Lariat TV News airs on local college channel

LTVN broadcast reporter, Austin senior Morgan Kilgo, stands in front of a green screen in the Lariat Newsroom to film a segment of a video. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Megan Rule | Staff Writer

The city of Waco’s local college cable channel has partnered with the Lariat Television News (LTVN) to air news broadcasts, allowing Baylor students to communicate information directly to the Waco community.

“This was a dream of mine from three and a half years ago. When we were looking at adding broadcast to the news room, and I knew there was a college channel,” said Paul Carr, director of student publications and journalism lecturer at Baylor. “I went and knocked on Mr. [Larry] Holze’s door just to find out what the college channel was all about,” he said of the director of municipal information for the city of Waco.

LTVN began working with broadcast students in August 2013 when the Lariat took on its first two student broadcasters. In the three-year span since, the production has grown to include four full-time students and one unpaid intern.

“I told [Holze] of my dream of creating an outlet for student-produced news packages and it just grew from there,” Carr said.

Broadcast reporters are responsible for producing one piece per week to be aired on LTVN. Criteria for being produced relies on strong audio and the quality of the story, said Carr.

Without the help of Holze, LTVN would not be on the channel. Student participants and Carr were excited about the opportunity as it gives Baylor a leg up in recruiting high school students to the program.

“I would say it’s something that a lot of other schools don’t have the opportunity to do, so as someone who wants to be a broadcast journalist, to be able to watch myself on TV this early on is really incredible,” Austin sophomore Morgan Kilgo, LTVN broadcast reporter, said.

LTVN brings new student-produced, content to the channel. As opposed to the marketing content that was there previously, LTVN broadcasts news about current events surrounding the Baylor campus and Waco community.

“To be on TV is bigger than just being on the internet; it changes the game,” Carr said. “It will change the game, not only for these students and when they go out to look for jobs to be able to say, ‘Yes, it was on the website, but it was also on television,.’ It will change the game for them when they’re looking for jobs.”

Baylor, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College share the college cable channel. Baylor began airing content on Sept. 1, but the channel has been running since 1993. Any home in the greater Waco area with a cable subscription can view the Waco college channel on Channel 18 (Channel 121.9 for on campus viewers).

“The idea is then to allow these agencies, school districts, city, and colleges to communicate with the citizens of Waco and the community they serve information about their operation,” Holze said.

Since the broadcast students are a part of the Lariat staff, their content also gets published to Broadcast students are responsible for a related print piece that gets published on the website to coincide with the video.

“When we talked about working on this, every single one of [the students] was excited about the prospect of, ‘Oh, on TV!’ It’s just a big deal, and so it’s a significant step for us,” Carr said.

Viewers can catch LTVN on cable Channel 18 from 5 to 7 a.m., 9 to 11 a.m., 3 to 5 p.m., 7 to 8 p.m., and 10 to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

“Launching Lariat Television News is a revolutionary next step in the accomplishment of the Baylor Lariat,” Carr said. “For a student newspaper to step fully into broadcast television is pretty rare, and this is an opportunity for this newsroom to be really good at all aspects of journalism.”