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Keith Kintner

Like routers and switches are the heart of the broadcast system in the Radio TV Film (RTF) Department, broadcast engineer Keith Kintner has been at the heart of RTF’s continual upgrades to provide students with equipment used in the industry.

Kintner, who joined the RTF team in 2003 as an academic staff member, has seen his fair share of change throughout his time at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

“When I came here student productions were shot with a 2-piece tube camera with a 3/4-inch portable deck, and now we’re using flash technology with solid state hard drives,” Kintner said.

During his time at UW Oshkosh, Kintner has seen the department advance from having computer stations students had to sign-up for, with their work being saved to the computer’s hard drive, to having shared data between workstations.

“It is quite an improvement,” Kintner said. “We really simplified it.”

One of the changes Kintner said he is most proud of is the archiving system for student productions.

“When I got here in 2003, we were archiving student productions on ¾” tapes and we had a room filled with them,” Kintner said. “We switched to DVDs in the spring of 2004 and now we also use an IT-based recorder so you can call up a production by searching for it.”

Kintner, a Vietnam War veteran, holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University at Northridge, and has worked at WILL AM-FM and TV in Illinois, KLCS-TV 58 in Los Angeles and worked for ABC Network during the 1984 Olympics.

“This has been the most fun job of my career,” Kintner said. “I really enjoy giving students 1:1 training and it’s rewarding to know I had an impact on our students and alumni.”

For Director of Television Services and RTF professor Justine Stokes, it’s Kintner’s commitment to broadcasting and his dedication to staying up-to-date on technology that makes an impact on the department and UWO students.

“We have been so fortunate to have him on this campus sharing his passion and knowledge with not just the students, but the faculty and staff,” Stokes said. “His knowledge and expertise is irreplaceable. He really is one-of-a-kind.”

His dedication for his work extends past the normal office hours, Adam Steinbach, a senior RTF major from Shawano, said.

“I’ve worked a number of live broadcasts and when we encounter a technical problem on a Saturday afternoon Keith is more than willing to come over and offer his assistance,” Steinbach said. “As someone who enjoys understanding how the nuts and bolts of technical equipment works, I appreciate Keith’s willingness to share his knowledge with me. You can tell he really enjoys his job and mentoring students.”

Kintner said he takes pride in mentoring students, and seeing how something he taught a student has helped propel them into their careers.

“Our graduates are employed at nearly all of the media outlets in Green Bay and we have a growing contingent of alumni in Los Angeles, and it makes me really proud to see our students and alumni producing better and better projects and winning awards, ” Kintner said. “One of the most rewarding parts of this job is watching a TV show and seeing one of our graduate’s name in the credits or turning on the radio and hearing a familiar voice.”

“Keith really is the champion of the students. If they have big goals he will always go out of his way to help them achieve them,” Stokes said. “Keith is always the first to congratulate a student and to boast about their accolades to others. It is that kind of encouragement that can help a struggling or unsure student find success.”

In his role as broadcast engineer at UW Oshkosh, Kintner is responsible for maintaining equipment in the Radio TV Film Department, making recommendations for future purchases, training faculty and staff on using the equipment and installation and set-up of the equipment.

“In April, I won a TV audio processor at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference, but I didn’t win it for myself—I won it for the department,” Kintner said. “It was something we really needed that wasn’t in our budget this year, and now it brings our audio quality up to par with our video.”

Students from outside Wisconsin are attracted to the UWO RTF program for it’s reputation in the industry, Kintner said.

“What sets us apart is our students get hands-on experience with equipment as freshmen,” Kintner said. “This gives our students the edge to have four years of experience using the same gear used in the RTF industry.”

Kintner, who will retire in December, said he and his wife Kathleen (Katie) plan to stay in Oshkosh through June, when they’ll move back to California to be close to Kintner’s two adult children and three grandchildren.

“I’m going to miss being here,” Kintner said. “When my wife and I move back to California, I will be pulling up my computer on Saturdays to watch our students’ Titan-TV broadcast of UW Oshkosh Titans football games.”