Eric Warner Staff Writer
Eastern Television is a campus news cablecast that produces a weekly program about on-campus events, local Willimantic events, and, at times, national news, to Eastern residents. ETV is one of the many communication focused co-curricular organizations on campus along with the Campus Lantern newspaper and the WECS Radio Club. By joining these clubs, students can practice the skills they learn in class while exploring their field of choice.
ETV was formed by the merging of two previous clubs: Eastern Expedition, a game show created by Adam Wurtzel from the class of 2007 and News 22, a live news program created by Sheena Williams from the class of 2006. The game show was guided and advised by current Communication Department Chairman Dr. Jaime Gomez. The news program was and is today advised by Dr. Andrew Utterback. The merger was successful and it would eventually turn into the ETV that exists today, although the game show ended about two years after Wurtzel graduated. In the academic years of 2012-2013, Eastern Alumni Nick Aconfora approached Bob Molta, the sports information director of the Department of Athletics, and they started broadcasting the home games of the Warriors, resulting in ETV Sports. Due to their efforts, the ETV that exists today was formed: ETV News and ETV Sports.
Since the merger, ETV has become a powerful pre-professional network to work with. The club teaches students how to make a broadcast in a live environment. Eastern has its own cable channel, channel 16.105 on campus or on Charter Communications, channel 195 (the footprint being the northeast corner of the state of CT) where the newscast goes live every Thursday at 7:00 pm to simulate a network affiliate environment. Students are able to work in a live environment and the shows get uploaded to YouTube afterwards. In addition, ETV Sports records every single home game of every sport here at Eastern.
This has become a very well-renowned force for ETV especially for students who want to get into sports broadcasting. While ETV is intended to give students who are communication majors experience in working on a television studio, any student who is interested in television production can join the club. During the beginning of each semester, students can audition to become anchors or learn how to operate the machines in the control room or the studio itself, such as the cameras, microphones, teleprompter, video switcher, audio, and more.
Through ETV students can gain experience working as camera operators, floor directors, teleprompters, audio operators, technical directors, graphic designers, reporters, anchors, sports commentators, and producers. Students can even receive an internship or a job through this process with the guidance of Dr. Utterback. In fact, almost every single person who has worked as a director of broadcasting for ETV Sports has ended up at ESPN or other local news stations such as CPTV, WFSB-3, FOX-61, and NBC-30. Former students also come back often to provide insight for new students and can even help them gain internships at local studios. Annually, Seniors travel to Las Vegas to go to the National Association of Broadcasters Show (one of the largest trade shows in the world).
If you’re interested in learning more about television production you could visit, or better yet, join the club, on Thursday nights in the Communication Building room 114 at 6:30 pm. ETV is truly one of the most fun and interesting experiences that Eastern has to offer.