SANFORD — Turn on your television and enjoy the newest channel in the area: Central Carolina Community College’s 4CNC.
Programming created by the college’s Broadcast Production Technology video production students is now streaming to viewers in Lee and parts of Chatham and Harnett counties via Charter Communications cable network.
Programming on the new channel will include college events, speakers, presentations, programs, people, and how-to shows. It will also carry Lee County government meetings, public events, and community announcements.
Charter launched the access channel June 27. 4CNC can be seen on Charter channel 105 for digital signal or channel 129 for cable box feed. It can also be seen at the college’s web site, www.cccc.edu, On the home page, click on “4CNC: Learn More” and then, “You Can Watch Live Online!” You must have a Windows Media Player or WMP plug-in to see it.
The channel represents a partnership between the college, Lee County and Charter. The county holds the cable franchise with Charter, which provides cable access for Lee and parts of Chatham and Harnett.
The college is also working on partnerships with Chatham and Harnett counties to broadcast 4CNC to the areas of those counties that are serviced through Time Warner Cable. Expansion of 4CNC will give the college the largest service area of any community college channel in the state.
Only a few other colleges in the North Carolina Community College System offer students real-life experience in television programming production. Cleveland Community College operates its C19 channel. Southeastern C.C. operates SCCTV, and Isothermal C.C. partners with a local television station and broadcasts through YouTube.
The planning for the partnership with Lee County started almost two years ago, when county leaders heard that the college was hoping to find just an hour on the city or county’s cable channels to broadcast some of its Broadcasting Production Technology students’ videos. The purpose was to give the students real-world work experience.
Lee County holds the FCC franchise license for a county public, education and government (PEG) channel with Charter Communications. It saw a win-win situation by establishing a partnership with the college. CCCC is able to use the county’s educational channel, which was not being used, in exchange for the college operating and providing programming for it, including county events such as the commissioners’ meetings.
The college is currently utilizing the county’s educational channel. When it has broadcast 180 hours of original programming, the county’s government channel will be activated. The college will operate and provide programming for both.
“We see a lot of benefits from this partnership,” said County Manager John Crumpton. “We’re excited about it and look forward to working with the students to develop programs about the county and get them out to the community. It will also be a great tool for marketing the county. The college students will get hands-on training and the college will also be able to get its information out.”
The Lee County Board of Commissioners approved the partnership with the college in October and provided $94,300 in start-up funding in February. That money has been used to buy cable transmission equipment.
Crumpton said the channel was a good investment, especially in difficult economic times, as Charter Communications will pay the county $64,000 per year for cable rights-of-way.
To enable students to learn and do the work of operating and programming the channel, the college upgraded its television production and broadcast equipment, including converting a high-definition Canon XLH-1 field camera to a studio camera and purchasing a Canon XF105 high definition field camera.
This is very exciting,” said Kassandra Lyles, television instructor. “Running and creating programming for the channels takes the theory the students learn from textbooks and puts it into practice. The students are highly motivated because they will be creating programming for an audience.”
That was the plan when CCCC President Bud Marchant brought the idea to the city and county. He also used the word “exciting” to describe the launch of the channel.
“This is a wonderful partnership,” Marchant said. “From the college’s viewpoint, our broadcasting students get real-world experience that will be impressive on their resumes in the workplace. We are also serving the community with programming that is interesting and relevant.”
CCCC has added a new class, Television Performance II, to its broadcasting curriculum to help handle the production demands of creating programming. Students are already busy creating videos to be broadcast.
Seymour Watson-Grant, who designed channel 4CNC’s logo, came to North Carolina from Jamaica two years ago and now resides in Chapel Hill. He hopes to enter the UNC School of the Arts and become a cinematographer. His path to that goal includes earning his Associate in Applied Science in Broadcasting Production Technology at Central Carolina.
“At CCCC, I have the opportunity for real hands-on experience in both the television and radio studios,” he said. “These experiences broaden me in the things I can do. 4CNC is an opportunity to air the things I’ve done. It gives more meaning to what I do because others will be watching it.”
For more information about CCCC Broadcast Production Technology and the television channel, visit www.cccc.edu