USDtv debuts on Channel 75 after hiatus: Expect new programming along with the return of old favorites
By Jackson Somes
“It’s going to change everything” says station manager and senior Phoebe Gurrola. Gurrola has been with USDtv since her freshman year and is excited to see the organization return to televisions across campus on Channel 75.
For the first time in four years, USDtv will be broadcasted directly to all on campus student housing. In 2009, the television channel went down due to outdated equipment and a limited budget.
Anyone who tried to access USDtv on Channel 75 was greeted with a black screen. This semester will offer the full range of programming in place of the emptiness.
The dilemma facing USDtv for the past four years was simple: money. The student organization is funded by Associated Students, but USDtv believes that the budget is not enough. “We don’t get as much money as we probably need to run a full campus cable network” Gurrola said.
“As a component of the student media, USDtv has long suffered from a lack of oversight in terms of equipment upgrades” said Dr. Kristin Moran, communication studies department chair.
All that changed back in May 2012. The organization Residential Life made a donation to USDtv of $7,500.
These additional funds provided enough money for USDtv to buy a new interface to get back on the air. Installing the new system has been worked on ever since and it is finally ready to make it’s debut.
Residential Life wasn’t the only group contributing to USDtv, though. Former provost, Dr. Julie Sullivan, the former dean of college of arts and sciences, Dr. Mary Boyd and Student Affairs were also busy at work raising money for USDtv to receive brand new equipment for the IPJ production studio. A joint request for more funding was submitted by Student Affairs and CAS.
The need for additional funding was spurred by a major contribution made by KGTC Channel 10 News, an ABC affiliate. Channel 10 News donated all of their old sets to USD in a move orchestrated by communication professor Gina Lew. This was a donation that Gurrola roughly estimated to be around $350,000. “Professor Lew has worked hard to ensure that all the pieces are in place for great student media – in television production, in print, and on the radio” said Moran.
“To take full advantage of the news set, new equipment is necessary” said Moran. The new sets will all be located in the IPJ production studio. Installation of the donated sets will begin in October.
Among the new equipment and sets will be a three camera setup, replacing a single camera from the 80s, and a new teleprompter.
Although USDtv will be running the new studio, it will be open to all students to use as well.
The USDtv that will be broadcasted this year is going to be very different from the USDtv of four years ago. Gurrola explained how the USDtv channel of four years ago looked very similar to the Media Services channel broadcasted on televisions in buildings such as the Student Life Pavilion on Channel 23.
“It was mostly playing slideshows and powerpoints,” Gurrola said. “They didn’t have as much original programming.” She continued to say that the reason for limited original programming was due to the outdated technology. “Back then everything was tape, so it took a lot longer to get everything together.” The new equipment will allow USDtv to overcome these obstacles of the past.
In the time between when the old Channel 75 went down and this year USDtv operated solely through online video sharing website, Vimeo. Gurrola says she is hopeful the return to Channel 75 will create more viewers as well as more members for the organization.
Director of Programming and junior Matt Carney resonates this hopeful sentiment will increase both viewership and interest in the USDtv community.
“Personally, I believe that this is a great opportunity to show who we are as an organization to USD” said Carney.
USDtv has an array of programming lined up for this year. For entertainment, USDtv has programs such as Rumor Has It as well as the hopeful return of Chow Down, a competitive eating show.
For students looking to stay up to date on recent events taking place both on and off campus USDtv will offer The Scoop, a program made in collaboration with Torero Life and USD News. Everyday, Channel 75 will be broadcasting a four hour block of Torero sports games due to a partnership with the athletic department and a four hour block of past IPJ lectures.
Junior Jesse O’Neil is enthusiastic for the return of Chow Down. “I’m excited to see the American spirit embodied in a show about eating”, said O’Neil.
USDtv will also provide a place for USD organizations, departments and centers to advertise. For its first year back on Channel 75, USDtv plans to offer free advertising spaces for USD entities. In years to come, off campus vendors will be allowed to pay for advertising space.
Carney states that the return to Channel 75 required a lot of hard work and believes that this new outlet holds the potential to be a huge benefit to the USD community.
“USDtv has much to offer in the way of spreading important information and providing entertainment to students.”