WCSU News

WCSU students, faculty to present live election coverage on cable TV

Prize-winning “Election Connection” features Oct. 31 preview and Nov. 7 election broadcasts

image of Election Connection studio

Professor of Communication and Media Arts Dr. JC Barone oversees his student crew on Election Night.

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University students and faculty members will present a three-hour live broadcast of the award-winning annual election night program “Election Connection” from 8 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, from the high-definition TV studio on the university’s Midtown campus in Danbury.

“Election Connection,” now in its seventh year, will reach viewers across western and central Connecticut on Charter Spectrum Cable Channel 192 and Comcast Xfinity Channel 97. A radio simulcast of the program will air on WXCI-FM (91.7), with live Web streaming of the broadcast provided at www.wcsu.edu/live and www.wxci.org.

Coordinated by executive producer Dr. JC Barone, professor of communication and media arts at WCSU, this year’s broadcast will feature up-to-the-minute coverage of 2017 municipal elections in cities and towns throughout the viewing area, as well as discussion of topical issues facing Connecticut voters at the state and national levels. Thirty-two students will participate in this year’s “Election Connection” presentation.

The production will be directed by Catherine McConkey, a visiting international student and media arts major from Lisburn in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Anchors for the broadcast will be communication major Kaelee Collins, of Wolcott; political science major John Board, of Redding; and Dr. Jacqueline Guzda, assistant professor of communication and media arts. Communication major Alanna Hill, of Ridgefield, will provide in-studio polling and electoral results and analysis, and four field teams will deliver live reports from Republican and Democratic headquarters for contested mayoral and first selectman elections across the region. Student producers for this year’s “Election Connection” broadcasts will include Board and media arts majors George Richard, of Shelton, and Samantha Saalborn, of New Fairfield.

New to this year’s “Election Connection” production will be a pre-election show airing from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, on Charter Spectrum and Comcast Xfinity, along with WXCI simulcast and live Web streaming. Another innovation will be the introduction of a live stream on the program Facebook page showing the production team at work behind the scenes in the control room during the live broadcasts.

Viewers will be invited to participate directly in the Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 programs by submitting comments and questions on Facebook at “WCSU Election Connection,” sending tweets on Twitter at “@ElectionCT” or calling in at (203) 837-9182. A student crew under the guidance of Adjunct Professor of Marketing Tom Zarecki will be responsible for monitoring and reporting social media submissions from viewers during the broadcasts.

WCSU’s “Election Connection” has earned numerous honors from professional organizations in the communications field. Recent productions received first place in 2015 and second place in 2016 in the category of Studio Multi-Camera Production in competition with colleges nationwide at the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts. “Election Connection” also was nominated for 2015 regional honors in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences student award competition. Other recognitions include 2012 and 2013 Telly Awards for Live Coverage and a 2013 Communicator Award of Distinction from the International Academy of the Visual Arts.

Leading the technical team tackling the complex challenges of live broadcasting from multiple locations will be audio engineer Patrick Carlone, Assistant Director of Media Services Scott Volpe and User Services Manager Jason Esposito. Post-production tasks will be coordinated by WCSU media arts alumni Nicholas Hossan, of Danbury; James Fitch, of Waterbury; and Colby Rich, of Stamford.

WCSU students and faculty have collaborated every election night since 2011 to produce continuous live televised coverage of voting results for local, state and national elections, along with reporting and analysis on major political, economic and social issues affecting the electorate. Since 2015, “Election Connection” has been produced on campus in the HDTV broadcasting studio built in the Higgins Annex complete with control room, audio and lighting equipment, green screens and anchor desk on set.

For more information, contact Barone at baronej@wcsu.edu or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.