What started out as an experiment in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to see if Temple University Television (TUTV) could create new content over Zoom has now turned into the project that won a bronze Telly Award for a local TV biography, the station's first professional award.
In the summer of 2020, most students involved with TUTV were working on covering the pandemic. However, General Manager of TUTV Paul Gluck decided to conduct an experiment. "We felt we had an obligation to our audience and to ourselves to continue to create original content," Gluck said.
He decided to create an episode of Temple People, TUTV's talk series focused on local professionals in TV and radio, in which he would interview NBC News 10 and Telemundo 62 Anchor and Reporter Lucy Bustamante via Zoom.
Though Gluck did all the production work behind the episode himself, he decided to submit it to the Telly awards in the name of TUTV because he still saw the project as a reflection of the station.
"The ultimate professional evaluation would be to put it into some kind of competition for professional media," Gluck said.
The main goal of Gluck's experiment was to see what it would take for TUTV's shows to run successfully without being in-person in the Kal and Lucille Rudman Media Production Center. The project was a success, though Gluck noted that it could be even better if he had a team of people working with him.
In addition to this first professional award, TUTV has received numerous collegiate-level awards and honors for competitions such as the Local Emmys, College Broadcasters, Inc. Awards and the IBS Awards. While Gluck does not like to let the idea of an award get in front of the reason for doing the work, he still submits projects for awards because "you want to make sure that other people see the quality of work that the students do here."
Content producer for TUTV Ed Dress is proud of how far the station has come. He noted that TUTV's programs attract professionals like Bustamante because the students take their work seriously.
"There's a place for every type of show at TUTV and we embrace that," Dress said.
When a student identifies a need for a show, TUTV welcomes ideas in order to have the station most accurately reflect the identity of Temple University's students. And, of course, along the way students can learn a thing or two about TV production, regardless of their course of study or future plans.
"It's gratifying to see the students start and then see how they end up," Dress said.
Gluck is looking forward to the fall of 2021. He hopes to continue to elevate the level of play for the current shows on TUTV as the students get back into the studio.
"I love this place when these halls are filled with people, laughter and noise," Gluck said.