Channel six says farewell to ‘Truckee Talks,’ for now |

Channel six says farewell to ‘Truckee Talks,’ for now

When “Truckee Talks” first went on the air in 1996, the set consisted of a painted, brown sheet backdrop in a modular classroom at Tahoe Truckee High School. The show’s host had to read, not from a teleprompter, but from a sheet of butcher paper held by a high school student.

The crew had to ice down the microphones so they didn’t melt.

“It may not look like much now, but we’ve come a long way,” said host Maia Schneider of the current set in the TTCTV studios.

Now Schneider and “Truckee Talks,” which have been on the air for seven years and roughly 150 episodes, have said farewell to their local television audience.

On May 28, the show’s crew taped the last episode.

“I really need to focus my attention on my paying job right now,” said Schneider, who is currently the branch manager of two banks. “It’s been seven years and it’s probably time. Sometimes channel six feels like all Maia all the time, between the town council meetings and ‘Sierra News and Views’ and ‘Truckee Talks.'”

One of the show’s regular producers, MaryLou Sullivan, became friends with Schneider on the set of “Truckee Talks.” Sullivan, who came from a broadcast background in Hollywood, said working in the low-budget world of public television was challenging at first, but the topics discussed on the program made it all worthwhile.

“It was a meeting point for town officials, hospital officials, activists, artists, Humane Society people, pro-growth, no-growth, you name it,” Sullivan said. “Some of these people didn’t want to be on the same stage together.”

The most contentious issue discussed on the program was Measure M, Sullivan said. Other topics included sexually transmitted diseases, charter school issues and Hispanic community leaders, and lighter topics like the annual holiday show, outdoor planting and a frank discussion about the Truckee singles scene with Schneider and Truckee Mayor Ted Owens.

“The people who should get the kudos are the guests,” Schneider said. “Some of them show up and they’re scared to death. I really give them all the credit in the world.”

Some of Schneider’s favorite moments took her out of the studio. When Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) came to Tahoe, she got to ride along in the back of a Chinook helicopter.

As Schneider prepares for her final episode of “Truckee Talks,” which will have clips of some of the program’s highlights from the last seven years, she says goodbye knowing it won’t be for good.

“I certainly won’t go away forever,” she said. “Television is what I love to do.”

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