Grass roots TV needs a little fertilizer |

Grass roots TV needs a little fertilizer

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunWes Hollabaugh, at the podium, Rubin Martinez, left, and Michael Larain, right, film during class at the Truckee Tahoe Community Television studio this week.

Serving the local community since the 1970s, Truckee Tahoe Community Television has seen a lot of changes during its time on the air.

The station, which has evolved into the local public, educational and government access station for the community has outlasted two local cable companies and is still being broadcast on what is now Cebridge Connections’ cable channel six.

Currently available to students in Truckee High’s video production classes, as well as community members interested in producing their own public access television shows, the station has always “done a lot with a little,” said Executive Director John Echols. However, the studio is in need of updated equipment.

“We’re kind of in a place where a lot of this stuff has been in here for six years,” Echols said, “and in technology terms, that’s a long time.”

Upgrading that outdated equipment is where the station’s “6 for 6” campaign comes in. The station put together a list of equipment needed to bring the studio up to current standards within the industry and came up with a price tag of $60,000, Echols said.

Planned upgrades include new studio lighting and camera equipment, additional field cameras, editing software upgrades and a digital scheduling controller.

Local cable provider Cebridge Connections kick-started the “6 for 6” campaign with a check for $10,000 and is currently helping solicit other donations through notices about the fund-raising campaign in the monthly bills sent out to local cable customers.

“Cebridge appreciates how much channel six means to the community,” said Jason Oelkers, Cebridge marketing manager. “Every year Cebridge tries to find a way to give back to the communities it serves, and in Truckee it seemed like channel six was an easy focus.”

Oelkers also said that the upgrades the “6 for 6” campaign will allow Channel 6 to make will help Cebridge with its pledge to its Truckee customers to improve the quality of their cable service.

Echols is confident the local community will likewise see the value in continuing to support a local public access television station in Truckee.

“A lot of people know about channel six and a lot of people really like seeing the sports and meeting coverage,” Echols said. “We get constant feedback on shows, so we know people are out there watching and I hope that translates into direct community support.”

While the “6 for 6” campaign is planned as a fund-raiser for the station, Cristie Bray, TTCTV’s community coordinator, said it will also help spread the word about the opportunities for community involvement in the programming produced by the station.

“We’re hoping that the community gets in contact with us. Even if it’s not to donate money we always want people to ask how to get involved,” she said.

That’s the spirit behind what Echols and Bray called “grass roots television,” which, with a little help from the viewers who watch it, will only continue to grow.

For more information on Truckee Tahoe Community Television, Channel 6 see or call 582-1194.

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