking to a group of Knight Society members (those who have included BYU in their estate planning) at their annual luncheon, Dunn thanked the society as one of the groups responsible for the broadcast entity’s growth. He also compared the society’s loyalty to the commitment of Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon.
“You haven’t raised a ‘Title of Liberty,’ but you have raised the ‘Title of Opportunity,’” said Dunn. “You have allowed your children and other children, future children, the opportunity to be involved in the arts and sciences through your gifts and commitment.”
In a single year, BYU Broadcasting has more than 1,056 hours of programming that emanate from campus alone (devotionals, forums, Education Week, Women’s Conference, etc.), has 640 hours of live sports programming and employs more than 300 BYU students. That’s all before you dive into “Studio C,” “Relative Race,” “Random Acts” and its additional original programming.
BYUtv is available in 52 million homes domestically through cable and satellite, but also has greater reach via its digital streaming through the BYUtv app, which plays on PlayStation, Roku, AppleTV and mobile devices.
Speaking of BYUtv and BYUradio’s potential to spread goodness on the airwaves, Dunn quoted Elder M. Russell Ballard’s charge to a group of BYU Broadcasting students during an awards luncheon in October 2018.
“Elder Ballard gave us our marching orders when he said ‘BYUtv must become a light on a hill to an industry that has totally lost its way,’” Dunn said.
Dunn hopes to change the television landscape by offering a combination of clean and family-centered programming.
“We want to bring people together; we are about family,” Dunn said. “We have this very audacious belief to return to a co-viewing experience, where you gather as a family and watch good programming like what you used to see with ‘The Wonderful World of Disney’ or ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.’”
The Jesse and Amanda Knight Society is open to any donor who has named BYU in a deferred gift such as a BYU retirement account, a will, a life insurance policy, a gift annuity or a trust. There are more than 1,000 current Knight Society members, including current and retired BYU employees.
Find out how you can join the Knight Society at give.byu.edu/knight or contact the Philanthropies Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (801-356-5251 or legacy@ChurchofJesusChrist.org).