CBSHS Alumni Spotlight: Communication graduate and entrepreneur Whitney Meade
Meet Whitney Chipley Meade, a 2008 communication alumna. In the past twelve years since graduating from Clemson, she’s become an entrepreneur with her husband. She’s the chief operating officer of Meade Agency Professional Video Production, the host of the Daily Devo Morning Show on YouTube and is co-founder of Radio Free WYRF 92.5FM, a Christian pop/rock radio station. We caught up with her to learn more about her career and how Clemson prepared her for it.
What is a typical day/week like at your job?
My days can look wildly different. I have to write a lot of content, so I carve out a couple of days per week to sit at my laptop and develop YouTube scripts and video ideas. I upload and schedule my videos, create the thumbnail graphics, manage my social media accounts, and reply to all of my comments. In between, I manage the operations side of the production company. I work with vendors, manage our Human Resources, and prepare our more extensive proposals for new video opportunities. I’m also on the board of directors for the radio station, so we have monthly meetings to help steer the organization. My husband and I have two young daughters, so I wear my “Mom” hat every day!
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is connecting with and supporting people. It could be a video client who experiences business growth from one of our commercials, a YouTube subscriber who is positively impacted by one of my devotionals, or a radio station listener who feels encouraged by the music. All of my efforts are focused on building relationships and serving others.
Describe your career path since graduating from Clemson.
I graduated in the middle of the economic recession of 2008. I hoped to find a job in television. My dream job was to become a network news anchor. Because of the recession and the lack of communications and marketing-related positions available, I entered the workforce in information technology sales. As the market stabilized, I moved into health care communications. Eventually, I left the health care field to join my husband in running his businesses, a video production company, and a non-profit online streaming radio station.
FM radio licenses are challenging to come by. The Federal Communications Commission opened a window of opportunity to petition for a low-power FM license in 2015. We applied and won a signal! Within two months, we built a tower, hired a radio engineer, and signed on as WYRF 92.5FM in Florence, South Carolina. We’ve now been broadcasting over the airwaves for five years.
Our video production company, Meade Agency, has offices in Charleston, Florence, Myrtle Beach, and Columbia, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. We produce high-end corporate video projects, non-profit and educational videos, small business highlight reels, and documentaries. We’ve had the privilege of working with clients like Volvo Car USA, Honda of SC, Chevron, WestRock, and Harper-Collins Publishers. We recently wrapped up production on a documentary for the Darla Moore Foundation.
In 2017, I launched a YouTube channel to fulfill my dream of being on air. I love teaching the Bible and encouraging women. Writing, filming, and managing my YouTube Channel has become a full-time job in itself. My channel is experiencing an exciting season of growth and opportunity right now.
What inspired you to take this path?
Channel One News piqued my interest in a television career when I was in high school. Channel One is a daily news program for children, students, and teachers that broadcasts into thousands of classrooms across the United States. Every morning in school, I watched the program and thought, “I can do this!” I’m not a news anchor now, but all of our businesses combined have fulfilled that dream.
How did Clemson prepare you for your career?
While I was at Clemson, I received the incredible honor of winning the South Carolina Cable Television Association Scholarship, which provided full tuition and board for my time in college. With the scholarship, I also received a 3-year internship with Time Warner Cable’s Public Relations (PR) department. The opportunity to work in cable television and learn the trade of PR and marketing has been invaluable for both my professional career and my personal development.
What was your favorite Clemson memory?
I am a huge Clemson football fan. Before the Dabo Era, there was the Thunder & Lightning Era with two unbelievable players, James Davis and CJ Spiller! ESPN’s College Gameday came to Clemson during the 2006 season to televise our Homecoming Georgia Tech game. The campus was buzzing with excitement during the week before the game. On Saturday night, the Clemson players were unloaded from the busses at the top of the hill wearing all purple – which was a surprise – and the stadium went wild! It was an electric moment I’ll never forget. (And we won the game!)
Any advice for students wanting a similar career?
My advice to students who want a similar career is to get as many internships as you can, as soon as you can. When we look at resumes, prior experience in the video field is mandatory, even for newly graduated applicants. Also, learn how to do all of the technical aspects yourself such as shooting, editing, graphics, sound, and lighting. Production jobs are multi-faceted, so you need to have the ability to do it all when it comes to video. Clemson offers tremendous opportunities for hands-on experience in the production field while you’re a student!