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History

1974

You could say Spinnaker Media started on Jan. 9, 1974, with the birth of the campus' first newspaper, The Halyard. Professor William Roach, who helped establish UNF's Communications Department, also initiated the school's first newspaper. A veteran of U.S. Naval combat in World War II, Roach suggested the name Halyard, which is the line on a ship that carries signal flags. It fit the nautical theme of the university. 

 

Front page of the Halyard Newspaper

 

 

The Halyard Award

Professor Roach strategizing with his newspaper staff

 

Besides working at daily newspapers as a reporter, columnist and editor, Roach (center) had been a faculty member around the country. He embraced what technology could do for journalism and proposed that the Halyard and UNF become only the fourth college program to use a computer — in 1974.  

1976

The Halyard stopped printing July 6, after a dispute with the Student Government Association. The paper operated with funds from Activity and Service fees and Educational and General funds. The SGA, unhappy with the newspaper, cut The Halyard's budget during work on the following year's A&S fee allocation. It also tried to control the paper by changing the composition of The Halyard's publications committee. 

 

Thomas Carpentar Headshot  

University President Thomas Carpenter said, "This campus will have a free newspaper or no newspaper." With $10,500, Carpenter underwrote an interim laboratory newspaper ("The Phoenix") for educational purposes from Aug. 16 through the following March 7.

1977

The student body demanded a free press, so with a new board for oversight, the newspaper restarted as The Spinnaker on Aug. 17. Professor Gary Harmon said the newspaper staff, wary of continuing the Halyard name, liked Roach's suggestion of a racing sail, which was colorful, powerful and built for speed.

 

Front page of the Spinnaker

1993

Spinnaker Radio and Television got their start when Todd Hardie, a Communication major, asked Professor Joe Lesem to help him start a student media club. The club — the UNF Broadcasting Association  kicked off with music programs and talk shows such as Hardie's sports show, The Bullpen. The radio station quickly expanded when Continental Cablevision, the cable provider for Jacksonville at the time, donated equipment and allowed what was then called Osprey Radio to provide the background music for the programming guide on channel 4. This arrangement ended when MediaOne brought out Continental Cablevision. After that, the station broadcast its signal on two closed-circuit cable channels on campus: Ch. 12, the Housing channel, and Ch. 58, the Osprey TV channel.

 

 

Osprey Radio Station Logo

1995

Professor Roach working over the shoulder of a reporter on a computer

 

As an early adopter of the idea to use computers to produce the newspaper with Professor Roach's encouragement (pictured, 1991), Spinnaker launched its website just six years after the birth of the World Wide Web.

2000

In the summer, the Center for Student Media formed within the Office of Student Development as an umbrella organization to cover Spinnaker and Osprey Radio and TV, which were elevated from club status.

2001

Spinnaker Radio coordinated with UNF Computer Services to begin streaming over the Internet in January.

2011

Spinnaker Digital and Spinnaker Business spin off from the newspaper to become their own departments. At the same time, the board and new leaders of the Center for Student Media departments agreed to converge the news-gathering operations.


osprey radio logo osprey tv logo spinnaker logo 2

 

In the past, the newspaper, TV station and website each had their own reporters who sometimes covered the same event. After conducting research and making site visits to area media outlets, the board and leaders opted for a hub-and-spokes model in which a reporter gathers news in multimedia formats for all of the departments to use.

2012

The Spinnaker reached financial independence from direct A&S-fee funding on July 1; for the first time, The Spinnaker is funded only from ad sales and subscriptions. The deal was a result of cooperation among the Center for Student Media, SG Director Betty Garris, and Senate President Carlo Fassi.

2013

In July, Osprey TV and Osprey Radio changed their names to take on the Spinnaker brand. The move, suggested by board member David Luckin of WJCT, reflects the new joint Spinnaker Media auxiliary budget and promotions efforts. The Spinnaker prints its last newspaper Aug. 28. Its first magazine came out in September.

 

Front page of the Spinnaker Magazine - three students looking lackadaisical

 

2015

With the convergence of Spinnaker Media’s five multi-media platforms, Spinnaker leaders reprioritized its efforts to a digital-first mindset. Spinnaker still printed its award-winning magazine each semester filled with investigative reports, interesting profiles and creative writing, but its primary focus shifted to instant coverage of news, sports, and entertainment on its website. 

2020

In March, Spinnaker Media went remote due to the global spread of a new coronavirus. Due to various challenges of the pandemic, Spinnaker lost the ability to fully fund a printed magazine every semester. Instead, Spinnaker magazine moved to an all-digital format. 

2021

As part of President David Szymanski's merging of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, Spinnaker Media was moved under the UNF Department of English. Spinnaker's funding source transitioned from Activity and Service fees to Student Life and Services. This move also spurred Spinnaker to increase collaboration with other UNF Academic Departments.