Anyone who has met Kal Rudman, EDU ’57—even only once—knows of his passion for storytelling.
From his upbringing in Philadelphia, through his career in the radio industry and as publisher of a top music industry trade paper, Rudman is always able to relate one of his life experiences to the topic at hand.
His mind holds a library of tales. He vividly recalls most of his experiences, including what it felt like to sit in a classroom in Conwell Hall on Main Campus in the 1950s.
Those who chat even briefly with Rudman and his wife, Lucille, also have a better understanding of what it means to be charitable. The couple created the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation in 1992. Through the foundation, Rudman says, they “find needs and fill them”—a simple sentiment with profound effects.
The Rudmans place a high priority on education and public safety. For example, they have supported police scholarships and have paid for bulletproof vests for police dogs. They also have made many gifts—including a Steinway grand piano—to Kal Rudman’s other alma mater, Central High School in
Through a recent $1.2 million gift to Temple, the Rudmans are filling a need on Main Campus and in Philadelphia. With their gift, the university and the School of Communications and Theater (SCT) have created the Kal and Lucille Rudman Media Production Center in Annenberg Hall. The center includes a master control room, studio space, professional editing facilities and an adjacent classroom.
A Hit Career
When the concept of a media production center first arose, Rudman knew it was a great one. Now a media industry legend, he began his career in music and radio in 1959 as a Top 40 disc jockey at WCAM in Camden, N.J.
With a passion for rhythm-and-blues (R&B) and an uncanny ability to predict hit records, he soon was hired as Billboard magazine’s first R&B editor. In 1968, the Rudmans launched their own trade publication, Friday Morning Quarterback. But Rudman never completely abandoned the airwaves: He continued to appear on both local radio and nationally syndicated broadcasts. In the 1980s, he regularly co-hosted music specials with television talk show personality Merv Griffin and provided music expertise for NBC’s Today. Additionally, he is well-known among professional wrestling fans as “Killer Kal,” a name he adopted when he served as an announcer for the World Wrestling Federation, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment.
The Rudman Foundation gift will support more than the physical space and the technology within it. A portion of it will be used to create an endowed fund for TUTV, Temple’s digital cable station that will launch this fall from the Rudman Media Production Center.
TUTV will be broadcast on cable in the Philadelphia region and around the world via the internet. The endowed fund also will facilitate master classes led by notable media and entertainment professionals and support the Kal and Lucille Rudman Internship, which will allow students to work directly with TUTV’s general manager.
The Rudman Media Production Center and TUTV are styled after a professional television station, says General Manager Paul Gluck, SCT ’76, an associate professor in the Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media.
“The students will work with the same kind of equipment they’d use if they left Temple and were employed at the ABC station in Rockford, Ill., for example, or at NBC in New York,” Gluck says. “They will learn the ‘logic’ behind the equipment and the workflow supporting it.”
Rudman is confident that TUTV will succeed with Gluck’s guidance. “His experience will translate into a TV station as expertly run and programmed as any commercial station in Philadelphia.”
In addition to the general manager, TUTV will be staffed by an engineer, a webmaster and a production manager. Students will serve as the station’s executive producer, programming manager, business manager and content producers.
SCT Interim Dean Thomas Jacobson is thrilled about the educational possibilities
the Rudman Media Production Center will provide for Temple. Its interdisciplinary nature will have an impact on students in every department in SCT and benefit learning across the university.
Theater students will have the chance to perform on the small screen, and advertising majors will broadcast original commercials. The Department of Journalism will deliver the latest news, and film and media arts students
will share their creations with a wider audience.
Gluck says he is working with other schools and colleges at Temple to help their students benefit from TUTV. The station will broadcast performances from the Boyer College of Music and Dance and showcase work from the Tyler School of Art. Discussions about content partnerships are under way with the Fox School of Business, the School of Medicine, Temple University Athletics and more.
“By offering our students an education that reaches across disciplines, we give them the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the audience they will serve and help them evolve into well-rounded media professionals,” Jacobson says. “We expect that this holistic view of education will give our students an advantage when seeking their first jobs after graduation.”
Rudman believes that the center’s impact on Temple students will be its lasting legacy.
“Temple was so important in my formative years,” he says. “I feel blessed
to be able to help Temple students for many years to come.”
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