Source: Sherman Publications

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ONTV expanding studio, programming

October 12, 2011

From left, Message Board Facilitator Lori Naseef, Production Coordinator Kevin Taratuta, Outreach Coordinator Heather Muzzy, Executive Director Diane Griffiths, Administrative Assistant Tracy Marsh and Studio Manager Ian Locke. Photo by G. Ouzounian
By Megan Bildner

Review Intern

Most people hate moving, but the staff at Orion Neighborhood Television cannot wait.

Currently jammed into what is essentially retail space in a local strip mail on M-24, ONTV will be uprooting its operation and moving to the new Orion Center on Joslyn Road, by the end of the year. The television offices will occupy a third of the top floor of the building.

"The move will allow us to really be interactive with the community," said Executive Director Diane Griffiths. "We'll be able to serve our viewers better than we ever have before. The setup is a lot nicer."

ONTV features original programming by Orion Township residents, including local news and expert features, as well as expanded sports coverage. Griffiths said the upgrade to ONTV's facilities will allow the station to create a variety of new programming. This includes additional newscasts, local government news shows featuring village and township decision makers, as well as Orion township parks and nature programming.

Other new programs will target a diverse audience, said Heather Muzzy, outreach coordinator at ONTV. Some programs that have been on hold until the move include a new sports talk show; a cooking show; a non-profits neighborhood connection show for service groups, churches and similar organizations; and a business news talk show, focusing on local, unique business happenings in our community.

Potentially upgraded studio equipment will allow ONTV to provide quicker turn-around time on replaying broadcasts of meetings, including township, planning commission, village council and school board meetings, added Griffiths, who said her team's goal is to get this important information to the public quicker.

"Our most viewed shows are the township and school board meetings," said Studio Manager Ian Locke. "In the past, if a viewer missed it the first time we did not always have the ability to replay a meeting. Our new equipment will enable us to offer replays and have DVDs at the library within a day or two of the meetings."

The new space will also give ONTV the option to work closely with seniors who visit the Orion Center. A number have expressed an interest in volunteering their time at the studio, according to Lisa Sokol, director of the Orion Center.

"The community center gives us a lot of options to work with the senior center on programs we've had on hold for a while," said Ralph Painter, president and OCCCC Member. Exercise shows and oral history with the seniors are already in the works, with seniors doing the production, he added.

During the move, ONTV is estimating there will be one week of downtime. DVDs of Orion events will be available at the Orion Township Public Library and streamed live on ONTV's website,

ONTV hours are Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Program guides are available online (see above). For information on how to become certified to use ONTV equipment and facilities, or how to submit a program to play on public access channel 10/916, call 248-693-3377.