GHTV continues to serve the community one program at a time
Jeff Brown rolls down a white background in GHTV’s studio at Georgia Highlands College’s Heritage Hall location in Rome. He is the director of digital media services at GHC. Assistant Professor of History Steve Blankenship sits down in front of the white background. Jeff clicks the large studio lights on and adjusts their height to give Blankenship the best possible lighting.
They’re discussing the length of Blankenship’s lecture. Should it be shorter? Should it be longer? What’s the best length to keep a captive audience these days?
Brown centers the camera on Blankenship. They’re going to shoot for a 15-minute lecture on Western Civilization.
When completed, this lecture will become a part of an eLearning course and will also be used as programming on GHTV, the college’s television station. GHTV can be seen in the Greater Rome area on Comcast channel 4 and throughout the state on AT&T Uverse on channel 99.
“Years ago when cable companies were seeking franchises with local municipalities, the companies had to provide a local channel that could be used for locally produced programming,” Brown said. “GHTV has evolved from that original concept. The ownership of the channel still lies with Rome and Floyd County. The college provides the programming and manpower required for its operation. Per the franchise agreements, both Comcast and AT&T Uverse position GHTV on a subscription tier that is accessible to all subscribers.”
Brown stated that the GHTV channel is considered an “EG” channel.
“We’re educational and governmental,” he said. “We will air programming that is anything educationally based, such as for colleges, school systems, and so forth. Our focus for many years has been to air classes, which provides a great benefit to the viewership. Viewers can tune in to watch a college professor give a lecture and hopefully learn from it—it’s like a continuing education course at no cost.”
Recently, GHTV partnered with WRGA to host and air several local debates for contested races.
Those shows have been aired on the channel and can also be viewed on YouTube at: youtube.com/GHConlineTV
The station, which was started over 20 years ago, continues to provide a schedule of shows that are community-focused, like the recent local debates.
“Currently, we are airing board of education meetings for city and county schools; we air the Rome City and Floyd County Commission meetings; classes and courses at GHC, ranging from art appreciation to Introductory Spanish to business courses; and pre-produced educational programs. We try to make the schedule as diverse as we can.”
Brown added that the station also produces two original programs hosted by GHC faculty, both of which allows the public to promote and talk about things happening in the community.
The first show, “Community Watch,” is hosted by GHC Humanities Dean Jon Hershey and GHC alumnus Greg Shropshire. The show focuses on community-related events, happenings, performances, opportunities, new businesses, etc.
The second show is called “Coffee Break” and is hosted by GHC Professor of Humanities and Sociology Susan Claxton. Her show dives into awareness issues, like heart awareness, and gives viewers the chance to learn more about the given topic with a special guest who is an expert in that field.
“Currently in this area, this station is the only avenue people have for local information that is video based,” Brown said. “A lot of our guests that come in to do some of our shows recognize that. We do have the potential to reach a lot of people.”
Digital Media Specialist Justin Sucre is the other half of the Digital Media team responsible for GHTV. In addition to creating, editing, and generating 3D animations for the station, Sucre is also responsible for scheduling and programming for the channel. And even though they are a small team, Brown said he still enjoys the whole production process.
“It’s nice at the end when you see what you envisioned as a concept become a reality. You draw it out on paper, it grows, you build it, and at some point you start blocking out camera shots, realize how that’s going to work, and then you have to determine how lighting is going to come into play. And then at the end of day when it’s all recorded, you can say that started as a thought and now it’s a full production,” he said.
GHTV currently airs on Comcast channel 4 and on AT&T U-verse on channel 99.
For a full schedule of show times, please visit: http://www2.highlands.edu/site/digital-media-services-schedule-1
CUTLINES: Jeff Brown, director of digital media services, prepares to record Assistant Professor of History Steve Blankenship for GHTV.