By day, students in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College work with professors to learn the ins and outs of the television industry. By night, those same students put their learning into practice through ICTV, the college’s student-run television station.
That combination of classroom learning and real-world application led ICTV to be recognized by the Broadcast Education Association with its Signature Station Award. ICTV currently airs 20 weekly shows, with five special broadcasts aired at various points throughout the year.
The honor was previously awarded to KUJH-TV, the University of Kansas Television Station in 2016 and VUTV, Valparaiso University’s station in 2015.
“The BEA Signature Station Award was all about station structure and organizational layout of all of our volunteers and leaders,” said senior Alexander McKeen, ICTV’s station manager. “To know that our program is nationally recognized for all of the hours spent in Park is something that is extremely rewarding for all of us.”
This isn’t the first honor for ICTV, which has been operating since 1958. Last year, “Hold That Thought,” a sports talk show on ICTV, won best unscripted series at the College Television Awards.
As the oldest college television station in the country, ICTV has gone through plenty of changes. What hasn’t changed, however, is the student dedication.
From “Newswatch,” the only local news program serving Tompkins County, to “Couples Clash,” a spoof of the classic show “The Newlywed Game,” journalists and comedy writers alike have the opportunity to hone their craft. Once a student is involved, they aren’t limited to one show. A student can work as a producer for “The Director’s Chair,” a talk show highlighting student productions at IC, and then move down the hall to work as an editor for a scripted show like “The PAs,” a sitcom chronicling the lives of five production assistants.
“ICTV's structure of willing volunteers putting on more shows than any other program in the country is what sets us apart from other stations,” McKeen said. “We run like a real station, and we have enough space and supplies for anyone interested in being a part of our ‘industry.’”
With two studios and a recently remodeled television set, a remote production truck and several editing suites available, the bottom floor of the Roy H. Park School of Communications can often resemble a production office rather than a college hallway.
ICTV can be viewed online at ICTV.org or locally with a Time Warner Cable/Spectrum subscription.