Southeastern Channel named best in the nation
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
by: Tonya Lowentritt
BEST IN THE NATION- For the third time, the Southeastern Channel has been named first in the nation by College Broadcasters, Inc. at the 2017 National Student Production Awards in San Antonio. Pictured from left are Rick Settoon, Southeastern Channel general manager; Jordan Rheams of Baton Rouge; Amanda Kitch of Mandeville; Dylan Domangue of Houma; Freddie Rosario of Luling, Richie Solares of New Orleans; and John Sartori of Mandeville.
HAMMOND – For the third time the Southeastern Channel has won first place in the nation-
this time twice in the same year.
The Southeastern Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University’s cable television station, won two national first-place awards for “Best Video News Reporting” and “Best Video Sportscast” as selected by College Broadcasters, Inc. at its 2017 National Student Production Awards presented at the National Student Electronic Media Convention in San Antonio recently.
The news story “Amite River Flooding,” produced by reporter Amanda Kitch of Mandeville for the student newscast, “Northshore News,” won best in the nation for “Best Video News Reporting.”
The channel’s live weekly student sportscast “The Big Game” also won first in the nation for “Best Video Sportscast” for its Oct. 20, 2016 episode. It was produced by Freddie Rosario of Luling and John Sartori of Mandeville.
“Our training at the Southeastern Channel is immersive,” Kitch said. “We are taught the importance of the basics and then put them into action. This applies to all parts of television production, not just news reporting. Our opportunities at the channel to learn, ask questions, and practice are immense. I couldn’t imagine winning first in the nation without my experiences there.”
“The instruction given at the Southeastern Channel is the very best a student my age can receive,” Sartori said. “We have Emmy Award winners teaching us everything we need to know about this industry. I would put that instruction up against any other institution in the country.”
“The expectations set for us are the same as those set for individuals who work professionally in this field, and that’s why we put out such a great product,” Sartori added. “This, in turn, has prepared me and my colleagues extremely well for life after graduation.”
This year there were 856 entries in the national awards competition from universities across the country. The Southeastern Channel has now been honored as best in the country four times by College Broadcasters, Inc.
“It’s truly an awesome honor for the Southeastern Channel to once again be recognized as the very best in the nation, and for it to happen twice in the same year,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “Amanda, along with John and Freddie and the rest of the ‘Big Game’ staff, are all incredibly creative and talented, and they work hard to produce a very high standard of quality. Recognition of their work as preeminent among all students in the country is so well-deserved. We’re extremely proud and happy for them.”
“Being awarded first in the nation was quite the unexpected honor,” said Kitch. “I will never doubt my skills and quality of work again. My hard work proved that what I learn and practice at the Southeastern Channel is some of the highest quality of television education.”
“Anytime we win an award it is special, but to be recognized as the very best in the entire country is something I could’ve only dreamed of,” Sartori said. “Just looking at all the prestigious institutions we were competing against and to be able to beat them for first in the nation is crazy to me.”
“Seeing all the other trophies the Southeastern Channel has won drives you to want to win another one,” Rosario said. “It’s great to add another trophy to that collection.”
Kitch wrote, produced, reported, videotaped and edited the “Amite River Flooding” story about how residents of French Settlement were trying to recover from the devastation wrought by the Great Flood of 2016. Included were interviews with the town mayor, police chief and various residents. Trevor Vampran of Prairieville contributed to the segment’s videography.
Rosario and Sartori not only produced the winning “Big Game” episode, they also co-anchored and contributed stories as reporters. Other reporters producing segments for the show, styled after ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” were Richie Solares of New Orleans, Jordan Rheams of Baton Rouge and Dylan Domangue of Houma. Zechariah Cameron of Baton Rouge was a guest anchor for the expert roundtable segment, “Pick and Roll,” and “Quick Hit” short editorials.
The Southeastern Channel has won over 300 national, international, and regional awards in the last 14 years, including 15 awards from the Emmys. The channel airs in 90,000 households on the North Shore with a potential viewing audience of 250,000 on Charter Cable 199. Its live 24/7 webcast and video on demand are viewed in 46 states and 47 countries monthly at www.thesoutheasternchannel.com.