The Northern Television Center (NTC) has undergone a transformation in the past year, thanks to a generous donation from WTTW Chicago of four new sets. These new sets allow students to get more creative in the types of shows they produce, and Beni Enas, general manager of the Northern Television Center, said students are already busy planning news shows and segments when they begin the studio portion of their work in about a month.
NTC is at the core of broadcast journalism at NIU, and the advanced studio production facility is where students produce local news, sports and entertainment feature programming for community. The signature production, “NTC News Tonight,” is a 30-minute, “live” newscast recorded every Thursday afternoon. The full-length program includes a weather segment and a sports segment covering NIU athletic programs. The live weekly newscast is broadcast on Channel 14 and YouTube.
Enas came to NIU a year ago from WTTW, and her contacts there have been supportive of her role working with students. They donated four sets to the studio center, and their set and lighting designer came out and re-did the studio’s entire lighting grid.
Derrick Young, Director of Engineering Production for WTTW/WFMT said that the donations are seen as an investment.
Because the students are our future, and we hope to keep them motivated and engaged,” he said.
“Before we had a newscast and weather wall but now we have four different areas to shoot from,” Enas said, explaining the additional sets include an interview area that allows for roundtable discussions and a weather center.
“It looks completely different than before and allows the students to have a lot more flexibility during live shows, she said. “As far as the show goes and producing, it’s now limited only by their imagination, and students are busy coming up with a lot of show ideas in terms of what we can do.”
A new director has also joined the NIU Television Center. Chris Poole will now work with students as a full time director of the newscast, which Enas said should help students to take their productions to the next level.
“There has been so much change in the last year and we’re excited to showcase it,” Enas said.