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2018 WCM Award Recipients Announced

2018 Hall of Fame Inductee is first director of Oregon Cable Access Media; Friend of Access Awards go to long-time community producers from Eau Claire, Stoughton and Algoma

Wisconsin Community Media announces Liz Harlow of Oregon Cable Access Media as its 2018 inductee into the WCM Hall of Fame.  Three community members are being honored with the Friend of Access Award for their dedication to their local community media centers:  Al Reinhart of Algoma, Mary Ann Wold of Eau Claire and James Wyngaard of Stoughton.  The awards will be presented during the Best of the Midwest Media Fest Banquet and Show in Oshkosh on May 10.

Liz Harlow, who retired in 2016, will be the eleventh community media professional to be inducted into the WCM Hall of Fame. Liz was the first director of Oregon Cable Access and she developed it into a community fixture over a period of thirty years, working particularly with high school youth.

The Friend of Access Award recipients have all been pivotal to the success of the media centers in their communities.  Al Reinhart, who is the director of Algoma Community Television, puts in far more hours than his stipend reflects, says Amber Shallow, Deputy Treasurer, City of Algoma.  “I have never met someone with as big a heart and passion for his work as Al.  I honestly believe that the only reason our little station keeps going is because of the work Al does.”  Al has been involved with the station since 1993, when he was appointed to the City Cable Commission.

Mary Ann Wold is a former president of the Eau Claire Public Access board of directors.  For more than 25 years, she has volunteered at what is now called Valley Media Works.  Mary Ann and her husband, Rick, who passed away in January, were praised by Heather Harkins, Valley Media Works Outreach and Communications Coordinator, “We would not be where we are today if we had not had their dedication, expertise, and generosity guiding us along the way.” 

James Wyngaard of Stoughton, volunteers his time at WSTO Stoughton, WMCF McFarland, Sun Prairie Media Center and other centers around the Dane County area.  “James is willing to help anyone,” said Derek Westby, Director of WSTO Stoughton, providing production assistance, generating ideas for new equipment and processes, and sports announcing, a passion he has been indulging in Stoughton for 15 years.


 All are being honored at the Best of the Midwest Media Fest Banquet and Show at the Oshkosh Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center on Thursday evening, May 10.  The event begins at 5:00 p.m. with a reception, and the banquet and show follow at 6:30 p.m.  The event is open to the public.  Tickets are $45 and may be purchased using this online order form.

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Best of the Midwest Media Fest Award Winners Announced

Madison, Wisconsin – Wisconsin Community Media is announcing the 2018 Best of the
Midwest Media Fest award winners. Award-winning producers and their shows will be
honored at the Best of the Midwest Media Fest Banquet and Show at the Best Western Premier
Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center on Thursday evening, May 10 as part of Wisconsin
Community Media’s two-day conference.

Go here for the press release with the full list of award-winning programs.

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Cable TV complaints go to the State

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Talking Fitchburg

 Live daily show is Talking Fitchburg

To catch up on what’s going on in Fitchburg, tune in to FACTv’s Talking Fitchburg.  It’s a new hour-long show seen weekdays at 9 a.m.

Modeled after morning talk shows, Talking Fitchburg hosts Preston Schmit and Jeremy Crosby use a radio-style set-up to meet with guests from the city, local businesses, the schools, and area non-profits. 

If you miss it on Charter’s channel 985 or on AT&T’s ch. 99 clickable website, you can view it streaming live on the City of Fitchburg’s website.  Some segments will also be posted in its Video-on-Demand archives and on YouTube.

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Voice of Watertown Soccer

The “Voice of Watertown Soccer” celebrates 25 years behind the mic

The “Voice of Watertown Soccer” is celebrating 25 years behind the microphone this year. Ray Bezanson has been calling high school soccer games for Watertown's public access station, Watertown TV, since 1990.

“I really didn't volunteer, I was approached by Gary Fisk, the cable coordinator at the time, probably because I was yelling a lot from the sidelines at the games,” Ray says with a warm chuckle. Since then his involvement has expanded to include play by play for Watertown High School football and basketball.

Ray’s commitment to public access television goes farther than calling sports.  He is also secretary of the Watertown Cable Board and promotes the station whenever he can. “Watertown TV is an important asset for our community, it’s a great local resource.”

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Wisconsin Rapids Solarus subscribers can now watch local shows in HD

In May, Solarus began cablecasting the River Cities Community Access Media channel 3 in HD on its system.  HDTV provides picture quality that is substantially better than that of standard definition television. 

Solarus is the only video provider in the state to cablecast access channels in HD, although nearly all local media centers produce programming in the higher quality format.  “We want to express our sincere appreciation to Solarus for continuing to advance the quality of its communications services, which enables RCCA Media to enhance the viewing experience of its customers,” said Tom Loucks, Media Coordinator of RCCA Media.

Charter carries the same channel in SD on channel 985. Everyone can also watch RCCA programming on-demand online at rccamedia.org. 

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West Bend's first annual film fest gets kids involved with filmmaking

Stop by Regner Park at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 20 to see what West Bend’s middle and high school students (ages 10 - 18) have created on video.  In June, students submitted short videos up to six minutes long to the film fest co-sponsored by West Bend Community Television and the city's Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department.  A panel of local artists is now judging the work.  First, second, and third place awards will be given to the Best Short and Most Creative in each age group.  Movies start at dusk. 

Watch WBCTV on Charter cable 986 and 987 and AT&T 99 or online at http://west-bend.pegcentral.com

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Milwaukee residents watch Council Rewind for highlights

With eight standing committees funneling issues into fifteen regular city council meetings each year, no one has time to keep up with it all.  That’s why City Channel started Council Rewind in the summer of 2013. 

To create the show, Milwaukee City Channel staff members Dennis Geraghty and Dustin Weis review committee agendas and select two or three topics they believe will be of most interest to residents in the current three week committee/council meeting cycle.  After the city council meets, Dustin selects clips from the committees and council that best explain the issue, the debate, and the vote and edits them together into a half-hour program.  An in-studio wraparound is shot to tie the segments together.     

Council Rewind is cablecast three times a day for two weeks beginning the Friday after the last council meeting. The show received national recognition by the National Association of Telecommunications  Officers and Advisors (NATOA) in 2013, placing 3rd in the Public Affairs category. 

Watch Council Rewind on Time Warner cable channel 25 and AT&T 99 or online at http://city.milwaukee.gov/cityclerk/CityChannel

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2015 Significant Community Program Award honoree
Doing Happiness in Sun Prairie one show at a time

by Jeff Robbins

In April of 2014, I was new to my position as executive director of the Sun Prairie Media Center.  One of my priorities was to broaden the programming appearing on our community access channel to include more people of color and differing abilities.

An Internet search brought up Matt Glowacki’s name and I was immediately intrigued by Matt’s story. Who wouldn’t be? Born with no legs. Runs multiple businesses. Paralympic athlete. Successful motivational speaker. Best of all, he lived in Sun Prairie, so he was definitely ‘local’ enough for local cable access TV.

An initial meeting proved productive. We hit it off. Better still, Matt had ideas. He wanted to adapt for TV his then current series of motivational talks called “Doing Happiness.” He wanted to tell his story but keep the focus on people who were busy “Doing Happiness in Sun Prairie.”