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KCM upgrades to HD remote production
and post-production facilities

August 20, 2018 - Over the summer Kenosha Community Media produced its first High Definition  (HD) video production covering the Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade.  A new media production lab called The Hub enables KCM to record two-camera remote productions using a NewTek TriCaster with teleprompters and a green screen.   The upgrade is a result of a partnership with the Kenosha Public Library, which has also created a post-production facility with three Mac computers equipped with Adobe graphics production and I-Movie applications. Both The Hub and the post-production room are available for community producers to use. - Jason Rimkus, Media Coordinator, Kenosha Community Media

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Friends of OCM offer free train rides to promote Oshkosh Media

August 3, 2018 - On Wednesday the Friends of Oshkosh Community Media gave 360 free rides on the Menominee Park train to promote Oshkosh Media and its series, "Heavy Metal," a fun show that introduces residents to the heavy equipment owned by the City.  While the riders enjoyed their free popcorn, Oshkosh Media shot video and stills for its next episode on the train while it was at full capacity.  - Jake Timm, Operations Coordinator Oshkosh Media, City of Oshkosh

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Lake Mills
Local cable channel and Facebook page provide the facts and engage discussion on the dark store issue

In May, the Lake Mills City Council discussed refunding a portion of property tax dollars back to Walgreens due to their "Dark Store" claim. Two days after the council meeting, which the community cable channel carried live, Lake Mills TV posted a video of that agenda item on its Facebook page along with links to news stories about the topic. Within a few days the post reached over 5,000 people (Lake Mills has a population of 5,700), had over 160 reactions, comments or shares and gained 23 new followers for the page. Lake Mills TV plans to use this technique that combines coverage of issues and use of social media to keep residents informed on many more issues.  - Dave Grooman, Cable TV Operator/IT Specialist, City of Lake Mills

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Rice Lake
Getting ready for the next high school football season

August 3, 2018 - This week our play-by-play commentator for high school football, former coach Paul Rogers,  interviewed Rice Lake High School coach Dan Hill about last season's highlights (after all, we were state champs!) and about the upcoming season and schedule. Last year we streamed the games live for the first time and it was a huge hit. We'll be doing it again this year.  You really know it's a fan favorite when you get a call from a resident who is hugely disappointed that an away game isn't being covered live. - Ryan Van Landuyt, Director, Rice Lake Community Media

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Watertown TV takes the green screen experience to Riverfest

August 13, 2018 - Proclaiming "YOU can be on Watertown TV!" the Watertown TV "Shout Out" studio went on the road on Friday and Saturday August 10 and 11 to show how the magic of a green screen works.  It was a fun interactive experience for kids of any age (3 - 103).  Watertown Tourism sponsored the event.  - Karen Huismann, Media Coordinator, Watertown TV, City of Watertown

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Wisconsin Rapids
Viewers question candidates in live call-in forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters

July 31, 2018 - Wisconsin Rapids Community Media and the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Rapids held a live forum for Clerk of Courts and Sheriff primary races in the WRCM studio. The audiences viewing on cable television, Facebook or  WRCM's website were able to call in their questions for the candidates. There were over 80 people in attendance at the forum filling the studio and hallway outside. - Tom Loucks, Multimedia Coordinator, Wisconsin Rapids Community Media, City of Wisconsin Rapids

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Sun Prairie
Sun Prairie Media Center keeps residents informed during gas explosion disaster

ike many city employees and elected officials, staff working for the Sun Prairie Media Center were close to the explosion that shook downtown Sun Prairie on Tuesday, July 10.
As usual, Marc Borland, staff producer/director, was at City Hall directing and live broadcasting a city meeting. "The plan commission meeting had not yet started," remembered Borland, "and then the explosion happened. My immediate thought was that something had hit the building. That's how immediate and severe the impact was. Then, since the meeting hadn't started, I ran down the street along with [The Star editor] Chris Mertes to see what was going on and take a picture."

That picture was then texted to SPMC Director Jeff Robbins.  Robbins said, "I was in Monona at the time at my daughter's swim practice. It was hard to tell from the picture how severe the explosion was and I couldn't abandon my daughter. But I started seeing more messages and getting more reports and it became clear that this was a pretty major situation.

Once we left the practice and got on Stoughton Road, I could see the smoke billowing in the air. Then I got in touch with a few people, from [Economic Development Director] Neil Stechschulte to [SPMC Production Manager] Lisa Wolf to [local radio producer] Bill Baker. We decided that the least we could do was get on 103.5 FM [the city-run low-power FM station] and pass along whatever information we could and advise people to stay away from the area."

After a couple of hours on the air passing along whatever information was coming in, Baker and Robbins got up early the next morning and set up a live radio broadcast at Sun Prairie High School where the American Red Cross was serving evacuated families.  From there Sun Prairie Media Center's low-power FM station promoted the many community fundraisers that were being held and carried emergency-related press conferences live, all the while updating the Cable TV station's crawls with the latest.

(Pictured at right) Sun Prairie Media Center broadcast many live radio remotes at disaster relief fundraisers, this one at the Nitty Gritty, a Sun Prairie restaurant, which donated 50% of its sales that day.  Mark Gonwa, community radio volunteer producer (right) poses with a guest wearing a red Sun Prairie Strong t-shirt. 

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Newly renovated high school and city council chambers spark student video productions

Spring, 2018 - A new space for the studio and broadcasting equipment in the renovated high school and upgraded AV equipment in the city council chambers has sparked student video production work. In addition to taping local government meetings and sports, Dodgeville High School students have been working on documentaries highlighting historic and cultural places in Southwest Wisconsin. Locations include Governor Dodge State Park, American Players Theatre and House on the Rock.  As part of the unique project, students did extensive research and often received behind-the-scenes tours. For example, students experienced and captured Frank Lloyd Wright's historic home and studio at Taliesin during a rarely seen winter renovation. - Dale Meinholz, Library Media Specialist, Dodgeville School District

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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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