A sports talk show on student-run Ithaca College Television (ICTV) has won a prestigious College Television Award from the Television Academy Foundation. “Hold That Thought” took first place in the unscripted series category.
Producers Jenna Harner, Jonah Restuccio and Amy Stiefel, and ICTV Sports Director Mike Kaminskas, each received awards for their work on the show.
Designed to emulate the Emmy Award judging process, entries are reviewed by active Television Academy members. Students submit their pieces through an online platform and undergo a three-round judging process. Winners are invited to participate in a Nominee Summit at the Television Academy, where they are exposed to industry professionals and undergo development workshops.
“For us to come in first, and to have that voted on by actual members of the Television Academy, just really goes to show how Ithaca College and ICTV train you for the real world,” said Restuccio.
“Hold That Thought” is a sports debate show in the tradition of ESPN’s “Around the Horn.” Each episode features a host and guest commentators who debate a series of topics and issues from the local and national sports world. At the conclusion of each episode, viewers and the producers decide a winner.
Although only the show’s producers and the station’s sports director were eligible to receive the award, they were quick to praise the hard work and talent of the entire staff.
“TV is a team sport and everyone really helped out from top to bottom,” said Kaminskas.
Harner, Restuccio and Steifel traveled to Los Angeles to attend the award show, which featured appearances by several television stars, including “White Collar” actor Matt Bomer and Jane Lynch of “Glee.”
“To be in a room with a bunch of celebrities coming up and congratulating you, it was really awesome,” said Steifel.
Harner remarked that their competition in the unscripted series category was strong and they didn’t expect to win. She says the moment their names were announced “didn’t seem real.”
“This is a well-deserved award for the entire ‘Hold That Thought’ team and everyone at ICTV,” said Wheatley. “Their passion for the show and dedication to high quality television was recognized by the judges. I couldn't be more pleased and proud.”
“Hold That Thought” first aired in January 2010. Restuccio says the show will undergo a facelift this summer to modernize its graphics and keep it in line with the latest television technology, though the format will remain the same.
Founded in 1958 as the first student-run cable television station, ICTV is housed in the Roy H. Park School of Communications and provides original, student-produced programming to approximately 26,000 households in the Ithaca area through Time Warner Cable. Additionally, ICTV offers a livestream of its programming on its website, ICTV.org, along with on-demand episodes from past and present shows.