If I had to name one organization that has had the biggest impact on my life, it’s ATV, the student television station at AU. I learned so many skills and gained an incredible amount of experience at ATV, which directly impacted my career path. For me and for so many of my past and present colleagues, ATV has been more than a club; it’s been a family of dedicated students working together and teaching each other how to make great news and entertainment television content for their university community.
ATV turns 35 years old later this year. But the life of ATV’s studio equipment is fast approaching two decades–an eternity in the broadcast television industry. Professionals have told ATV that its equipment–dating from the 1990s or earlier–belongs in either a museum or a landfill. Equipment failures happen at the station on almost a monthly basis now because of its age. And it’s hard for ATV to fulfill its mission of giving students practical studio television experience when its studio is more than two generations behind.
Last year, towards the end of my term as ATV’s General Manager, we contracted for a professional estimate of the cost for a full HD renovation of ATV’s studio. The estimated price tag for such an effort would be $230,000.
It will take a long time for ATV to achieve that goal, but there are smaller steps they can take along the way.
In partnership with American University, ATV is now working to raise $10,000 by April 25 in a “UFund” project, in order to purchase a new Blackmagic production video switcher–one of the key hardware requirements for their studio. It’s only a small part of their long-term effort, but it’s a start, that will itself have a big impact on the resources available to the station.
I have already proudly made my contribution to this fund, and I would ask you to join me in donating to this very important organization at American University that is making a real difference in the lives of so many young broadcast professionals like myself.