AppTV, Appalachian State University’s student-staffed television station housed in the Department of Communication, has seen remarkable change over the last few years. The channel expanded programming in Ashe, Alleghany and Johnson counties in Tennessee as well as increasing coverage in Avery and Watauga counties during summer 2016, hired new general manager Rob Gelber in 2017 and partnered with the town of Boone to become its community access channel in summer 2018.
According to Gelber, all of this growth translates to a plethora of new opportunities for communication majors.
“Our agreement with the Town of Boone enables AppTV to grow while acting as a resource for the community,” he said. “This pushes us to provide new programming like our live stream of Appalachian’s Homecoming parade, town council meetings and local election coverage.”
Gelber shared that these real-time learning experiences are becoming more commonplace due to new technology that allows students to utilize a remote signal to report while they are on the move.
“Not all university-affiliated channels can provide this type of environment for their students,” he said. “The technology we have now allowed us to provide live coverage of election night on AppTV – an experience most students won’t have in their college career.”
Senior electronic media and broadcasting student Natalie Broome, who hails from Charlotte, says that the students who work for AppTV are lucky to be a part of the growth and change. As operations manager, she is heavily involved in the station’s day-to-day functions.
“We’ve learned to never be complacent,” she shared. “The thing about AppTV is that we’re constantly growing and getting better. We help make decisions and figure out how we’re going to conquer the next challenge. It forces us to think about the bigger picture.”
Broome has been with AppTV since fall of 2016 and credits the station for building her broadcasting and technology skills in addition to boosting her confidence and teaching her to work in real-world environment.
“We learn to work together and trust each other,” she said. “We have our hands-on equipment and make original content that ends up airing on a 24/7 channel – we’re incredibly lucky to be able to say that.”
About the Department of Communication
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University focuses on preparing students to succeed in the varied fields within the communication industry. The department offers five majors – advertising, communication studies, electronic media/broadcasting, journalism and public relations – and a minor in communication studies. Graduates work in a wide range of positions in media, corporate, agency, government and nonprofit organizations.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.