September 24, 2021

Public access station BeloitTV gets a makeover

Located in Beloit’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CELEB), BeloitTV provides students the opportunity to create their own high-quality productions for the college and greater community.

Beloit’s TV station has undergone a massive makeover. As the city of Beloit’s public access television station, BeloitTV operates out of the largely student-run Center for Entrepreneurship (CELEB), allowing students to create and produce content in-house for both the college and the wider Beloit community.

The station, located in Beloit’s downtown, installed new lighting, backdrops, set pieces, furniture, and recording equipment last summer. The control room has been completely reconstructed, now containing a six-monitor customizable director’s station, a 4K-capable video processor, and a professional multi-camera switcher, which produces high-quality professional programming.

Jonathon Kelley, a professor of media studies and the station’s manager, says BeloitTV gives students a taste of how local stations create and promote content, from producing their own shows to televising campus or community events. “If you want the real broadcasting experience, we’ve got it right here at Beloit,” Kelley says.

Students of all majors can access these resources after enrolling in Kelley’s interdisciplinary 300-level course, Practicum in Broadcast Television, where they learn studio techniques, how to use equipment, and acquire production skills. Both 300 and 301 — the second class in the sequence is for more advanced broadcasters — take place at the same time in the TV station. Seasoned students propose and produce their own television programming and are placed in teams with less-experienced students, who serve as their crew members.

Anton Cross’20 took the broadcasting sequences and was hired by the college in 2020 to assist with student projects in both BeloitTV and Maple Tree Recording Studio, adjacent to the station in the CELEB building. Cross, who has produced concerts and other programming, can barely remember the old cameras of the “bare bones” station before its recent renovation — or a time before CELEB hired Kelley to run BeloitTV two years ago.

“It’s kind of crazy how quickly things change here, certainly for the better,” Cross says. He says the revamped space has attracted more students over the past year. “New students coming in who are interested in any of these artistic or creative production aspects will get really excited. When I arrived here in 2016 and this space was so totally different, I thought it was cool that the school even had a recording studio. I just never really thought about a space like that at a small college.”

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