Mats TV Embraces Audio Podcasting

S. McGeer

Sean McGeer

“Hello, everybody, welcome to Mats TV,” said senior Zach Hall on the Nov. 17 recording of Mats Radio.
Even though the class is not yet broadcasting daily, Mats TV is rising from the ashes as a club, using a new form of media.
“The [studio] is in shambles.  We can’t exactly film in it,” said Hall.  “But then I decided, instead of filming, there’s a very easy way to get around that.  We could do podcasting.  It’s easy to edit, it’s very fast, and we can distribute it so that people can listen on their own time.”
The club is headed by Hall and supervised by computer lab technician John Slosser, who previously taught the Advanced Communications Media and Mats TV class.
“No one signed up for the class for the past two years, but I still had an interest in doing something with it,” said Slosser.  “So I pushed [Hall] and said, ‘Hey, what if we made Mats TV a club?  Would you be interested in doing it?’”
Mats TV, despite its name, currently forgoes cameras in favor of microphones.  The group puts out the Mats TV podcast, which currently consists of a reading of the daily bulletin.  However, Hall wants to do more with it.
“In the future, we are going to have different shows.  We’re going to have different people coming on and being interviewed, we’re going to have opinion shows, we’re going to have different shows that highlight sports, we’re going to have different people besides me reading stuff.  We can have people commentating on stuff—it’s going to be fun,” said Hall.
A new weekly discussion show has been created, called The Rectangle, with hosts Zach Hall, Wes Townsend, and Sean McGeer.
Hall stresses that his is not a news program, and has decided to leave that to the daily bulletin e-mails and the Mirador.
In the future, Hall wants to go back to his roots.
“We are hopefully going to have a broadcast,” said Hall.  “Probably not weekly, probably not daily, but sometimes.”
However, it doesn’t appear to Slosser that it will ever completely return to its origins.
“I’m not sure I’ll ever get it to be a class again,” said Slosser.  “I do think that we will be broadcasting.  We hope to have something ready for these last couple of weeks of December just to have people thinking about it over the break.”
Even so, Slosser and Hall have their sights set high.
“We are trying to look into getting a small FM transmitter,” said Slosser.  “If we can get an antenna on top of this building, we’d like to just beam the podcast into the parking lot so as students pull in in the morning, they turn their car radio on and listen to the bulletin for the day.”
Costs for such a transmitter could be as low as $70.  The club plans to try fundraising to earn the money.
Despite their high hopes, Hall and Slosser realize that they have hurdles.  Low turnout is a huge problem.
“There’s probably 15 people who signed up for the club, and three showed up [on the Dec 2, 2009 club meeting day],” said Slosser.
Hall is concerned about publicity.  Despite the large number of podcasts he has made, listenership still resides in the single digits.
Subscription through iTunes and RSS is available at www.MatsTV.net.