Sept. 26, 2006

RSU Public Television to Launch ‘Perspectives' Series on Oct. 6

A new local television series focusing on community issues, the arts and sports will begin airing on RSU Public Television on Friday, Oct. 6.

"Perspectives" is the name of the new weekly 30-minute program that will air at 8:30 p.m. each Friday on RSU Public Television, which can be found on UHF channel 35, Claremore and Tulsa cable channel 19, and more than 70 cable systems and satellite services in northeastern Oklahoma and southern Kansas. Encore presentations of the program will be repeated at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays and 1:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Each week, the program will focus on one of four broad areas of interest to Claremore, Rogers County and the surrounding areas: community and civic issues, arts and culture, area athletics and minority affairs. The "Perspectives" series will present each of these four topics monthly on a rotating basis.

"This is the first locally produced television program to focus on local issues in several years," said Dan Schiedel, general manager of RSU Public Television, who was hired to lead the university's television station earlier this year. "We have been looking for ways to better serve our audience. We determined the best way to do this is to focus on local issues that directly affect their lives and local events that they can attend right in their own backyard."

Schiedel formerly served as the general manager of Wyoming Public Television (WPTV) and president of the WPTV Foundation since 2001. He has more than 17 years experience with public television stations in Wyoming, Missouri and South Dakota. He earned master's and bachelor's degrees in mass communications, both from the University of South Dakota.

Lead producer for the "Perspectives" series will be Mona King, with the assistance of the RSU Public Television staff, located in studios on the RSU campus in Claremore.

The first installment of the series, "Perspectives: Community Issues," will premier on Friday, Oct. 6. The host for the program will be Audrey Webber, a community volunteer and public affairs professional who lives in Claremore. Her guests on Oct. 6 will be Brant Shallenburger, Mayor of Claremore and Troy Powell, city manager for the City of Claremore. They will discuss streamlining services offered by the City of Claremore, the development of railroad overpass bridges in the area and the Country Club project, among other topics.

"Perspectives: Arts and Culture" will be presented on Friday, Oct. 13. The host of the arts and culture installments of "Perspectives" will be Dr. Jim Ford, English and humanities professor at RSU. Dr. Ford received a Ph.D. from Princeton University and is an expert in comparative religion. The topic of his first program will be Islamic culture and religion in northeast Oklahoma. He will interview Sheryl Siddiqui, an Islamic community leader in Tulsa and a member of the Tulsa Islamic Society.

"Perspectives: Sports Talk" will be hosted by Terrell Lester, sports editor of the Claremore Progress and local sports expert who led a longtime, distinguished career as a journalist with the Tulsa World. His first program, which will focus on drug use in sports, including steroids, will be presented on Friday, Oct. 20. His panel will include Dr. Monty Cavanaugh, a sports medicine doctor with the University of Oklahoma, Mitch Allner, head coach of the Tulsa Talons, and Dawn Reed, RSU head women's softball coach.

The fourth installment of the program will be "Perspectives: Minority Affairs," which will air on Friday, Oct. 27. Veronica Hix, marketing professional with the Cherokee Nation, will serve as host for this topic in the series. Her first program will focus on the emerging gaming industry and its economic impact in Oklahoma. During the program, she will interview Curtis Conley, Mayor of Catoosa, and David Stewart, chief executive officer of the Cherokee Casino in Catoosa, among others.

RSU Public Television reaches an audience of about 1.2 million people within a 75-mile radius of the Claremore campus. As Oklahoma's only full-powered television station operated on a public university campus, RSU Public Television is a key component to the university's distance learning programs, which includes telecourses and live interactive programming.

For more information on RSU Public Television, how you can support public television in northeast Oklahoma or to learn more about the "Perspectives" series, call (918) 343-7657.