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TV 24 makes its move

09/13/2012

TV-24 WJXS is no longer based in Jacksonville State University's broadcast studio in Self Hall.

Carl Brady, host of "East Alabama Today", said during the Aug. 30 evening broadcast, "We will be completing our transition to our new state-of-the-art digital studio in Oxford this Friday morning at 12 a.m."

The commercial broadcasting company serves seven east Alabama counties and carries across 12 cable systems. They had rented the studio from JSU since 2002.

Current JSU student and TV-24 associate producer Victoria Reaves said there are two reasons why the broadcasting company decided to move.

"The equipment in the old studio was a little outdated," said Reaves.

The television station's new studio in Oxford is 'state-of-the-art' and will allow TV-24 to broadcast digitally-resulting in a much higher quality of signal.

"Also, it's really important for TV-24 to establish an identity away from JSU," she said.

Because it started on campus, people tend to think of TV-24 as 'that JSU television station'.

"The move was necessary in order to grow as a news station," said Reaves.

Dr. Patrick McGrail, professor of the broadcast journalism sequence in Self Hall, said having TV-24 located just a few doors down was a great opportunity for students.

Over the decade at JSU, many broadcast journalism students completed internships with the local television station.

Some even gained employment post-graduation. Former student Gerhard Mathangani is now the station's sports anchor.

"TV-24 has employed at least 10 of my students over the last few years in a variety of positions-from sitting in the anchor's chair to field reporting and production," said McGrail.

According to him, it was a beneficial relationship for both JSU and the television station. The university wants to see its graduates find work, and TV-24 wants employees experienced in broadcasting.

There was, however, one down-side to the arrangement.

"While we could still technically use the studio when they weren't broadcasting, it was nearly impossible. Sometimes they would work 12-hour days," said McGrail.

Now that the station is gone, he plans to make full use of the larger studio for JSU programming. While it isn't technologically up-to-date by commercial standards, it's still a big improvement over the space Dr. McGrail is currently using.

"Classes like Intro to TV Production and Electronic Broadcasting News will finally get the chance to use green-screen technology," he said.

When asked if JSU's connection with the broadcasting company will be affected by the move, McGrail doesn't think so.

"We're a very hands-on department here. Our students know how to broadcast, they're flexible and they don't ask much in salary," he said. "It makes sense for TV-24 to take advantage of that."

Furthermore, JSU's Department of Communication will do everything it can to make sure the working relationship between it and TV-24 WJXS continues, according to McGrail.

Reaves doesn't think things will change, either.

"TV-24 is always open for students who want experience in the field," she said.

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