Western States first large-scale venture for community TV

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Western States Endurance Run television coverage will be available to Auburn residents Sunday. Glenn Tonkin, president of Auburn Community Television, said the non-profit organization is hoping to keep the excitement of the run going after the event is over. “What we are trying to do is keep the energy up following the race,” Tonkin said. “What we are trying to do is capture a little bit from the event itself.” The organization is sending four camera teams to cover the different stages of the race with the hopes of interviewing runners, talking with volunteers and meeting medical aides face to face, Tonkin said. The run, which starts in Squaw Valley and ends in Auburn, covering 100 miles, is not an easy event to cover, Tonkin said. “Covering an event like this is really hard,” he said. “You have to coordinate with a lot of people. Trying to get folks to come in and then say ‘OK, we are going to send you out for an all-nighter.’” Tonkin said he is hoping the one to two hours of coverage would begin running at 11 a.m. Sunday and loop several times during the day. The coverage would run on channels 19 and 20. The footage would be fairly raw in format, although the organization could be experiencing a digital upgrade in the next couple of days that would dramatically sharpen everything shown on its channels. Tonkin said most people throughout the city limits and into the Auburn-area of Placer County should be able to tune in to the footage. An hour’s worth of footage on an edited DVD is also expected to go on sale as early as next month. Proceeds would benefit Auburn Community Television, Tonkin said. This coverage would be a milestone for the organization, Tonkin said. “This is really the first large-scale (project) we have attempted to pull off,” he said. “This basically lays out a template for possibly trying to cover the Tevis (Cup).” Reach Bridget Jones at