Press Release: UCSD-TV Celebrates 15 Years of Television Unlike Anything Else (3/27/2008)

UCSD-TV Celebrates 15 Years of Television Unlike Anything Else

Local station inspired national UCTV channel and global distribution of UC content on the web, YouTube and iTunes

LA JOLLA, CA – When it transmitted its first signal from an antenna atop La Jolla's Mt. Soledad in 1993, UCSD-TV had a big vision - to become an innovative, community-serving television station. With a few dedicated staff members, a little hardware, a diverse array of community partners, and an unlimited supply of stories to tell, the station began what has turned into an inspired 15-year journey to make that vision - and so much more - a reality.

UCSD-TV now reaches almost 1 million homes throughout the county and produces an average of 150 new programs every year in partnership with both on-campus departments and community organizations. With multiple awards under its belt, including several Emmys and recognition from international festivals, UCSD-TV’s programming continues to flourish.

In May, the channel will complete the 12th season of “Opera Spotlight,” a look behind the scenes of an opera production, produced through an innovative partnership with the San Diego Opera. It will also premiere the UCTV/UCSD-TV production “The Devil’s Breath,” a heartbreaking account of the border crossers who were trapped and burned by San Diego’s 2007 wildfires.

The channel has also developed a widely accessed online resource with its website www.ucsd.tv. The site houses over 3,000 videos (and growing) for free viewing and logs almost 6 million page hits per year.

But UCSD-TV hasn’t just stayed in its own backyard. When UCSD Chancellor Richard Atkinson became UC President in 1995, he used UCSD-TV as the inspiration and model for UCTV, the satellite channel for the entire UC system that launched nationally in 2000. The year 2008 brings yet another amazing leap with the expansion of UCTV onto YouTube and Apple’s iTunesU. Now millions of people around the globe are enjoying the results of a vision that began on the UCSD campus 15 years ago.

“Looking back on these 15 years, it is inspiring to see how this small operation has bloomed into something that touches so many lives,” commented Mary Walshok, UCSD-TV’s General Manager and Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs. “The station’s success reinforces the idea that, as a public university, our job is not to just talk to ourselves but to reach out and partner with the community. And in today’s world, the concept of ‘community’ can mean just down the street or on the other side of the world. Thanks to the affordability of new communications technologies, it is possible for UCSD to connect daily with a million households across the county and, thanks to the web, with individuals around the world.”

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