RSU Public Television Receives Funding for Digital Production Equipment

RSU Public Television has received $350,000 from the Oklahoma Legislature to assist in the replacement of its old analog production equipment to accommodate a new digital format.

The state appropriation was announced jointly by OETA, Rep. Tad Jones, R-Claremore, and Sen. Sean Burrage, D-Claremore, who collaborated to obtain the funding.

RSU Public Television is owned and operated by Rogers State University, with broadcasting facilities and transmission towers on its Claremore campus.

“We are very grateful for the leadership and initiative of OETA, Rep. Jones and Sen. Burrage to secure this funding, which is so vital to the conversion of RSU Public Television to a digital format” said Dr. Larry Rice, RSU President Designate.

The state funding, along with private support, will be utilized to apply for a federal matching grant of $500,000 from the Public Telecommunication Facilities Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The federal, state and private support in the amount of approximately $1 million will enable RSU Public Television to purchase new studio cameras, video switchers, audio mixers, routing and monitoring equipment with capability for digital interface, said Dan Schiedel, RSU Public Television general manager.

“This basically means that we will be able to put together a state-of-the-art, high-definition (HD) production studio with the latest digital equipment,” said Schiedel. “As a result, we can produce more high-quality local programming, provide our students with hands-on experience with a fully digital studio and move closer to a complete conversion to an all-digital format.”

Rep. Jones, who is vice-chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said it was critical to obtain the funding for RSU to complete the conversion. “RSU is a vital part of northeast Oklahoma and by providing this funding it will be in a better position to continue serving our communities,” he said.

“RSU Public Television is a great public service to our community and the digital conversion will allow them to expand their services,” said Burrage.

The only full-powered public television station licensed to a university in Oklahoma, RSU Public Television provides educational, cultural and general interest programming to an audience of 1.2 million viewers in northeast Oklahoma. The station broadcasts at 2.55 million watts from its 850-foot tower via UHF Channel 35 and is carried on 76 cable systems, including Cox Cable channel 19 in Tulsa and Claremore. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.