Southern Nights: A television show by students for students


Zach Mitchell

Mass Communications students Ma’Kese Wesley, Tichina Coleman and Dinah West on the set of Southern Nights in Webster Hall.

Toby Davis

Kolpin Studios, located in Webster Hall, is a learning resource for students interested in television production. 

Students can find everything they need in order to create a program, from cameras, to switchboards to computers with video editing software. 

The Southern Broadcasters Club takes advantage of the studio to produce a monthly series called ‘Southern Nights’, an entertainment talk show that airs on KGCS 21. 

“Southern Nights was the idea of Abby West and Maddy West,” said Zach Dobbs, a director of the show and mass communications major. 

The creators hoped to produce a program that appealed to all audiences. It is currently formatted as a talk show, but the club is attempting to introduce new elements into the mix.

“We’ve been wanting to slowly transition into an entertainment show compared to the usual interview format we have stuck with,” said Dobbs. 

“This episode for March is sort of a test run to see how feedback goes, and if it is mostly positive, then we will lean toward more entertainment.” 

The Southern Broadcasters Club stays busy with production.  

Each member is involved in the process and plays a role until the final product is completed. There are the hosts, a project manager, secretaries, post-production managers and video editors. The club also has members who control the social media accounts of the program. 

“Everyone in the club has an integral part and plays in an important role for Southern Nights,” added Dobbs. “Without them, Southern Nights couldn’t be a thing.”

Each show has a theme that the club decides early on in the writing process. For example, February focused on Black History Month, and the episode featured a segment where the hosts visited the George Washington Carver National Monument. 

“We decide what the show will be about by having a meeting before filming,” Dobbs said. “We typically use Tuesdays as meeting days so we can effectively plan our segments and get together and get on the same page.” 

Production for the March episode is currently underway with each student involved bringing forth ideas to make the show the best it can be. 

“Trevin Lambert has done a fantastic job as our project manager, thinking of new and innovative segments, and we are really excited to show what we came up with in this new episode,” said Dobbs.

Students interested in television production or being a part of the show have an opportunity to join the Southern Broadcasters Club. It is an invitation open to all majors. 

“All you have to do is talk to me or Judy Stiles,” Dobbs said. “If you are afraid of being inexperienced, we will teach you everything you need to learn. We love having new faces around.” 

The February episode of ‘Southern Nights’ is currently being aired on KGCS and can also be found on the club’s YouTube page. 

 “I’m glad Southern Nights is a show we can continue to create, and we look forward to keeping it running for years to come,” said Dobbs.