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CHTV+: Q&A with senior Jack Ringenberg and adviser Brandy Ostojic

Jack Ringenberg, CHTV station manager and senior 

What’s your background in CHTV?

So I started taking CHTV my freshman year and I’ve been doing it ever since. I love it. When I was a TV 1-2 student, I was making amazing projects, not to toot my own horn. But I made this one super long 10-minute newscast.

In my TV 3-4 year, I was an intern unofficially because that hadn’t been introduced yet, but I introduced the concept. So I was an intern and I was doing editing stuff and I was editing projects and whatnot. I made a documentary about everything CHTV could do to improve. I also made a project on how to make a good audiobook for ISB (Intercollegiate Broadcasting System), which is a competition we entered. And then last year, my junior year, I was CHTV’s official editing manager.

Last year, I also made a talk show, “The Jack Ringenberg Show”, which you can stream on Jackringenberg.com.  In the second semester, I made a documentary called the CHTV Archives, which is about the history of CHTV. That was super fun because I got to talk to a lot of CHTV alumni and I also got to talk to the founder of CHTV, Hal Espey. This year, I am CHTV station manager. So far this year, I have helped grow our social media presence. As of right now, we are the second most followed TikTok in the Greyhound Media Network. But we are projected to be number one at the end of this week. We are also really excited because we have launched CHTV+. We are projected to be winning a lot of awards at our award shows this year. I’m just super excited about that and I’m super excited for CHTV this year. 

What sparked your passion for film?

So I have this uncle and he used to work at Disney and he made some of the rendering software. I didn’t know that when I was young but I knew he made movies at Disney and I thought that was so cool. I think that’s kind of what sparked my interest. I also have another uncle who makes ads and stuff with his media company 323 Media and I actually interviewed him in “The Jack Ringenberg Show”.  But yeah I think it’s those two people specifically and I kind of like the storytelling aspect of it and how you can visually tell a story.

What was the inspiration for CHTV+?

There’s a bit of a story here. In my TV 3-4 year when I was a sophomore, our team [we had different teams for practice newscasts to prepare for the actual things we do in our junior year]. So our group was kind of the best one and we were talking about what if there was a CHTV+ thing and it was like our newscast as exclusive content. That’s when we first toyed around with the idea of CHTV+. Then I didn’t really think about it again until this past summer when it randomly came to me when I was on a road trip. Every summer, my family and I will go on vacations and we’ll be in the car for extended periods of time so I have a lot of time to think. The idea of CHTV+ just popped into my head and I thought, “This is a crazy idea but I think it could work.” Then I came into the school over the summer on a day our instructor Brandy Ostojec was here too. I pitched her the idea, thinking she would be like, “Ah that’s crazy we can’t do it for reasons XYZ”. But she was like, “let’s do it”. I was like, “oh awesome”. So we sat down with the accounting department and got everything cleared on that end. Then we announced it internally at CHTV and then we announced it externally to everyone else. We launched it a few weeks ago. 

What new features does CHTV+ include?

CHTV+ has two pricing tiers. CHTV+ Standard, which is around $21 a year and then CHTV+ Deluxe which is around $ 99 a year. These prices pay homage to the original CHTV channel numbers. Since it’s our 45th anniversary, we’re trying to incorporate fun historical things into everything we do. The 21 was CHTV’s first channel number. The $99 is homage to CHTV 99, which was our second channel number. With CHTV+ Standard, you get your name on the website and station. You get early video access. You get birthday shoutouts on our social media or on the show. We have a merch shop coming in January that members will have access to. With this, you’ll be helping keep our website and station running. With CHTV+ Deluxe, you get everything CHTV+ Standard has with the addition of a CHTV sticker pack and a thank you video. 

I’m excited to say that with the money raised, we will be able to update our older equipment and keep our station running. We will be able to keep our website up and running and so much more. I wanna say thank you to everyone who’s contributed so far.

What do you expect for the future of CHTV+, since you’re a senior?

After I leave, I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen to CHTV+. I’d like to think it’s going to stay up and running and we’re still going to gain members . I hope it stays relatively similar to what it is or improves. 

Where did the name CHTV+ come from?

We first had the idea when I was in my sophomore year. That was around the time when AppleTV+, Disney+, ESPN+, when all those plus things were going on. They had come out a few years prior. So I think that is what sparked the plus in the forefront of my mind. I toyed around with the idea of calling it “Club21” or “The 21 Club” to pay homage to the original CHTV channel number. It was also kind of like the 91.3 Club, which we got heavy inspiration from. Then I thought that CHTV+ really encapsulates CHTV and it’s like CHTV plus so much more. 

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you’d like readers to know?

For more information about CHTV+, you can visit us online at https://chtvcarmel.com/chtv-plus/.

Rebecca Lee, CHTV news anchor and senior, works at the CHTV studio. CHTV+ was released to offer many benefits to their members such as early access to CHTV content. (Saahas Kandru)

 

CHTV adviser Brandy Ostojic

How has CHTV evolved in your time as advisor?

I came to CHTV after a couple years of different teachers who only stayed for like a year. It was a lot of transition and moving pieces. I think probably the biggest thing that has evolved is just that I’ve been here. So it’s been one vision for five years now. It’s really changed our shows. My first year where it was literally one camera and two students would just read the announcements. Now we’re doing all sorts of packages and trying different shots and stuff. I do feel like we’ve gotten more newsier and smarter and more technical and just better with overall production. 

Where did the idea for CHTV+ come from?

That was actually all Jack [Ringenberg]. We’ve been struggling for a few years, just our equipment. We have 150 kids that use four cameras, so obviously stuff breaks frequently or people forget to return it. Equipment is always a struggle with us and we always want to have more and purchase more. [Jack] was trying to think of a way that he could start something that would leave a legacy that this can go on well after he graduates and to continually help us raise money. 

What is your role in CHTV+?

Nothing really. I just kind of oversee the videos that have gone out thus far and just trying to help, now that it’s launched, kind of come up with a plan as far as like giving birthday shoutouts and how can we kind of get the procedures down so that moving forward, we can easily hand this off to somebody else who can continue to do that. Right now, I’m just trying to help come up with those guidelines and overall instructions.

Is there a specific CHTV+ team?

No, I mean Jack [Ringenberg] has really spearheaded this and he’ll just grab people in class and be like, “You, you, you, you’re helping me,” and everyone just dives in. Everyone’s helped out in different videos and filming stuff. It’s kind of a group effort, but Jack is definitely leading the charge here. 

How do you expect CHTV+ to expand or change? 

That’ll be in the students’ hands. Whatever they can think of to add value to this that isn’t alienating our non-paying viewers. Just thinking of ways to make it more beneficial or more fun for people. Also just getting the word out there. The biggest thing behind this is supporting CHTV so if anyone has had a student in or were in CHTV themselves, hopefully this is a way they can give back to the program and watch it evolve for the next ten, twenty, fifty years. 

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