Fullerton College’s radio station room, KPBK is pretty quiet when there’s no class in session but if you were to walk in there at night, you would see Ethan Morse, assistant program director busy at work, making sure the students and campus have the best possible radio station to work with.
Morse is one of the first names that everyone hears when you’re a student in the radio department.
There’s more than just a good reason for that, he has helped change the radio department and the college for the better.
“I came out here thinking I was going to be a PA and work on a movie set but then I realized I did not really like it. That’s when my friends started encouraging me to produce my own stuff like television shows and movies while I was going to school right here at Fullerton,” Morse said.
Not originally from California, Morse got his first taste of entertainment in Northern New York as an intern with the small radio station, 99 Hits.
“I realized that the reason I got involved in radio is because I love to talk and it was the only entertainment at the time in my small town,” Morse said.
Morse always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in entertainment. He has always had a passion for movies and even got a taste of what the business would be like.
“I got the pleasure to be an extra in a movie with Robert Duvall and Jeff Daniels; it was a Civil War epic movie called ‘Gods and Generals,'” Morse said. “I finished my internship and they offered me a job but instead, I went to Virginia for 30 days to film the movie. For me, it was always movies over radio.”
Before coming to California and really getting into the radio business, Morse enlisted in the military. He was a paratrooper and wanted to go overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Instead, he was stationed in Washington D.C. for his entire enlistment. He knew he had to come back and pursue his dreams for entertainment.
When Morse came to Southern California, he knew that he had to work in movies. He was pursuing his dreams while attending school full time and working.
“I got my A.A. in T.V. and Film Production but I also took all of the radio classes. I then transferred to Biola University for media management,” Morse said. “I lucked out and started producing traffic and weather segments for KTLA’s morning news.”
He has been at KTLA for five years and he loved it at first but then realized that he did not like the news. Morse then shifted his gears back towards radio.
“Ryan Seacrest holds the standard but at least he can produce stuff, promote it and have his own show; that is why I came back to it,” he said.
Thankfully, a job was open here for KBPK and Morse got hired in a heart beat and has been at Fullerton College since.
He helps KPBK with their production, social media, studio work and on-air prep. He still works part time at KTLA as a fill-in producer.
Morse is doing his work here at Fullerton and KTLA and is also producing movies on the side and is getting offers from some big names including the History Channel.
“One project I am working on right now is a documentary about the Army and the unit I was in,” Morse said. “We raised money through a kick starter and flew back to to the East Coast to film it. It’s called ‘The Unknowns.’ We have no idea how to finish it but we’ll figure it out.”
Morse also wants anyone that wants to be involved in radio to know that it isn’t easy.
“Anyone that gets into radio should know that they will probably have to move,” he said. “I may seem lucky but everyone seems to forget that I moved across the country to Hollywood. That doesn’t mean they won’t get any jobs here but don’t be surprised if they get hired somewhere like Montana or Minnesota.”
After Morse completed the radio program, he immediately received four job offers. He believes that his time at Fullerton College has opened up many doors for him.
“Even if kids get nervous here because it is their first time on the radio, they know they’ll learn and just push the play button again,” Morse said. “The show must always go on.”