The next time you have the television remote control in hand and you’re flipping through the channels, don’t think the only entertainment options available are the Kardashians, world news, or MTV.
No, there’s plenty of drama to be had right here in Ann Arbor on CTN – Comcast local-access channels 16, 17, 18 and 19 and AT&T 99. Also, CTN is available on YouTube channel ctnannarbor. CTN is local, it’s relevant and it offers a variety of entertaining and informative programming.
If you have cable, it’s available to you. And, if you don’t CTN has a large online presence. You can begin at http://A2gov.org/ctn and go from there to find programming, which includes live sports, council-meeting coverage, feature shows hosted by local residents and much more.
CTN has been around since 1973 and it’s not going anywhere.
“We are always striving to stay relevant,” says Melissa Bondy, CTN’s Assistant Manager, Community Engagement and Education. “It’s an ever-changing industry of technology and as long as we stay on top of it – which we do a pretty darn good job of – we’re here to stay.
“We have state-of-the-art cameras, studios, remote equipment. And, we’re not just TV because our online presence is huge and our YouTube followers grow every month. With social media sharing our programs, we are seen everywhere.
“One of the most-asked questions we get is ‘Where can I see this program,’ and who can see this? I like to say ‘Channels 16, 17, 18, 19 and also online, because CTN is global.”
“We provide an outlet, a voice to the general public,” Bondy said. “Nowhere else can you just be on TV if you decide to. We are a communication tool for the City of Ann Arbor to relay messages, notices, emergencies, introduce public figures, city administration and ordinances.”
Bondy says she is always looking for new ideas for shows, within reason, and that there are people at CTN to help train potential hosts – turning their show ideas into reality. Some show hosts get a small stipend, but most do it as a hobby or because they enjoy being involved in their community and being a CTN host is one of the most overt ways of doing so.
If a person wants to discuss a possible show idea, they can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 734-794-6150 and ask for Melissa, Alysha or Mike. A Preview Class will be scheduled where the idea will be discussed to see if it is a right match for CTN.
“CTN offers a very unique opportunity and CTN is a very unique facility,” Bondy said. “Unfortunately, there are not a lot of centers like ours left in the state or even the country.”
There are no Neilson-ratings type of information to track which shows are watched best on CTN, but On Demand and YouTube hits indicate that the City of Ann Arbor meetings draw a large audience. Council meetings, Planning Commission meetings and League of Women Voters get large viewership. Also, local Ann Arbor High Public Schools sports programming is popular. Among the local shows, Access Ann Arbor, FYI, and CTN election coverage are big hits.
“If you have ever thought about being on TV, making TV or hosting, CTN gives you the opportunity to do so,” Bondy said. “I encourage people to take advantage. It could be a springboard to your career, or a lifelong hobby. Many CTN interns and part-time production assistants have come and gone and they have gone onto fantastic careers in the multi-media arts.”
You heard it here, readers. Who needs the Kardashians? We’ve got CTN.
Some of the local community programs include:
- Conversations: monthly interview program with local Dignitaries
- Ward Talk: monthly Council member interview
- Senior Moments: program for seniors
- Green Room: environmental issues highlighted
- F.Y.I.: weekly Ann Arbor news and information program
- CTN Sports (Ann Arbor Public Schools )
- Election Coverage
- Happy Tails: Pets
- Adventures in Parenthood: Parenting topics
- Ann Arbor Shield: Ann Arbor Police Department show
- Ann Arbor Inclusive: Commission on Disability Issues show
- Let’s Watch: With the Ann Arbor Film Festival
- Ann Arbor Summer Festival Series
- Access Ann Arbor: book a 30-minute talk show where you provide the host and topic
- Experience CTN: Up-close interviews with community members who utilize CTN services
Look for a series of stories looking behind the scenes at CTN shows and profiling their hosts in upcoming weeks on weloveannarbor.com