For a majority of the 2011-12 school year, if you clicked past Laker TV while channel surfing you most likely heard a simulcast of Jazz music from 88.5 Jazz FM and saw community events being advertised. Or perhaps you saw one of the few student-produced programs that aired sporadically on the channel.
Now, as of Friday, March 30, Laker TV has a whole new line-up of classic programming. It is all the result of Mercyhurst’s recent partnership with WLEP-TV, Erie’s Retro TV affiliate.
Brain Sheridan, Laker TV’s faculty adviser, has been shopping around for a way to get consistent programming on Laker TV for nearly five years now.
“I’ve been trying to find a steady stream of programming for our station that would fit what we do, be interesting to the community and fit into the mission of Mercyhurst,” Sheridan said.
Finding programming that fit Mercyhurst’s Catholic roots and was within the budget proved to be difficult for Sheridan.
“There isn’t a lot out there that doesn’t cost a lot of money,” he said.
Many of the early possibilities for Laker TV partnerships included The Pennsylvania Cable Network and NASA TV. It wasn’t until about two years ago that Sheridan settled on a partnership with the Erie Retro TV affiliate, WLEP-TV, which is channel nine on Time Warner cable.
The new partnership allows many classic television shows, like “Ozzie and Harriet” and “Lassie” to air alongside student-produced programming like the The Hollywood Buzz or the new Mercyhurst Unplugged.
The new partnership also creates numerous possibilities for the future of Laker TV, like the possibility of programming created by Mercyhurst students airing on WLEP as well as Laker TV.
“Eventually we could do more things,” said Sheridan. “Possibly we could set up sales programming where students could go out and earn money by selling spots for Retro TV.”
“But we would need a better infrastructure for this to happen,” Sheridan added. “We would need more support here on campus.”
Senior Victoria Gricks, the student administrator of Laker TV, is excited for the future of the channel.
“I think this partnership could increase the amount of viewers Laker TV has,” she said, “I think students will respect the station more, watch it more and even get involved. The greater the involvement, the better the station will become.”
Laker TV is always looking for student volunteers. Students who wish to be a part of Laker TV can email Victoria Gricks at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian Sheridan at email@example.com.