WWPT-FM — the Staples High School radio station — dates back to the 1960s. The first TV production class was held in 1982.
Both programs were flourishing in 1988, when Mark Lassoff moved to Westport. He still remembers guidance counselor Paul King proudly showing off the studios, to the incoming freshman.
Lassoff had never thought about TV or radio. When he graduated 4 years later, he’d made a major mark in both. He also starred on the wrestling team.
After the University of Texas — where he majored in communications and computer science — Lassoff stayed in the Lone Star State. He worked for himself, training startup companies’ staffs about technology.
Ten years ago, he moved back to Connecticut.
His timing was fortuitous. Almost immediately, Lassoff was diagnosed with colon cancer. Here, self-employed people could get health insurance. In Texas, that was impossible.
Over the past decade though, the business model changed. As the barrier to entry got lower, more courses flooded the market.
Lassoff found a new platform in digital TV. Roku, Hulu, Amazon Fire — all seemed ripe to deliver technical education.
So Framework TV now offers tech ed streaming videos on the web, and online. The goal is to prepare people for jobs in the digital world.
And, Lassoff says proudly, it’s done “at prices people can afford.”
Lassoff recently opened a studio at the Palace Theater, the newly renovated and very funky South Norwalk space.
Among the Framework crew: video editor Jack Smith, a 2011 Staples grad. After taking TV and radio production at Staples — like Lassoff — he majored in digital media at Sacred Heart University.
Today, anyone can access Mark Lassoff’s technical education courses, from any device anywhere in the world.
But he could not be happier providing it just a few miles from where his love affair with TV and technology all began: the Staples High School media lab.