Jonathan Palmer working with students in control room

WOUB Employee Spotlight: Telecommunications Senior Specialist Jonathan “JP” Palmer

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Palmer started working at WOUB in 2015

ATHENS, OH – Even though WOUB Telecommunications Senior Specialist Jonathan “JP” Palmer grew up near the big city of Cincinnati, he is now happy to call rural Ohio home. Palmer came to Athens in 2005 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in communication at Ohio University and found a special home at WOUB Public Media.

“I worked at WOUB as a student from the fall of 2005 to the spring of 2009,” said Palmer. “Then I came back for this full-time position in 2015. In this role, I’m responsible for maintaining the many systems that keep us on the air each minute of each day. I help plan and install all of the systems, working closely with vendors on installation and ongoing maintenance and support.”

Palmer has always been interested in how things work, and he uses that curiosity each day on the job.

“A life of geekdom and interest in technology prepared me for this career. Perhaps a bit of undiagnosed clinical insanity, too,” said Palmer with a laugh. “I’ve always wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes, and how to make things happen.”

One of the things Palmer enjoys about his job is that he never knows what’s just around the corner.

“Each day for me varies. I have the task to integrate each individual system with what we already have. I regularly check to ensure the communication between each system is working, that all hardware is in good working order, proactively replacing hardware showing signs of failure. I also have desktop support as part of my duties. When a staff member or student worker has an issue with a workstation or one of our systems, I usually am the one to render the support.”

While Palmer’s job is crucial to the operation of the station and what listeners and viewers of WOUB radio and TV hear and see, he tries to keep a low profile.

“I’ve got a production background, and part of my system maintenance and support is being the engineer on duty for our productions,” said Palmer. “If all goes well, I am hidden in our shop, and the staff and students make the product. But, when issues arise, if I’m the one on duty, I’m with them helping to answer their questions and sort out the problems.”

Palmer likes knowing that the work he is doing is of such importance to the region.

“I know I am helping provide news and information and entertainment to a woefully underserved area of Ohio. Having worked as a student at WOUB, I know firsthand how the work we do as a group affects the community,” said Palmer. “I’m also proud to know that the work we do provides a great training ground for newcomers to the media industry.”

While media and technology are Palmer’s primary interests, when he leaves work, Palmer explores his passion for cars and racing.

“I am a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) member and a corner worker for many SCCA and some pro racing events.” Corner Workers are members of the officiating crew who are stationed around the track closely observing the race. “I have started a race of Formula Fords at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. I have given the checkered flag to an MX-5 Cup session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’ll get to do plenty more like it in the future, too.”