Live, From Westport — It’s STN!

In the 1960s, Staples’ WSRB was cutting-edge — one of the first student radio stations in the country.  Its range was 1 mile.

In 1972 WWPT — all 330 watts — became the 1st student-run FM station in the state.  Over the years it increased its power.  Today 90.3 can be heard throughout Fairfield County.

In 2009 the Staples Media Lab added TV.  STN — the Staples Television Network — quickly became an integral part of the school.

Think “network” is a bit grandiose?  Think again.  STN is streamed live (as is WWPT).  So while Westporters can watch Channel 78, shows are also available any place on the planet, in real time.  All you need is an internet connection.

STN’s bread-and-butter is sports.  They televise home football games, and boys and girls basketball.  (The events are simulcast on WWPT.)

STN has also done indoor track meets — perhaps the 1st time that sport has been covered on TV anywhere, at any level.

But as good as DJ Sixsmith, Eric Gallanty and the rest of the sports crew is — and they’re very, very good — STN is not exactly ESPN.

They’re much more diverse.

Eric Gallanty and DJ Sixsmith on air during a Staples football game. (Photo courtesy of Westport Patch)

The Staples TV station has broadcast Candlelight Concerts, graduations and elections.  As with sports, coverage of those events features multiple cameras, sophisticated graphics, and plenty of inside knowledge.

STN also televises live bands — who come to the studio as part of Staples’ audio production courses.  (The Media Lab’s talented instructors, Jim Honeycutt and Mike Zito, also teach TV production and radio production.)

This spring, STN hopes to televise baseball and girls lacrosse.  Next fall they’d like to add boys and girls soccer, and field hockey.

To do that — and more — they need money and equipment.

They can’t sell advertising — something about pesky FCC regulations — so they’re asking sports teams (and anyone else) for checks.

Their equipment wish list includes:

  • LCD or plasma television/display
  • SD-SDI recorder or tape deck (instant replay solution)
  • VHF and UHF radios  or walkie-talkies (RF Communications)
  • Broadcasting headsets
  • Graphic or text generators
  • MacPro or MacBook (or another omputer running some form of Apple OSX)
  • Cameras with S-Video connection

This being Westport, plenty of folks have that stuff lying around in attics or garages.  Others have access to it through work (legally, of course).

If you can help Staples Television Network with a check, a computer or anything else, email staplestelevisionnetwork@gmail; call 203-341-1379, or write the Media Lab, c/o Staples High School, 70 North Ave., Westport, CT 06880.

Then sit back, and enjoy the show.

6 responses to “Live, From Westport — It’s STN!

  1. As a member DJ in 1972 at WSRB I remember working down on Compo Beach burying a hose with an antenna wire inside it under the boardwalk to be our broadcast antenna to Compo beach. It was the first time the broadcast was heard outside Staples Cafeteria. Innagatta divita baby!
    The football broadcasts are incredible and watched by alum worldwide. I suggest the media guys ask all sports teams (and music groups) at staples to run a banner or message on their individual web sites, tell the followers of the teams and musicians of the broadcasts and ask for a few bucks. Can’t hurt.
    Great job WWPT (SRB) and STN!

  2. Dan, thanks for the great piece about the work our students have been doing with WWPT and the Staples Television Network (STN). But one name escaped your piece that I want to be sure to mention. You mentioned Eric Gallanty and D.J. Sixsmith in your blog. But the creation of STN also been the work of another student. In fact, it was Brandon Edelson who gave our TV shows its brand name, its logo, and, I think, even its identity. It was largely his idea and his initiative that got the T.V. station on its feet. If Staples students like Gordon Joseloff are identified as part of the founding fathers of WWPT, then Brandon Edelson should be mentioned as one of the founders of STN. With the extraordinary background work of Brandon in the control room and the amazing on-air talents of Eric and D.J., the media program at Staples has really begun to emerge in the last two years. My thanks to them and to you, Dan, for this post.

  3. The Dude Abides

    Sorry, tapped out from the SLOBS contribution. Jeez, I might have to get a job if these worthwhile endeavors continue to need help. We listen to the footall game coverage on the way to away Staples games each fall. Excellent. By the cold of November playoffs (even in Texas, we play in the day during late fall!), I am inclined to sit back and listen to the game rather than freeze watching.

  4. As one of the first D.J’s on WSRB I remember bringing a shovel to school and catching the bus to the beach so I could help bury the wire in the sand. The studios were modeled after WOR-FM with one room for the DJ and another for the engineer.

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