POV: UticaTV receives $150,000 studio upgrade

Leola Beck, Contributing Writer

In a not well-known part of the Faculty Center basement, there lies a little TV station called UticaTV. UticaTV, located in room B03 Faculty Center, was built and dedicated to the late Professor Emeritus of Public Relations Raymond Simon in 2007. This student-run television studio allows students to learn the ins and outs of video production and broadcasting. 

Over the winter break, UticaTV began the month-long process of upgrading their new $150,000 studio. This included three new studio cameras, two of which are robotic and one manual, all of which came with full pedestals and teleprompter equipment. Also included were a new video switcher, a new graphics machine, six new wireless microphones and two new IFB systems.

Laura Lewin, director of the Raymond Simon Convergence Media Center and the supervisor of UticaTV, has led the entire upgrade project.

“As we all know, technology is constantly changing and evolving, so it needs to be upgraded regularly in order to stay with current trends,” she said. “We needed to get the quality up to where it should be at this time, and also over time things start to malfunction. Over the years the equipment started to get used a lot and it was time for an upgrade to get up to 2023.”

UticaTV makes many strides to bring more students down to the studio, like putting their shows on the monitors around campus and sending students out to do on-the-street interviews.

Receiving new equipment and producing high-quality content is important so that students who are interested in this field are more prepared and ready for the modern workforce. Not only is this important for students in this program but also for other students who wish to have a broader knowledge of media.

Francis Tavino, a graduating senior and the former station manager at UticaTV, left the position to forward his career at WCNY in Syracuse as a producer for the fourth season of “Behind the Woman.” Tavino said students will benefit tremendously from this upgrade.

“It allows them to get their hands on equipment that’s more up-to-date with current things in the field, specifically with the graphics program we’ve added and the switcher,” he said. “Also with the cameras being upgraded, it allows for higher quality videos to be produced.”

One of the best parts of receiving new equipment is the excitement for everything to come in and test everything out. Lewin said she was most excited to have higher quality cameras that can record in 4k and give crystal clear images. 

As for Tavino, he is most looking forward to Xpressions and the switcher coming into the studio because “although they are two separate entities, they work hand-in-hand together.”

Being a part of UticaTV has given me and other students involved in the club many skills that, without it, I would have never learned. I remember on my tour, before committing to Utica University, the one thing I was excited about most was seeing the studio and falling in love with what they had to offer. 

While many students may not have quite an interest in video production like me, I do believe this program has a lot to offer students, including skills that involve teamwork, leadership and creativity. 

According to Lewin, UticaTV allows for students to find a community and family during the long hours of video production. Being a part of UticaTV not only teaches the skills to edit video, adjust audio, to look for certain quality when creating things, but it also teaches how to trust yourself, how to trust others, how to work with each other and how to respect other people’s opinions and views.

“We spend a lot of time together and video production requires teams,” Lewin said. “To be able to work together, those are skills that will stay with the students for their life. I strive to create an environment where people are comfortable and it’s okay to not know anything when you walk in the door on the first day. We will teach you what you need to know in order to be part of the team.”

While many students who work at UticaTV are Communication and Media majors, UticaTV is open to all Utica University students and anyone is welcome to stop in the studio and see what it has to offer.