New government television station hires director
SUMMIT COUNTY – The new government television station – channel 10 – for the first time has its own director.
Brad Williamson, the former television program director at Resort Sports Network (RSN) will be programming the public education and government (PEG) television channel 10.
Williamson began his new job Monday, starting from scratch, researching what type of equipment to buy.
He has a limited amount of funds – $148,000 – paid by grants, towns and the county to the Summit County Telecommunications Consortium (SCTC) for a public education and government channel.
One content idea is to broadcast views of Interstate 70 provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation, so drivers can get a look at traffic before they get in their cars.
Other possibilities include broadcasting tapes of the most recent town council meetings or historical features on the towns, Williamson said.
Williamson is the only person on staff at Channel 10; the position will be up for review at the end of the year. The salary is $43,000 for nine months.
One of Williamson’s top missions is to come up with funding to support the channel, said Jack Benson, the Dillon town manager who hired Williamson on behalf of the SCTC. Summit County and its four towns each pay $2,500 annually to the SCTC.
Colorado Mountain College and the Summit School District also are members of the consortium. But no decisions have been made whether to include the educational institutions in programming, much less what type of format the schools could use on the station.
“It’s really up to the SCTC board members,” Williamson said. “For now I’m finding equipment and taking over the community announcements that Frisco’s Tenah Johnson has been running. This will be a progressive transition, since it’s just me.”
The 34-year-old Silverthorne resident has seven years of television programming experience in Colorado.
After graduating from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1995, Williamson worked for the now-defunct Columbine Cablevision, producing Fort Collins news.
He was promoted from production assistant to production manager after his first year at RSN in Breckenridge in 1999. He is an avid bicyclist, skier and Denver Broncos fan.
And he knows Summit County.
“I’ve been here for eight years, so I’ve worked with contacts in all the towns and at the county,” Williamson said.
Williamson programmed RSN’s Summit Sunrise show, featuring local news and weather on Channel 13, and coordinated broadcasts of independently produced ski films for RSN.
“I told him to keep doing what he’s doing, except he should wear long sleeves to cover up his tattoos,” said RSN TV personality Jeffrey Bergeron, aka Biff America. “No, but really, Brad knows how to produce good, small-market television programming with a small budget. He can handle everything from the creative aspect to fixing engineering emergency moments before broadcast.”
Benson said Williamson stood out from other applicants because he knows television programing technology and the area. There were dozens of applications and six finalists, several of whom live on the Front Range.
“We wanted to make sure we could find someone who was already committed to Summit County. Finding housing is tough here,” Benson said. “Plus he already has contacts at the towns.”
At a Silverthorne candidates forum Monday, incumbent councilmember Karla Trippe said she’d like to see the town use channel 10 to communicate to residents.
Christine McManus can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229 or at email@example.com.
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