Alliance High School (Ch. 11)
Watch the Interview
with Channel 11 Staff
"What I think is neat about our NEXUS is that it's user friendly. It's easy for me to teach the students. That not only helps them understand more about the broadcasting business, but also is one more thing to put on their resume."
–Kyle Schwarz (Channel 11 Director)
Alliance, OH—For high school students interested in entering the broadcast world, taking a class that operates the school's broadcast channel is great experience. At Alliance High School, they do one better. The students who take Kyle Schwarz's broadcast class run Channel 11, which is not only the school's broadcast channel but doubles as the Alliance local access channel.
"I think when they finish the two years they are ready to step right into college, and they're going to have a major advantage. This isn't just pretend or practice for the real thing; this is the real thing itself," Zachary Nocera, Channel 11's production assistant, said.
The class was founded by Time Warner, who gives the station money to operate the local access channel. With the funding comes the responsibility to generate regular quality programming for the residents to have access to. In order to accomplish this, the station uses professional equipment, including a NEXUS® video server.
"Since we're running the Time Warner affiliate for Alliance we have an agreement that was made 20 years ago, that a portion of the fees paid by Alliance area customers for Time Warner Cable is returned to us. We use it to buy state of the art equipment like the LEIGHTRONIX NEXUS," Schwarz, the Channel 11 director, said.
In order to operate both the internal and local access channels, Channel 11 utilizes the dual outputs on their NEXUS. The first output delivers daily announcements, schedules, and other information pertinent to the students on TVs within the school's classrooms, halls, and lobbies. The second output delivers content 24/7 to about 1,500 households in Alliance, OH.
Viewers outside the school get programming you would expect from a local channel but not a group of high school students. The station produces a cooking show called "Kyle's Kitchen," sporting events, board meetings, and community events such as a Carnation Festival, pageants, parades, symphony orchestra concerts, and dedications of memorials. The home viewers also view the announcements that run within the school so that parents have direct access to the information they need.
"The announcements are really great for the parents because teenagers are really bad about saying 'hey mom and dad, I need my fees in for this tomorrow' or 'hey mom and dad, I need my medical form' but if we say that on the announcements parents can see that, and we play them three times a day so parents can get those," Schwarz said.
With students running a television station that has two different target audiences and two different outputs, it was important to Schwarz to use professional equipment that wasn't overly complicated to use. Schwarz said the NEXUS provided her with the professional quality video server she needed and an intuitive interface that made sense to her students.
"One of the jobs the students have is our Channel 11 director, and that person is in charge of uploading our announcements and uploading our shows to the NEXUS system and then programming our NEXUS to show those," Schwarz said. "What I think is neat about our NEXUS is that it's user friendly. It's easy for me to teach the students. That not only helps them understand more about the broadcasting business, but also is one more thing to put on their resume."
Students in the class rotate jobs to gain experience in every aspect of production, including anchoring, video editing, scheduling, and operating the cameras. It's a tall order, so Schwarz said she likes that TOTAL INFO® is there to help add value to their station without adding to the burden of production.
"We really like the TOTAL INFO program which we just purchased a couple of years ago because it looks like we're doing a lot more than we actually are since we're able to share local traffic, weather, and news headlines. This wouldn't be possible for our students and small part-time staff to cover," Schwarz said.
Another feature that has proven to be a station favorite is the slide editor. Channel 11 uses the integrated slide editor feature of the NEXUS to create slides for their bulletin board. Abbey Rogers, the assistant director at Channel 11, said she particularly appreciates the automatic delete function available when scheduling slides.
"I think the best feature is the scheduling of the slides and being able to automatically delete without having to go to check those once you schedule that slide. It's great to be able to just click the automatic delete," Rogers said. "Since we use it as a community bulletin, that slide will just delete out of there for you and the next one can take that spot."
Channel 11 is sent content for their slides from all over the community, and often has a hefty bulletin board to air for its residents. The students will take the content they receive, create the slides, and schedule them to air, which Schwarz says is a great experience for them to have.
"We use the slide editor to do a community bulletin type show. People send us a lot of stuff; a church may have a spaghetti dinner, or somebody may be having a benefit for a cancer victim, we show our pages for the whole week of what shows are going to be on, we show the menus for the schools, and the students learn how to edit those pages, how to create backgrounds, how to make Photoshop backgrounds to put in there, and how to use different fonts," Schwarz said. "So they learn a lot about graphics through creating those pages."
The experience the students gain from being a part of Channel 11 is often parlayed into a future in the broadcast world. The students get to see an example of that every day in Rogers, a 2006 graduate of Alliance High School who got her broadcasting start with Channel 11.
"The advantage is life changing. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for this program. When you go to college, you have the knowledge that a college junior has," Rogers said. "We have professional equipment and professional cameras. It can't be beat."
Alliance High School needed professional broadcast equipment to broadcast content within the school as well as to the Alliance community over their local Time Warner cable channel.
How It Works
Using the two outputs of the NEXUS, Alliance High School is able to ingest, automate, and broadcast content to two different outputs simultaneously. Alliance sends one feed to TVs within the school and one to the entire community over Channel 11.
In Their Words
"A portion of the fees paid by Alliance area customers for Time Warner Cable is returned to us. We use it to buy state of the art equipment like the LEIGHTRONIX NEXUS.'"
Channel 11 Director
"I think when they finish the two years they are ready to step right into college, and they're going to have a major advantage. This isn't just pretend or practice for the real thing; this is the real thing itself."
Channel 11 Production Assistant
At a Glance
- Name: Alliance High School
- Location: Alliance, OH
- Aviators: the school mascot is the Aviator in recognition of the numerous airplane production plants (Including Taylorcraft and ArgoHess) in Alliance in the 1920s.
- A-7 Corsair II: sitting in front of Alliance High School is a static display of an A-7 Corsair II aircraft
- Glamorgan Castle: The Glamorgan Castle, which was built from 1903-1905, is located next door to Alliance High School and was gifted to the school district in 1973. Today it acts as the district's administration building.
- Carnaton City: Alliance was designated the "Carnation City" by the Ohio General Assembly in 1959. The town has held a Carnation Festival every year since 1960.
- Carnations and Politics: During his run for congress, William McKinley was given a carnation to wear on his lapel before each debate by Levi Lamborn, an Alliance resident, political opponent, and friend of McKinley's. McKinley associated his success with the carnations, and later wore them in his successful campaigns for Governor of Ohio and President.
- Famous Residents:
- Jack Werner–former relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs
- Len Dawson–NFL/AFL Quarterback, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Charles Armstrong–virologist who made important advancements in polio research, one of fifteen scientists in the Polio Hall of Fame
- Perry King–actor