Members of the Marion Chamber of Commerce were introduced April 19 to MCTV’s (Marion County Television) newest program, “The Corner,” airing on cable channel 20 every other Wednesday, Saturday and on Sunday.
The program is a joint project of the Chamber and the television station, according to Gene Winkler with MCTV.
“April was the first program we did, and has something that we hope is of interest to the community,” Winkler said.
The first show in the series featured anchorman Mike Powers, who, when he isn’t on television, serves as the chief judge for the 8th Judicial District in Marion County.
Winkler said Powers wrote the script and recorded all the segments before the show was even put together.
The idea for the new show arose a few months earlier when Eagle Communications approached the city about doing an about Marion, for Marion.
“They wanted to take the information back and put it on Channel 2, which is the channel they have out of Abilene and goes to several counties,” Winkler said.
“Everything needed to be lined up on the same day, and then when (Eagle Communications) came down, they would spend two or three hours, videotape it and put it all together to make a show.”
Winkler said the Chamber and local station thought they could do the same thing. and make it as good, or nearly as good, as what Eagle could do.
Winkler said one of the reasons he was confident about the local station’s quality was because USD 408 Marion-Florence and MCTV had recently acquired some new equipment.
“The MCTV group and the school went together and bought a tricaster, which is a camera computer system running several cameras,” he said.
One of its uses would be for sports, Winkler added, but it can also be used to create the illusion of a big studio behind the anchor’s desk, thanks to a green screen.
The tricaster can broadcast, stream, publish, project and record simultaneously, he said.
In addition to Powers work as anchor for the first show, two businesses were highlighted. One was a new business, Mid America Kitchen and Baths, and the other was a long-time business, Western Associates.
“We are wanting to do something of interest and maybe something people have never seen,” Winkler said.
In May, the plan is to interview a man who buys, sells and refurbishes Airstream trailers, and a section about St. Luke Hospital, he said.
“We will try to do an opinion poll on a certain subject and interview children—something to get about 30 minutes (on the air).
Cable channel 20 can be seen in Marion, Hillsboro, Lincolnville, Florence and Marion County Lake.
In addition to Powers’ contributions, Winkler acknowledged Powers the assistance of Doug Kjellin, Todd Heitschmidt, Roger Schroeder, Lee Leiker and Margo Yates.
“Some are from the Chamber, MAC (Marion Advancement Campaign), MEDI (Marion Economic Development Inc., and the MCTV group,” he said. “We all got together and have started doing our own show once a month and that’s what we started in April.”
Yates said she is “excited” about this opportunity to promote the community, businesses and events.
“Since the Chamber is involved, we plan to promote Chamber businesses and new businesses,” she said.
Winkler said about 10 to 15 “loyal advertisers” have agreed to be sponsors for a year.
“The whole year means they sponsor basketball, football, wrestling, volleyball—and now we are using these same people for our new show,” he said.
MCTV will begin looking in September for advertisers for the next year, he said.
MCTV station is not affiliated with any other station, Winkler said.
“When we started MCTV there was myself, Mike Powers, Kevin Hofer and we went through several (others),” he said. “Janice Maggard was also one of the originals. We just have a bunch of guys willing to give some time and do some interviews.”
Winkler said MCTV has been broadcasting for about 19 years. Its “regular crew” includes Casey Case, Ed Wheeler and Jay Smith. Danny Maddox runs an extra camera.
“We go to football games and haul all of our equipment, and if there is no place for us in the press box, we set up scaffolding three stories high,” he said.
The station even has its own generator, if needed.
“We are pretty self-sufficient and we have bought all this equipment just from the people advertising with us in the last few years. It really helped us out.”
Anyone who hasn’t had an opportunity to see the “The Corner” can view it on Channel 20 at noon and 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. The program will also air at 6 p.m. every Sunday when there are no sporting events.
On the other Wednesdays and Saturdays at noon and 6 p.m., viewers can watch that week’s Marion City Council meeting.
Winkler encourages people to call if they have something they want to see aired. Those who might have an idea that would be of interest to the community can call 620-382-3298.