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Posted: 07/16/14


NEW DIRECTOR. Above, Amy Murphy is the new executive director of Mi Communtiy Media for WBRW Channel 6. Murphy, a Milford resident, began on June 3, saying she will use her background in cable production to find new ways of bringing volunteers and residents into the studio. She previously worked at Comcast as a production assistant and moved up to become an executive producer.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

WBRW director seeks to
grow community involvement

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      MiCommunity Media is steering its ship toward more community participation with a new director at the helm.
       Amy Murphy of Milford joined WBRW as of June 3 to become its new executive director, saying she hopes to bring innovative, creative and enjoyable content to viewers while involving more volunteers.
       Murphy has been in the broadcast business for 25 years, working with the Michigan High School Athletic Association network for the last five years as executive producer.
       She previously worked at Comcast as a production assistant and moving up until becoming an executive producer. She has a degree in broadcast and cinematic arts from Central Michigan University.
       "It's just something I love," she said. "I love movies, I love sports, I love watching television and thinking `wow, who came up with that idea?'"
       She said the experience will help as she tries to re-brand and rebuild WBRW to have more community involvement.
       "I really enjoy doing community programming with that local flair," she said. "There are so many untapped resources in communities like this."
       To do so, she said the studio will put a greater emphasis on training residents and volunteers, whether it's operating cameras or the studio's tri-caster.
       For school involvement, she said the studio is already in talks with Romeo Community Schools about sports coverage as well as expanding on the video production curriculum.
       She said the studio is also talking with local colleges to have interns participate in studio operations.
       "You're going to get that hands-on experience that can help you in your career going forward," she said.
       To bring people into the studio, she said she wants to start up an unemployment program in September where speakers come into the studio and talk with people about finding jobs in today's market.
       A mom-to-mom show is also in talks to have residents interact at the studio, or even veteran and senior citizen shows.
       "Some of those would be working with volunteers and the community, which I think this has kind of been on the back burner with (WBRW's) changes and the move," she said.
       In terms of technology updates, she said the studio may look into more resident kits and upgrades to cameras. She said there will always be a need to upgrade equipment as technology continues to grow and change.
       For those who prefer to watch rather than produce TV, she said changes to the program guide will be forthcoming. She said this could include placing it on the studio's website and working with Comcast to give audiences a better indication of what will be showing on channel 6.
       "If you don't know about us and you discover us and try to watch us, you can't figure out what's on," she said. "We're trying to make it easier for those at home."
       Programming residents are used to will continue, such as governmental meetings, parades and festival coverage. Viewers may see themed block programming, such as for holidays or keeping cool in the summer with winter shows and sports.
       "I think people get bored with all the meetings on at the same time," she said. "If people like it, yay, but if they don't they'll let us know and we'll know they're watching and we'll listen and do what we need to do."
       Along with programming modifications, Murphy has implemented renovations to the studio that began last week. Once complete, the building will have new tiling and carpeting, and the second story will provide offices and a space for classes.
       "We want it to look more professional so we can start bringing in more people from the community," she said. "I've not seen a lot of people utilizing the studio, so by upgrading things here I'm hoping that we can start bringing in people again."
      


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