RSU-TV Locally Produced Woodturning Show to Air Nationally

This month, RSU-TV will preview its locally produced television program about the craft of woodturning, and the series will be made available to all 349 Public Broadcasting stations nationwide starting January 14.

RSU-TV viewers will receive a sneak preview of “Woodturning Workshop,” hosted by Tim Yoder, when the station airs a seasonal episode entitled “Christmas Ornament.” The show will debut Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 8 p.m., and be rebroadcast on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 4:30 p.m.

“Woodturning Workshop” is a weekly series dedicated to woodturning, which has become one of the fastest growing hobbies in the nation. Each episode explores the step-by-step process of using a wood lathe to turn a block of wood into a unique piece of artwork or useful household item. Each week, viewers can watch the entire process unfold and receive helpful, hands-on advice about the project.

RSU-TV has developed 26 episodes of the 30-minute program, which will begin its regular season locally on RSU-TV starting Tuesday, Jan. 3rd at 8 p.m. Future episodes will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday and be repeated at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

RSU-TV, the university’s television station, broadcasts on UHF channel 35, Claremore and Tulsa cable channel 19, and more than 70 cable systems in northeastern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Starting January 14, the program will be distributed nationally through the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), a professional association that serves public television licensees and education entities in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Through NETA, the show will have access to the 349 national PBS stations, which combine for nearly 87 million viewers each week.

Since “Woodturning Workshop” was introduced to a national audience, the station has received inquiries about carrying the show from several television markets, including the nation’s largest – New York City. Station officials said they wouldn’t receive notice of what stations will air the show until after the series distribution begins in January.

The show’s host, Tim Yoder, has been woodturning for more than a decade, and was named the 2004 “Woodturner of the Year” for the Northeastern Oklahoma Woodturners Association. He also has taught woodturning at Tulsa Technology Center.

With more than 25 years experience as a television photojournalist and producer, Yoder is no stranger to the television business. He has been nominated twice for regional Emmys, local television’s highest award of achievement. He has worked at RSU-TV as a producer and director of photography for more than a decade.

This series, however, marks his first foray in front of the camera.

“I’ve always had respect for my colleagues who appear in front of the camera. But now that I’ve been there myself, I have a whole different level of appreciation for the work they do,” Yoder said.

When Yoder first envisioned developing a woodturning show for the station, he considered using a fellow enthusiast to host the show. But upon reflection he realized that because of the enormous time commitment a television series requires it would be an unfair request. It was then that Yoder added the role of “host” to his existing duties of producer and editor for “Woodturning Workshop.”

Dale McKinney, RSU-TV production manager and interim station manager, said that Yoder projects an easy-going manner to which audiences should be able to relate.

“I am very excited about our new show because it is one of the few times that a host brings such a combination of experiences to the table,” McKinney said. “Tim’s television background combined with his woodturning skills really helps translate the projects from the workshop to the screen.”

Bryan Crain serves as the director and photographer for “Woodturning Workshop.” Crain has more than 13 years experience in television journalism, including serving as a news photographer and senior promotions producer for Tulsa’s NBC affiliate. Crain joined RSU in 1997 and currently serves as the station’s promotions director, in addition to his producing and directing responsibilities.

Yoder credits the teamwork with Crain as crucial for overcoming the technical challenges inherent to bringing a “how-to” show to the small screen.

“The biggest challenge is accurately representing the visual aspect of the woodturning experience,” Yoder said. “So much of teaching woodturning depends on showing exactly how a cut is to be made and ensuring that there are no misconceptions during the process.”

While the station finalizing the show’s first season, planning is already underway for the show’s second season to being production this summer. Yoder has been working with his fellow members of the Northeastern Oklahoma Woodturners Association to develop project ideas for future shows.

For more information about RSU-TV programming, call (918) 343-7657.