ACCTV is now officially broadcasting from its new home in Highland, Building 3000. The studios opened over the past year and, in January 2024, the signal began to broadcast from the new studio space in partnership with our broadcast partner Austin PBS. 

So, what’s next for ACCTV? We sat down with Carrye Glazar, who serves as the executive producer for the channel, to learn more. 

Tell us about the new studio, what does it mean for ACCTV production?  
It’s a very exciting time because we are finally up and running in Studio B getting to play with and learn about all the new technology, equipment, and infrastructure this new, upgraded facility provides with Austin PBS’ engineering team. We have three shows mounted and being produced inside Studio B at the moment: Student Beat; Ready, Set, Ascender!; and Voices Uniting Everyone. And, we’re just getting started!

The studio is about three times larger in size than our previous space and features various virtual backgrounds, a green screen, new sets, three cameras that shoot in 4K, plus a separate audio and control room to run productions. Also, just a fun tidbit, we have over 100 miles of cabling to support broadcast functionality with Austin PBS and ACCTV. We call it the Austin Media Center, and it’s actually the largest 12G facility in the United States.

How does the partnership work with Austin PBS and how are they involved day to day with operations?
Very involved! Since we have no engineer on staff, Austin PBS works as our engineer support team for the studio maintenance as well as on productions and shows. We always have an engineer working side-by-side with us to make sure things are working properly before we tape.  This studio is a lot more involved and requires the expertise of our team and PBS. We have all been learning a lot together during these last eight months. Trainings galore!  

What can we find and watch on ACCTV? 
ACCTV broadcasts on cable TV through our district on the following providers and channels:
Spectrum CH 19
Astound/Grande Communications CH 19
AT&T U-verse CH 99
Suddenlink CH 6

You can watch and subscribe to ACCTV on YouTube here. You can find the up-to-date schedule for the month as well as info on new programming on the ACCTV website.

We’re also working on very exciting news — right now we’re preparing to launch a FREE Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming content app. It will be available to download on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Google Chrome. So, anyone who has those platforms can download our app and watch ACCTV Programming on their tablet, smart TV, etc.  

This is similar to how people watch Netflix, Hulu, etc. We expect to launch the apps in spring 2024.

We hope everyone at the college and folks in the community will download it to explore and watch our programming the way many people consume content these days. Streaming content is just the norm now. So, we had to get on that bandwagon.

How do you determine what types of original shows and programming to create? 
We work closely with everyone at the college on this… we look at the people watching the channel and the main audiences we have at the college and also across our district. With that, we created some staple shows for those audiences. We tape both in-studio and in the field so we can thread in news, college initiatives, and entertainment, and showcase Riverbat students, faculty, and staff in different ways. In addition to our ACC-focused work, we want to grow community partnerships, identify and highlight Central Texas’ topics of interest, and create a unique platform for local information, conversation, and entertainment.

Some popular shows we have right now are Day In the Life, a docuseries following different students in various programs, and ACC About Town, where students host and cover cool events happening in Central Texas. We also get many views on studio shows like Student Beat, which focuses on student news and information, and Ready, Set, Ascender!, a half-hour bilingual talk show, covering all things ACC for our first-generation students and families. We’re working to find ways to thread our community more into shows to build better awareness of the channel, what we do, and serve our district.

People do come to us with show ideas a lot, and we love to hear what they want to see on the channel. We’ll be doing more of that as we continue to ramp up our systems and production processes.

There’s also an advisory group that serves and works with ACCTV to help guide future planning and where we are going with the TV station. The team consists of various stakeholders at the college from different areas, plus two former interns who represent the student point of view.

How do you capture the voice of the student in ACCTV programming? 
Our interns! They help weigh in on most of our current shows and also develop new ones. And on every show, there is a student involved on camera as talent, behind the scenes on the crew, and on the promotions, marketing, and scheduling side of things. Whenever we are writing a script or filming on set, we ask them to weigh in for ideas, perspectives, or if we do another take, what would they recommend we do? We try to empower them because they have great ideas and instincts. Plus, they help keep us current! Our interns recently filmed some Station Identifiers — short clips to promote the channel, and they turned out amazing.  

The ACCTV Internship Program — tell us about it and how it works.  What do the students get to do for the station?
Our internship program has been so much fun for all of us at ACCTV! Our students come on board in mid-August and work through the following May, which is how our taping season runs for shows and programming.

These students learn “soup-to-nuts” how to run a TV station. They are very involved in our weekly staff meetings and day-to-day work. They also are very involved with the development of shows, commercials, and promos, and have various roles on productions in the studio and in the field. Some are more audio or camera focused, others are more production assistant focused, and others solely edit. We hope to grow their abilities so they are able to finish with a reel of content and credits that compliment a resume for a future job in the entertainment industry. Many former students have moved out to Los Angeles or gotten jobs here in town at companies like Magnolia, Austin PBS, and Rooster Teeth.

What can we expect in the year ahead on ACCTV?
It’s a big one with the new streaming app dropping and ramping up more productions in Studio B. I think you can expect to see more shows with a real focus on our theory of change and the ACC values all in the works with our new Chancellor, Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart. In a recent content survey we did, we learned that people are very interested in a show about the future of jobs and careers in our area and more programming that demystifies all things about college — how to enroll in and navigate college, pay for it, find a program that suits your skills, get involved, and grow as a person and, of course, succeed!  

We also want to continue to showcase the Austin community and our students in fun, spontaneous, and out-of-the-box ways. After all, that’s what people want to watch in this age of peak TV. You gotta stick out, so we’ll be working to do just that.