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Full Summer Schedule for TV30 As New Director Revitalizes Station

Candace Braun

After a lull when less than a dozen programs were regularly shown on TV30, the station has been revitalized by Steve Kloser, who took over in January as the new executive director.

Princeton's local access cable channel will begin its summer season on June 4, boasting 34 programs. With a growing number of programs that are being produced by Princeton businesses and residents, the station is also becoming more localized.

Born in Jamestown, N.Y., Mr. Kloser took a late interest in television production after spending the earlier years of his career as a music teacher. His interest in technology, which began with a music program on the computer, led to the establishment of his own video production company in Seattle.

Once his children were grown, he and his wife moved to Vermont, where he was the director for Catamount Access TV (CAT TV), the cable access station in Bennington. After spending a few years there, he found his current job in Princeton. Among his many duties at TV30, which is located in the Valley Road Building, are taking charge of all station operations, managing staff and volunteers, implementing and coordinating programs, and conducting training sessions on the station's equipment.

According to Mr. Kloser, there was a lot to be done when he got to the station. His first step was to bring in some "good quality, national programming," and to reach out to the Princeton community for help in expanding the number of Princeton-based shows.

Working as the only full-time, paid staff member, with one part-time employee, Mr. Kloser began to make calls to residents he felt would have an interest in producing a show, as well as getting in touch with those interested in reviving shows like Breezin' with Bierman, Meet the Mayors, and Talk to Me.

Now the roles have been reversed, he said: "Success breeds success; now people are contacting me to find out how to get a program on our station."

Mr. Kloser also revitalized the station's home itself, taking a storage room and converting it into his office, and taking the former equipment room and making it a usable, three-camera studio. This was created by clearing out both rooms, and dusting off and repairing some equipment, as well as buying the station one camera and professional ceiling lighting. A curtain for the backdrop was made by one of the station's volunteers.

Since taking over the station, the number of volunteers has also grown from six to 20, said Mr. Kloser. Among these volunteers is Susan Mott, who was recently named Volunteer of the Quarter at the station. Ms. Mott began volunteering at the station in 1990, after receiving a flyer on TV30 at Communiversity. Starting with no television experience, she is now one of the station's main camera operators, and spends much of her time attending production workshops and editing footage for the station.

Now that the preliminary work has been completed, Mr. Kloser said that the station's long-term goal is to have a full prime time line up of Princeton-made programming on the air in two year's time.

"That would be a huge success," he said.

Summer Programs

One of the local programs that has recently become part of the station's weekly schedule is Town Topics TV, a new branch of the Town Topics newspaper. Directed by staff reporter Candace Braun, the show is also hosted by Ms. Braun, as well as Robin Broomer and Reilly LaMarche, who work in the newspaper's advertising department. The show is produced by Nick Sferra, owner of Princeton-based Reelist Multimedia Productions, Inc.

First envisioned by the newspaper's publisher and managing editor, Lynn Adams Smith, the program is a 20-minute show summarizing the weekly news, events, and sports in Princeton, accompanied by photography. Town Topics TV has plans to expand this summer to a half hour show that will include interviews with different Princeton personalities.

Among the other new programs is the Wilson School Lectures, a series of lectures submitted by Princeton University that discuss national and political issues.

From A Green View has now returned as a weekly discussion program led by Nick Mellis, the Green Party chair for Mercer County. The show is designed to make people aware of non-profits and important causes in the area, said Mr. Mellis.

For the first program, which will air on June 5, Mr. Mellis will discuss issues with Rev. Bob Moore of the Coalition for Peace Action, including his work in the community and his views on the war in Iraq.

Notable among the programs that have been on TV30 since the station's inception in 1987, is A Fistful of Popcorn, which will soon celebrate its 160th episode. The show is produced by Princeton residents Chuck and Gretchen Creesy, who were among the first to become involved with the station.

According to Mr. Creesy, the program, which is taped in the couple's living room once a month, features four friends having a conversation about movies they have recently seen. Reviewers include Carol Welsh, Bob Brown, Marilyn Campbell, and Janet Stern.

A Fistful of Popcorn has won national awards from the Hometown Video Competition by Alliance for Community Media, along with the station's first local program, Cafe Improv. This show, which has been aired regularly since the early 1990s, is an open stage program that shows various kinds of music, poetry, or performance done by local residents.

For more information on how to volunteer with TV30, or to see a full listing of the station's summer schedule, call (609) 252-1963, or visit www.princetontv.org.

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