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.