Camden Catholic TV Studio Gets Makeover, New Production Equipment


Cherry Hill, NJ (PRWEB) January 13, 2010

South Jersey’s first high school to provide news programming, televisions, and cable TV capability to its classrooms now has its first professional teleprompter and a brand new studio set. “CCTV,” Camden Catholic High School’s daily TV program produced entirely by student volunteers, gives each student real world experience in broadcast media – both in front of and behind the camera.

“We’ve come a long way since Camden Catholic launched CCTV 20 years ago, beginning with the introduction of the Channel One Network,” said Jeff Bruckner, a communications teacher who brings with him many years of Hollywood TV production experience before joining the faculty. “The new set, teleprompter, and even a new iMac, an all-in-one desktop computer that helps with video editing, logos, and artwork, have totally revitalized our TV programming.”

As a result of Bruckner’s philosophy of giving students the freedom to plan, present, and produce the show as they see fit, several students took charge of the studio re-design and construction. Senior Steve Danek of Merchantville led a group of volunteers who built a new desk and backdrop for the news and sports announcers. “I really want the students to take charge of this effort. I don’t believe in a lot of hand holding. Instead, I want them to make CCTV reflect who they are,” he said. For example, he prefers that the newscasters speak in a natural style rather than the often overly enunciated style common on broadcast TV.

The addition of the teleprompter to the TV studio was made possible by a donation by Camden Catholic’s graduating Class of 2009. Moving from reading scripts which had previously been shown on a TV screen on the other side of the camera, announcers like Meghan Lynn, a senior from Pennsauken, are learning how to read as naturally as possible the moving words on the teleprompter. “We just got the teleprompter and I’ve been a little nervous about using it,” she said, although her presentation during a recent broadcast showed no hesitation. Nearby before the show, associate producer Melissa Worthington, a junior from Haddon Heights, was busily typing in the news script for the teleprompter just minutes before the show aired.

In the control booth, director Brian Gallagher, a senior from Collingswood, keeps things rolling along. He started working in Camden Catholic’s TV studio as an apprentice four years ago and today is one of the student leaders. He works alongside producer Carly Drebit, a senior from Runnemede, and coordinating producer Joe Godley, a Mt. Laurel senior, and technical director Steve Danek. On the other side of the camera during the sports news were broadcasters Ilya Rell, a senior from Cherry Hill and Tim Crawford, a senior from Haddonfield. Tom Craig, a senior from Cherry Hill, shares newscasting duties with Lynn, while Jim Bloss, a senior from Marlton serves as weather forecaster.

Club coordinator Bruckner does have a “wish list” of equipment he would love to get for the TV studio, even if it were secondhand. “We could really use an A/V mixer, since ours is more than 10 years old, plus the news screens in our control room are at least 15 years old. We’d also love to get a teleprompter for our sports announcers, as well,” he noted.

Besides broadening their experiences while at Camden Catholic, where does this TV programming lead students in the future? Two recent graduates involved in the TV studio, Grace Xerri of Mt. Laurel and Emily Sherman of Pennsauken, both majored in communications in college, while other current students, including Meghan Lynn, are considering majoring in communications. “We give them a look into the real work of TV production, and the students certainly enjoy and learn at the same time,” said Bruckner.

About Camden Catholic High School

Each year, approximately 95% of the students from Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, NJ, enroll in two- and four-year colleges. Since 1887, the Catholic co-educational college preparatory school has prepared more students for college than any other high school in South Jersey. Known for its academics, arts, and athletics, it has approximately 850 students from 70 towns and cities in South Jersey. The website for the school – which celebrates the themes of opportunity, community, and tradition – is


Things are busy in the control room at Camden Catholic’s TV studio during the morning broadcast. Controlling the equipment are (front to back) Steve Danek of Merchantville, Ilya Rell of Cherry Hill, and Joe Godley of Mt. Laurel. Teacher Jeff Bruckner, right, oversees the show, accompanied by Joe Funk, a freshman intern from Blackwood.