Published at PO Box 96 124 W. St. Clair Romeo, MI 48065. Phone: (586)752-3524 Fax: (586)752-0548
Updated Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 10/17/12
MiCM notes increase in
features now available
by KIMBERLY SCHERERSince Washington Township took the reins on WBRW TV and hired non-profit Michigan Community Media to run the daily activities, more features are now available for the residents of Romeo, Bruce and Washington, said local officials at the township's first monthly meeting.
Observer Special Writer
"It's all about engaging the community," said Bob Solano, chairman on the MiCM board.
There have been 110 new events added to the community calendar and 750 new programs have been created, he said.
When MiCM and the new WBRW started, there were eight key points they were working toward developing.
• Train residents and students so they will have the tools and knowledge to create content available through public access TV and the Internet
• Establish a video production club and curriculum at Romeo High School
• Set up a training center and equipment lending program.
• Operate the Romeo Film Production Office
• Maintain WBRW-TV website
• Maintain needed equipment for studio operation
• Produce other revenues to offset costs
• Manage the day-to-day operations with staff and volunteers
Solano said the Romeo High School video production club was a success. He said there were 26 students who attended weekly meetings during the summer. The club segued into this year's video class, which has topped out at 108 students. Some had to be turned away because there was simply no room.
Solano said already there is a steady number of students shooting and editing their own work.
As for the community, there are three kits available for residents to check out and start using to produce their own content. Classes are offered to teach everything from using the camera to video editing in the work stations.
"We've returned to the public access model," Washington Township Supervisor Dan O'Leary said.
The classes are offered in their 3,000-square-foot multipurpose building on Wicker Street that includes editing suites, a studio, space for conferences and the ability to host studio productions.
Solano said this location, which is housed in a former fire station, is also being used as a film office to promote film making in the area. Already, there have been a few films that have been filmed in Washington.
Harnessing their metrics has been another success. They are able to see the numbers for the amount of new programming, among others. With the help of their website, which is being updated, they will be able to determine how many page views certain programs get. The new website will be ready to go at the end of the month and will use the same address as the current one, www.wbrw.tv.com.
"It makes it easier for people to find out what we're about," Solano said.
Local municipal meetings and productions can be found on the current website and there is also programming that is available on demand.
Looking ahead to next year, there is a plan for an independent film night, in-studio concerts, and a program for military veterans to create content. As for physical improvements, they're looking to add an audio booth, a kitchen and signage to the building.
Solano said it's been pretty good so far for their first effort.
"You're really going to see some great improvements over the next few years," O'Leary said.
Washington, Romeo and Bruce are in talks now about renewing the contract, which expires next summer.
"We've had some pretty good discussions," O'Leary said.
He said Romeo and Bruce are paying 5 percent less than what they had been paying before partnering with Washington's effort.
"This is a good business model that could be applied to other ventures," O'Leary said, "We're on the right path."