Celebrating 30 years of telling your stories


From left, Luke Spiegelhoff, Town Square Television Producer of the Year; Jodie Miller, NDC4/Town Square Television Executive Director; George Tourville, NDC4 Commission Chair; and Rick Sachwitz, Town Square Television Volunteer of the Year.

A truly LOCAL TV station

If you live in Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake or West St. Paul, Town Square Television is your connection to local news and local stories. 

The community cable station has many of the amenities of a commercial TV station -- high definition cameras, a newly expanded and upgraded studio, edit suites and a production truck -- but with one distinct advantage: It’s here for the public.

Members of the community can get involved by taking classes, volunteering, or producing and submitting their own programs. A comprehensive line of classes is offered for video enthusiasts and novices alike, including HD Camera Production, Studio Production, Video Editing and Truck Production. 

The non-profit organization televised more than 1,400 unique shows last year. Volunteers log hundreds of hours on studio and mobile truck productions, helping to bring their favorite sports, music or civic events online and on cable TV. Executive Director Jodie Miller points out that with a small staff of 14 employees, Town Square Television depends upon volunteers and sponsors to accomplish its motto: “Your Town, Your Stories.”

Town Square is currently upgrading equipment throughout its facility. Miller says the company got approval to upgrade the production truck to high definition, which is one of its biggest projects, done every 15 to 20 years.

More cameras will be added to the truck as well as smaller point-of-view cameras that will give viewers additional views and angles. 

Edit suites will be updated to new software, as well.

Providing LOCAL video content 

Programming on Town Square Television includes local music and arts, high school sports, faith-related shows, local government and news, election coverage, history programs, graduations, community festivals and more. 

“In 2016 we provided many hours of pre-election information programming, including candidate forums and individual ‘Meet the Candidates’ videos, to assist voters in learning about the candidates on their ballots.  And on Election Night staff and dozens of volunteers produced a live show and open house event to bring candidates and the community together with the results,” Miller says. “We cover nine high school and college graduations every year, live on cable and internet, and provide free DVDs to all graduates with the help of our loyal sponsor, Volkswagen of Inver Grove.”

“This spring we will televise and webcast all home games for the Minnesota Vixen, a professional women’s football team of the Women’s football Alliance, live from Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights,” Miller adds. “A wrap up of the Vixen’s IWFL Semi-Final game, from last July, against the New York Sharks, reached over 40,000 views on our Facebook page, and a play from our coverage of that game was featured on ESPN’s Top Ten.”

 

When and where viewers want to watch

By constantly adapting to the latest technology, Town Square Television allows viewers to find programs online, or on TV, on their own schedule. Besides being easily accessed on Comcast Xfinity Basic Cable channels and Xfinity On-Demand, programs are also available to watch at www.townsquare.tv, along with full program schedules for all channels and a clickable “What’s on Now?” feature. 

Another cable franchise was recently added for CenturyLink. This means Town Square channels are available to both Comcast and CenturyLink for customers in the seven-city area.

“By having the CenturyLink franchise, we have more households that can see our channels,” Miller says.

CenturyLink also serves the same cable channel lineup to the entire metro area.

“CenturyLink viewers in Brooklyn Park or Woodbury can watch our Town Square Television channels,” Miller says. 

Town Square Television is on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo, in addition to their TV channels and website. This spring, the station’s mobile production truck will be fully upgraded to High Definition, with new cameras, point-of-view cameras, and graphic systems. Edit suites, at the studio, will also be upgraded to the latest industry standard non-linear edit software.

“Our viewers are sharing our videos with their social media networks, and we are thrilled to have thousands of viewers all over the world,” Miller says. “One recent example is our Jan. 20 posting of our Insight 7 News Magazine story a young man from South St. Paul, who invites people to request prayers, which received 65,000 views on Facebook.”

Miller says there will be some kind of celebration later this year in honor of the company’s 30th anniversary.

 

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