Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures, Department of

This department, popularly known by its acronym, RTVMP, existed from 1954 to 1993. It was the brainchild of Earl Wynn, a faculty member in drama and speech, who developed the first courses in broadcasting at Carolina. Wynn also led the closely allied Communication Center based in Swain Hall to centralize all of the equipment needed for radio, television, motion picture, photographic, and record production.

Wynn produced the university's first radio program, which occurred on May 26, 1940, through the Extension Division, and taught the first course in radio in 1942. After he returned from service in World War II, Wynn set up a department of radio, which became RTVMP in 1954. The department offered undergraduate and master's degrees, in addition to developing the radio station that became WUNC-FM and the television station that became UNC-TV.

The College of Arts and Sciences abolished the RTVMP department in 1993. Parts of its curriculum moved into the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (now the School of Media and Journalism), and other parts merged with the Department of Speech Communication (now Department of Communication). The latter continues to operate studio facilities in Swain Hall.


Date Established: 1954

Date Range: 1954 – 1993

RTVMP students in a campus recording studio, ca. 1959. UNC Photo Lab Collection, North Carolina Collection Photo Archives, Wilson Library.