Comcast Newsmakers film on cabrini’s campus

By Robert Riches
September 21, 2011

On the first Friday of every month, Comcast comes in and borrows Cabrini’s video facilities for the taping of their show, Comcast Newsmakers. Comcast tapes several five minute interviews with figures such as Neil Brecher, chairman of the RiverCity festival, Warren Kampf, a Pennsylvania state representative, as well as many other guests.

For those unfamiliar with the program, Newsmakers is a daily segment that airs on CNN Headline News at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour. It has been using Cabrini’s video production facilities for over 10 years and for several reasons.

“Newsmakers is local and targets areas such as Delaware County, Chester County and Montgomery County,” said Mike Miller, who was directing the production. “We do not like to make our guests travel very far, and Cabrini is ideal because of its neutrality to these areas,” said Miller as well.

Miller also voiced his pleasure with Cabrini’s production equipment, saying that Cabrini “[is] best with equipment, it is all up-to-date.” In addition to Miller, various Newsmakers crew members are pleased with Cabrini’s video facilities.

Another aspect that made Cabrini’s facilities ideal for Comcast are the students that are available to help them out. “Students are a great resource,” Miller said. “We can start them with Comcast, and even get them to work with us for future productions.”

Danielle McLaughlin, a senior communications major, is one student who does work with Comcast, and has been working with them for a year. Her main jobs have been to operate a camera, work with graphics, set up and strike sets.

“[Working with] Comcast has given me a real world perspective on how news shows are run,” McLaughlin said. “It’s cool to be working with professionals and treated like a professional.” McLaughlin also described her tenure with Comcast as “good experience,” as well as “good for networking and connections.”

Comcast Newsmakers anchor Jill Horner, who has been a professional in the television field for over a decade, enjoys the opportunities to be working with students. She describes her experiences with students as a “positive” one.

“Every student has been well-prepared and a pleasure to work with,” Horner said. “It is a positive experience to work with the students.”

Neil Brecher, chairman of the RiverCity Festival, which is to be held in Philadelphia in October, was also interviewed for a Newsmakers segment. Brecher was treated with the utmost respect by the Newsmakers staff, and they were very reasonable and accommodating for him. The 5-minute interview in the middle of the day was also very convenient, as he was able to be in and out of the studio in a very brief span of time.

The basic idea behind the Newsmakers program is to give viewers the opportunity to listen to what representatives of non-profit organizations as well as government officials have to say. Issues discussed on Newsmakers typically have a significant merit on viewer’s everyday lives.

“The 5-minute format instead of sound bites gives viewers a chance to deeply explore issues” said Horner.


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Robert Riches

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