Student Television Station is Ready for Prime Time

Internet-Based Venture Set to Launch with Campus News Show on Aug. 28

July 23, 2009

Over the past few months, two students, Jacob Wurzer and Alex Garcia Topete, created an Internet-based campus television station, called UTD-TV, from scratch.

Now that they've built it, they're confident people will come.

Their hope is that it will soon be populated by masses of fellow UT Dallas students who are interested in learning the ins and outs of the television industry and expanding the scope of student expression on campus.

The co-founders of the new student organization bring academic excellence, a high level of energy and extensive television-related experience to the table.

Wurzer, the president of UTD-TV, is a McDermott Scholar, founder of the UT Dallas Fencing Club and a junior in the Electrical Engineering program. He was an active member of his high school TV club, where he helped produce a morning news show, videotaped campus events and learned television production basics.

Having done it in high school, he wanted to continue that tradition in college. “If what I want isn’t there,” said Wurzer, “I tend to create it myself. Maybe I’m entrepreneurial. I’m pursuing a business minor in addition to the double E.”

Topete, also a McDermott Scholar, is the vice president of UTD-TV. He is a junior in the Art and Performance program and writes for A Modest Proposal. He gained valuable experience at his high school in Tampico, Mexico.

“I was very involved in theater and musical production,” said Topete. “After high school, I worked at a TV station in Mexico called Televisa del Golfo, a local offshoot of one of the major networks. I was a script writer and director for a children’s TV show. I got to direct sketches and help with the production of the show. That was a great experience.”

Student Media director Cristen Hixson has planned a formal launch for UTD-TV from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 28 in the Conference Center. The kickoff coincides with the annual fall semester tradition Welcome Week.

UTD-TV’s first offering will be a bi-weekly news show that covers campus events. “I’m comfortable with starting with news shows,” said Topete.

"The students created UTD TV in order to provide a new forum for free expression,” added Hixson. “They're serious about being a platform for students and all facets of campus. They're providing a voice for their entire community — admirable, since most mainstream media has backed away from that obligation."

Soon thereafter, the station’s founders hope to add short films, talk shows, sitcoms, reality shows, dramas, game shows – virtually any kind of programming students can conceive. “It’s traditional of most university administrations not to dictate content,” said Hixson, “And we have an administration that follows that. I advise, they make mistakes, and it all works out in the end because it’s a learning experience.”

The running time for most of the shows on UTD-TV will be about 15 minutes or less, as is the case for most Internet-based TV shows. Tocate said the Internet attracts a sizable chunk of TV viewers. “It allows people to watch whenever they can. Rather than having to have TiVo, this format will allow them more flexibility in their schedule. As college students, we know half the population will be watching this at 2 a.m.”

Students who are interested in being a part of UTD-TV can sign up via the membership page. No experience is necessary. Opportunities are available in the following areas: reporting, news anchoring, animation, video editing, sound editing and Web development.

UTD-TV, along with Radio UTD, The UTD Mercury and A Modest Proposal, is part of UT Dallas Student Media. Supporters can keep track of UTD-TV news and events on the UT Dallas Student Media Facebook and Twitter pages.


Media Contact: Jimmie Markham, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4995, jrm014010@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Alex Garcia Topete (left) and Jacob Wurzer are the co-founders of UTD-TV. The station’s first offering will be a bi-weekly news show that covers campus events.

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