Volume 90, Issue 87

Tuesday, March 11, 1997



Changing channels

By Laura Koot
Gazette Staff

Following three years of nurturing TV Western, the University Students' Council is transplanting the operation with hopes of generating some new growth.

In a proposal which will be presented to council tomorrow, TV Western will be uprooted and merged with CHRW effective June 1. The creation of one operation under one manager will be passed as part of the council's budget March 19.

The merger is the brainchild of the USC's VP-communications, Jerry Topolski, who said the change was motivated by a number of factors. "You are going to have two mediums working together," Topolski said, explaining both physical resources and volunteer manpower will be shared.

"It might save the students money if we can achieve the advertising that we hope to by doing this," Topolski said. He added the change is something he has been working on for four or five months.

The council's general manager, Jim Walden, explained the idea of combining the two operations is not entirely new. "It was inherent in the original consultants report of 1991, where they recommended the combining of the media under one manager."

The idea accomplished two things, Walden explained. "One was to decrease the span of control and the second was to reinforce or promote synergism between the two operations because they are both broadcast media."

Current station manager for CHRW, Mario Circelli, will be the manager for the new, yet-to-be-named operation. He said names like USC media and USC programming have been tossed around. "It will be one body with two legs.

"In principle it makes good sense," Circelli said. He explained CHRW has a solid infrastructure, promotional tools and excellent training to accept the challenge of combining the operations. "I don't foresee any real problems now because we don't know exactly how things are going to work," he said.

Topolski said he sees the potential to increase TV Western's programming from two hours a week to 14 or 15 hours. Circelli is optimistic this is a realistic goal. "I guarantee that we will be able to create a minimum of 15 original in-house programming each week.

"Students are going to see a bona fide television station – a camera on themselves." Circelli said the programming will include live news information, varsity games and concerts live-to-air and the ability for Western students to make themselves heard.

"The technologies are really merging due to the information superhighway so it is a natural to bring the two operations together," Circelli added.

While the change is still at the proposal stage, Topolski said he is confident it will generate a positive response from the Western community.

Circelli said his station will seize the opportunity. "I think we can provide Western students with what TV Western was originally set out to provide."

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Copyright The Gazette 1997