December 2020: Thank You Proud Sponsors of RSU Public TV
RSU TV thanks to the people and companies who have generously supported our station and helped us bring award-winning public television to our viewers. The following represents those who have given to the station since April 1, 2016.
Robert Affolter, Helen Allen, Renee Anthony, Joan Atkins, Sharon Bannister, Tom Bawson, Gary Baxter, Mary Etta Beaver, Gloria Bell, Emmitt Bible, Mary Blevins, Todd Branstetter, Randi Brewer, Carol Brisco, Faye Brown, William Budnick, Jane Bylander, Melea Carrington, John & Bobbie Cary, Debra Cerey, Cladia Chilcoat, Paul Clark, Charles Cook, Cathy Cornwell, Sharon Cotner, Greg Cott, Beverly Cowan, Glenna Craig, Elizabeth Cronn, Glenda Marilyn Cullum, Senna Cunningham, Hattie Daniels, Ramona Darby, William Davis, Mark Dethrow, Susan Doddridge, Gay Downing, Wendy Driscoll, Dan & Melinda Droege, Val & Eldon Eisenach, Garry England, Tom Ezell, Kay Foreman, George Foster, Robert Fugate, Jeff Gaffen, Walter Gasior, Bonnie Geer, Patty Gibe, Stephanie Gilbert, Roy Gillis, Debra Glenn, Joan Gordon, Patricia Griffi th, Michael Grishom, Paula Hale, Pauline Hale, Esther Hammer, Marilynn Hammons, Sharon Harbell, David J. & Regina D. Harris, Janice Harris, Jamie Hawkins, Joan Hawksworth, David Henderson, Elizabeth Higgens, Terry Hill, Joyce E. Hiltibrand, Mike Hixson, Donna Hollon, Margaret Holt, Ava Hoover, Stan Hopper, Gale Huff, Ilona Hughes, Lynda Hutcheson, Mary Jo Hutchison, Karen Jacobs, Judith Jones, Glenda Jones, Sandra Katzell, Karen Keith, Michael Keller, Linda Ketcher, Frances Kilgallon, Sharon L. Kimel, Virginia A. Kitchell, Marilyn Kuller, Chalmer Labig, Donna LaDuke, Lauren Lambert, Joseph LeClaire, Allen Ledbetter, Carol Lickliter, Sandra Luginbill, Mary Mackie, Deanna Mall-Price, Eric Mallory, Louise Manetta, Patricia Martin, Julie Martin, George McCauslan, Peggy McClellan, Reba McDermott, Robin McGuire, Ronald McNair, Linda Meistrell, Faynell Mills, Margaret Mitchell, Eugene Moffi tt, Philip Moldenhauer, Valerie Moore, Mary Moore, Karen Myers, Irma Myers, Gary Neel, Robert & Paul Odell Saladin, Anne Palfreyman, Jim Pardee, Susie Paulson, Harold Payne, Chris Phillips, Penelope Pierce, Jerry Pogue, Shirley Randall, John & Diane Randolph, Thon N. Rhett, Ralph Rhodes, Patsy D. Roberts, Doug & Flora Roszel, Wanda F. Rowe, Doris Rowland, Ortha Rusk, Patty Saul, Cheryl Schaefer, Viola Schatzinger, John Scott, Jim Scott, Tom Seely, Johnny Shepherd, Martha Shore, Judy Simmons, Shawn & Ronda Slaton, Leon Snodgrass, Belva Steiner, Susan Stinnett, Dana Stone, Lee W. Stone, George Suppes, Hope Sutherland, Neal Talley, Raymond Theis, Sally Thomas, John & Dorothy Turnauckas, Candace Vann, Joyce Varner, Lester Veltman, Douglas Vincent, Brenda Wagner, Jerry Wasson, Sheryl Wilcox, Judy Williams, Connie Lou Wood, William D. Wood, Lance Woodliff, Janis Wooley, Linda Wright, David Zoller
FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER’S DESK
Thank you, Northeast Oklahoma!
The viewers of Green Country have really been watching RSU Public TV since the stay at home rule went into place in April.
Public Television’s Broadcast Media tracking companies says across the country the coronavirus may have rocked our world but there is a silver lining to the public’s lifestyle change or viewing habits. And Okies are not any different.
Nationally, according to these media tracking companies, television usage soared in the early days of the pandemic, (March/April). They observed that COVID-19 has been good for media consumption. Locally, specifically RSU Public TV, eyeballs increased as well.
Staying at home during the lockdown resulted in large viewing increases for television news programming, which media researchers quoted as high as 19% for broadcast and 73% for cable. Ratings for network and cable entertainment series increased, too, as did streaming of TV shows. In the first three weeks of March, streaming rose 85% over the previous year. Public TV saw gains too, especially during early fringe and weekend dayparts.
RSU Public TV daypart quickly became planned viewing and surpassing primetime programming. Classic Gospel with Bill Gaither remains RSU TV’s #1 show, America’s Test Kitchen moved into second place followed by Ellis Good Food and Cooks Country Kitchen. This is the first time since I’ve been at the station that cooking shows have competed for eyeballs. It’s great to know that when our viewers are at home, they have found RSU Public TV and like the programming we offer.
So, what’s next? Some say media usage will falter and fall back in line as Northeast Oklahoma begins to open back up and we all get back to somewhat normal lives. However, the stay at home order showed how much people depend on Public TV. The general thought is, the bigger the crisis, the more viewers will depend on public TV.
My hope is you will continue to watch and make RSU Public TV a part of your television viewing and get engaged with us on some level. We can’t do this with you (our viewers) be we are viewer-supported television.
So, thank you Green Country for your support!
– Royal Aills
From Our Viewers
Bobby from Chelsea
“I love the woodturning shows you have on. If you can, put more of them on please.”
Patricia from Bartlesville
“I enjoy watching living Grand on Grand Lake. My family grew up on that lake and it brings back a lot of memories for me”
Lester from Muskogee
“I found myself watching the program about Carol Burnett the other night. Great program. I loved watching her show on CBS.”
Catherine from Tulsa
“Classical Stretch and Happy Yoga are how I get my exercise while I’m in quarantine due to the pandemic. “
DISTANCE LEARNING CHANNEL
Jump start your future with concurrent classes
In March when the Oklahoma State Board of Education suspended the remainder of the public-school year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, RSU Public TV came to the aid of public schools across Northeast Oklahoma by launching a new regional educational initiative called @HomeLearning. This effort addressed the growing educational need across our 24-counties in northeastern Oklahoma. @Home Learning provided live Distance Learning (free, over-the-air broadcast and online), resources and opportunities to public school students, homeschool students and the thousands of families who live and work in Northeast Oklahoma. For the first time ever, elementary and secondary students had ready access to over-the-air learning resources on RSU Public TV Channel 35.1 in order to complete the 2020 school year.
Now the station is once again coming to the aid college-bound high school junior and seniors who want to jump-start their college careers. Because of the success with @HomeLearing, the Cherokee Nation requested RSU Public TV and RSU make available by broadcast over our 35.2 channel, Rogers State University’s Concurrent Course classes for College Credit to the underserved population throughout the tribe’s 14-county judicial reservation area as well as the entire Rogers State University service area. Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor recognized the need and approached RSU-TV about partnering to offer concurrent classes to area high school students. “When Covid-19 made us rethink every aspect of learning and working, it was a natural step to expand the TV platform that RSU has available to other classes” said Councilwoman Taylor. “RSU is meeting a need with technology other universities do not have. With low tuition and now a platform that allows students who did not have access before, this is another barrier to education taken away. This delivery method opens educational doors for students without adequate internet access as it is delivered over TV rather than the internet. I want every Cherokee child to have the opportunity to earn a college degree, in order to accomplish that, it is imperative that we do all we can to eliminate obstacles standing in the way of that.”
Beginning this Spring RSU Public TV is launching the “Distance Learning Channel” on the station's second subchannel 35.2. The station will carry 30 hours of concurrent college credited classes. Some classes will be aired live with additional re-airings built into the broadcast schedule.
High school students can enroll in college classes and earn college credit from the comfort of their living room by watching the classes over RSU Public TV’s 35.2 channel. Royal Aills General Manager of RSU Public TV says, “One of the things we know is this, in times like these our mission to serve the public is paramount. Like public schools, public TV means working together for the greater good of our students, families and communities.”
High-speed internet is not an option for most of our rural areas. According to the FCC Fewer than half of Oklahoma’s rural residents have access to high-speed internet – one of the lowest percentages of any state. RSU Public TV’s option of over the air on 35.2 is valid. In today’s world how these students are interconnected is a necessity. We want to make these classes accessible to everyone especially the underserved who don’t have access to high-speed internet. “This offering of concurrent courses is a necessary step in reaching students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access the teachings through the internet,” said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. “We are proud of the courses our faculty and RSUTV have produced and appreciate the partnership we have with the Cherokee Nation.”
However, that’s only one possible platform. The other involves ONENET, a digital communications initiative of the State Regents for Higher Education and Oklahoma’s only statewide internet service provider. The station is in discussions with ONENET now to be a partner with Rogers State University and RSU Public TV by providing a direct feed of these Concurrent Classes to all high schools in our 22-county footprint of RSU’s service area. Aills says, “Since our terrestrial (antenna signal) does not reach the entire TV market we are asking for ONENET assistance. We will be working directly with each school to provide a room and time for enrollees to take the classes during the day. ONENET’s assistance with this will make this a direct feed to each school in all of our rural 22 counties.”
Concurrent classes on broadcast will begin in the Spring Semester of 2020 with the classes Intro to Psychology, American Federal Government, and Cherokee 1 available.
A new season of Studio 66 kicks off October 16!
Preparation for this new season started in February with the production team spending two weeks building of a new set that would reflect the wider variety of music genres that would be featured. And despite the unexpected interruption of the Covid-19 pandemic RSU-TV they were able to record seven all-new episodes featuring local artists Alaska and Madi, R&B singer Calvin McGriff, the country-rock sound of Travis Kidd, Americana singer Melissa Hembree, Rock band Acoustic Freight Train, Singer-songwriter Jason Ford, and alternative rock band The New Time Zones.
Watch Season 2 of Studio 66 Friday nights at 8:30 beginning October 16th on RSU Public TV.
RSUTV SHOW PROFILE
A columnist for a popular Sydney newspaper and devoted father of teenage kids, Shay (Melina Vidler) and Arlo (Benson Jack Anthony), life has been pretty good to George. His biggest concern, aside from raising a family with wife, Laura, is ensuring he pens exactly 800 Words for his weekly column. His precise word count is a personal quirk. It gives George control and stability, but that all vanishes with his wife’s sudden passing.
Acting on impulse, George quits his job and tells his kids to pack their bags because he has just bought a house, sight unseen, over the internet in the fictional New Zealand seaside town of Weld. George is convinced a change is the antidote to his family’s loss. But it’s really an illogical attempt to return to happier times, to a place full of fond memories where he spent his summer holidays as a child. But for George’s kids, who have yet to even process the enormous loss of their mom, Weld is worlds away from anything they have ever known.
Ignoring pleas from his editor, Jan, to rethink his plans, George turns down her offer to continue his employment as a columnist. The Turners leave Sydney bound for Weld - which is nothing like George remembered it. It is a remote, isolated and forgotten place far off the Kiwi tourist trail. A car crash is not a great way to arrive. Their ‘dream home’ turns out to be a half- renovated nightmare lacking the basic requirements for a family – like an actual kitchen. Just as George questions his sanity and his decision to move, along comes Woody a fellow Aussie-import surfer and handyman - who may be as much of a hindrance as he is a help; and the women of Weld - four single local ladies who are intrigued by the new arrivals. They plan to become big players in whatever future awaits him and his children.
Originally premiering in September 2015 on the Seven Network in Australia, 800 Words stars Erik Thomson as George Turner, Melinda Vidler as George’s daughter Shay, and Benson Jack Anthony as his son Arlo.
Erik Thomson, who plays George Turner is also Associate Producer of the heart-warming drama 800 Words. “There’s nothing like 800 Words on television... it’s a family journey,” Erik says. “It’s a ‘starting over’ story that taps into that part of me that is universal. We all wonder what would happen if we changed everything and went somewhere new. “George and his kids sell up their house in Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world, and start all over again.”
Erik’s successful 17-year partnership with Seven Network began as Dr Mitch Stevens on All Saints. He earnt three nominations for the Silver Logie award for most popular actor, winning the award in 2003. Then came his much-loved role as Dave Rafter in the hit family drama, Packed to the Rafters, and four Silver Logie award nominations for Most Popular Actor and a Silver Logie nomination for Most Outstanding Actor.
Born in Inverness, Scotland, Erik was seven when his family moved to New Zealand. It was then he began performing in school plays, a pastime he continued to pursue as he got older. He studied performing arts at the New Zealand Drama School, as well as English Literature and Drama at Victoria University in Wellington.
Erik accumulated a long list of theatre and TV credits in NZ, including a recurring role on the Hercules and Zena – Warrior Princess series before he moved to Australia in his early 20s. In Australia Erik continued to appear in TV and film, winning an AFI Award and a Film Critic Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2014, Erik returned to the stage with the Melbourne Theatre Company playing the President of The United States in The Speechmaker, a comedy production that proved an instant hit with sellout audiences.
Erik lives in South Australia’s McLaren Vale, married to Always Greener star Caitlin McDougall. They are proud parents to daughter Eilish, and son Magnus.
Melina Vidler who plays Shay, is an actor and model with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Queensland University of Technology. Melina’s previous acting credits include the feature film The Arrangements, the television show Mako: Island of Secrets and a series of short films, theatre productions and television commercials. She has also worked as a photographic and runway model.
A keen dancer, Benson Jack Anthony, who portrays Arlo, started acting at a young age with his first role in The Mystery of Natalie Wood directed by acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich. His other television credits include Legend of the Seeker, Chatroom Chicks, Blood Brothers and a small part in Underbelly Razor. He attended Sylvia Young Performing Arts College in London and The Village Performing Arts and Brent St Studios in Sydney.
RSUTV SHOW Q&A
Lan Lam from America’s Test Kitchen
Lan Lam began her career as a caterer and brunch cook while at Wesleyan University, where she earned a BA in chemistry. She went on to learned to cook by working for James Beard Award winners and nominees in Cambridge and Boston. Now she is a senior editor for Cook’s Illustrated magazine, for which she has developed recipes, written feature stories, and contributed to various sections since 2011. And you can watch her on RSU Public as she serves as an on-screen test cook on America’s Test Kitchen.
Where did your love for food come from?
My family. We always ate dinner together and at some point, during the meal, conversation would turn to food. I have clear memories of my parents and grandmother reminiscing about herbs they couldn’t fi nd in the US, comparing different brands of jasmine rice, or debating the appropriate amount of ginger for a traditional Vietnamese braised chicken dish called gà kho gng.
How did you get the job to be on America’s Test Kitchen?
Luck! Well, luck and years of learning in a variety of kitchens. I was looking for a foodcentric job outside of the restaurant industry and ran across an ad for a test cook position. I didn’t quite meet the standards listed on that ad - I hadn’t attended culinary school - but I applied anyway it worked out. I’ve been happily developing recipes since then. As for getting onto the show, we had very casual auditions and I was asked to give it a try. Looking back, I’m so glad I was open to trying new things. That attitude has opened a lot of interesting doors.
Was TV something you always wanted to do?
Absolutely not. One of the joys of my job is that TV is just a portion of what I do. The rest of the year, I’m busy researching and developing recipes, working on photo shoots, and just learning as much about food as I possibly can.
What is one piece of equipment that we should all have in our kitchens?
A great cutting board. You can have a razor-sharp knife, but you won’t get a nice dice on your veggies if your board is warped. It’s important to find a cutting board that fits your kitchen and your habits. Besides finding something that’s the right size for your counter, make sure that it’s not too large for your sink or cabinets, or too heavy for you to maneuver. Finally, consider how often you cook and how much food you usually prepare. There’s no need to splurge on an extralarge board if you won’t use all of that surface area.
What is one cooking tip that everyone should know?
A pinch of salt added at the proper time goes a long way. Salt does so much for the flavor and texture of food. It helps meat stay juicy as it cooks, tempers bitterness, and improves the flavor, texture, and appearance of vegetables, and brings depth to desserts. A pet peeve of mine is when recipes don’t include salt or simply say season to taste at the very end. Of course, there are exceptions, but in general most food should be seasoned during cooking, not before serving. One hallmark of a good recipe is clarity on both the amount and the timing.
Anyone who has ever attempted to cook has inevitably had a cooking fail. What is the worst cooking fail you’ve ever had?
This isn’t so much one fail, but a series of fails leading to redemption. I was tortured by French omelets for a summer. I had to learn how to make them on the fl y for a very, very particular chef. It’s an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I can still see the row of orders fluttering under the industrial hood and feel the anxiety and frustration of repeated trying and failing. It took three months for me to confi dently turn out a good omelet on demand and another one to master them. To this day, I don’t order French omelets because they just bring back too many memories. (I do make them for myself at home.)
America’s Test Kitchen is seen on RSU Public TV every Monday’s at 3pm, Thursdays at 10am and again on Saturdays at 4pm.
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