March 31, 2011

RSU Public Television Receives Telly Awards for Will Rogers Documentary

RSU Public Television has received two Silver Telly Awards, the Telly's highest honor, in the categories of "Documentary" and "Political/Commentary" for its original program "Will Rogers and American Politics."

RSU Public Television also received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters for "Will Rogers and American Politics."

In addition, RSU producer and photographer Tim Yoder was awarded for his work on the project with a Bronze Telly in the editing category.

The documentary is the culmination of 18 months of work by the staff of RSU Public Television in conjunction with the Will Rogers Memorial Museum and a panel of community advisors, authors and historians, said Dan Schiedel, RSU Public Television general manager.

"Will Rogers and American Politics" will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 17, during RSU Public Television's Springfest membership drive. Copies of the DVD are available to the public for a $75 pledge during the drive.

The production highlights Rogers' influence and political power as revealed through the eyes and words of American figures such as Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Mickey Rooney, Cherokee Chief Chad Smith, comedian Lewis Black and many others.

Hours of rare archival film footage, 15,000 photos and 18,000 documents were analyzed and screened with the most appropriate and poignant being incorporated into the documentary, Schiedel said.

The production team traveled to Pennsylvania, Arizona, California, Louisiana and Oklahoma to interview individuals with ties to or knowledge of Will Rogers.

Bill Kurtis, award-winning producer and journalist, narrated the documentary. The production team included Schiedel, executive producer; Yoder, producer, editor and photographer; Jessica Blythe-Ammons, associate producer; Geoff O'Gara, writer; and Bryan Crain, music and graphics.

Founded in 1978, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring local, regional and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and web commercials, videos and films. The Telly Awards annually showcases the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world. The Telly Awards is a widely known and highly respected national and international competition and receives over 11,000 entries annually from all 50 states and many foreign countries.

RSU Public Television is licensed to Rogers State University and is the only public TV station operated by a university in Oklahoma. The station, based on the RSU campus in Claremore, reaches more than one million people within a 75-mile radius of the campus.

RSU Public Television broadcasts on digital channel 35.1 and 35.2, Tulsa and Claremore cable channel 19, Cable Channel 4 in Bartlesville and satellite channel 35 across northeastern Oklahoma.

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