AppTV runs first live programming, hosts viewing


Photo by Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship

Monday, Appalachian State University’s TV station, AppTV, ran its first live show, a tribute to well-known North Carolina broadcaster Clyde McLean.

The filming was attended by several faculty members, students, and Chancellor Everts.

According to stories from the time, McLean died in 1987, after three decades in broadcasting, at the age of 61.

McLean started working for Charlotte’s WBT radio in 1947 and later as a weather forecaster and host for WBTV until retiring in 1982.

AppTV launched on May 26 and before this show the station had not ran any live-produced content.

The show featured AppTV general manager Michael Fields, WBTV anchor John Carter and former WBTV vice president Cullie Tarleton discussing working with McLean and his legacy, interspersed with some highlights of his career.

“He was one of a handful of legends,” Fields said of McLean. “Anyone who’s in our profession who hails from the Carolinas, needs to know about Clyde McLean, Doug Mayes, Arthur Smith, Ty Boyd.”

Fields said he owns the rights to two of the shows featured in the segment, which he produced.

While the broadcast was technically scheduled to air at 8 p.m. instead of the filming period at 3 p.m., the show did go on live for an unannounced broadcast at 3 p.m.

AppTV communication director Olga Monacell said that most of the staff are volunteer students and faculty.

“For a local, non-commercial station, we’re actually doing more shows than any other local, non-commercial station would in a community,” Monacell said. “Usually those local, non-commercial stations can only handle like one show a week, maybe two, but not seven.”

The only paid staff at AppTV are Fields and production manager Rob Gelber.

“We hope one day to be able to have some student staff that would be paid,” Monacell said. “Right now they’re all interns and volunteers.”

Moncell said the hosts and producers of the normal programming on AppTV have no TV experience.

There was a minor error during the filming, due to a teleprompter error Carter read past a point where the show was supposed to cut to another clip of McLean’s work.

“We picked it up and put it in later and that’s OK in live television,” Fields said.

Fields said that overall the show went well.

“Considering that this is not only the first live show for the station, it’s also the first live show for the station, it’s also the first live show for the staff,” Fields said. “These students have only been doing television for a very short time and never with the pressure of doing it live.”

Fields said the show had to start and end at the designated time because the block was set in the automated system used by the station. If the block was not filled perfectly, the feed would be cut short in the broadcast later that night.

“It was quite a great learning experience,” Fields said.

Story by: Carl Blankenship, News Editor