Channel 39 gives hands-on experience for TV and film students

TV and film students work on content for Channel 39 (Courtesy of Mark Kruhmin)

Melanie Roberts

Saddleback College Television Channel 39, through Cox Communications, offers hands-on experience and opportunity for Saddleback TV and film students and allows them the chance to expose their work.

The channel airs 24 hours a day and reaches approximately 250,000 homes from Tustin to Camp Pendleton.

“I’ve been working on [Channel 39] for about 20 years. It’s really fun to be able to put out different kinds of programs,” said Mark Kruhmin, head of SCTV Channel 39. “I like how people can stumble upon the channel and find a program they recognize that catches their eye.”

Kruhmin is in charge of maintenance and upgrades, programming and setting schedules, and also helps with production of Channel 39 and work on the KSBR radio station.

Bill Weisberger, head of communications helped start the channel over 20 years ago by starting a charter with Cox. It was originally Channel 41, then 46, and finally settled on 39 about 15 years ago.

Today students do the majority of production work. The work shown on air is about 75 percent student produced, while the other 25 percent is broadcasts of board meetings and other Saddleback College events.

“The types of things shown on the channel are student films and works, as well as broadcasts of board of trustees meetings, and graduation ceremonies. We recently showed the dedication of veteran’s ceremony,” Kruhmin said.

The channel is non-commercial, except for public service announcements regarding Saddleback.

Messages are also aired regarding the events happening on campus, such as the transfer fair, theater productions, and sporting events.

Any students from film or TV production classes are able to work on the channel. Beginners start out knowing very little and leave knowing how to work in a studio, Kruhmin said.

Communication arts instructor, Hiro Konishi said, “Channel 39 is a great asset for TV students. Opportunities to showcase their own project on a TV channel is extremely valuable.”

“The TV shows students have produced, include magazine shows, talk shows, music video, dance video, infomercials, cooking shows and art shows. Many of these projects are of professional quality,” Konishi said.

A few students, who have worked on Channel 39, have gone on to places like Entertainment Tonight and others to news networks.

Many have used their student projects on their resume and received internships.

“I think that having access to Channel 39 has helped me become a better video/film production student,” said Samantha Erikson, 21, film and television production. “Every film or TV show I help create in my CTVR classes, always has the chance to be aired several times on Channel 39.”

“Knowing that my videos can be seen on live television encourages me to put my best efforts into every film/show I create,” Erikson said.

After renovations are complete in the learning resource center and library, the village studios will be left for teaching, while the new space renovated building will be designated as a news and performance studio.

There are plans to do a local morning news broadcast, have live feed of musicians and other things happening on KSBR radio, and expansion of sports coverage.

Kruhmin said, “I feel people would like to see local news and traffic reports.”

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