by Ashley Flynn
Recently, The Paper of Wabash County launched Wabash WebTV, an online video-streaming site, with the goal of offering live video reporting of area events and happenings. Since its unveiling on Feb 15th at the Northfield vs. Southwood High School basketball game, Wabash WebTV has broadcast two additional games and will be airing live video from this week’s sectional games at Manchester High School.
The addition of Wabash WebTV to The Paper of Wabash County was the culmination of nearly two years of ideas from The Paper staff, including general manager Mike Rees and editor Brent Swan.
“We had to plan and develop this idea from the ground up,” Swan said. “From determining what internet availability we had, to planning the initial setup for the audio and video, it was something we had to be comfortable with before we made this offering available.”
After becoming acquainted with what the setup would entail, Wabash WebTV went live during the Feb. 15th varsity boys basketball matchup between Southwood and Northfield.
“We knew going into the game there would be some issues that would arise that we would need to improve upon,” Swan said. “Overall though, I was more than pleased with how it turned out. We learned then that we needed to increase the video quality, and I believe we did that in time for the next game. This entire production will continue to evolve and will only get better with time.”
According to Rees, input from viewership is pivotal to the long-term success of Wabash WebTV.
“We hope Wabash WebTV allows people to not only see events live as they happen, but also allow them to become more engaged in our product,” Rees said. “With something like this, we are trying to merge the connection between our printed product and the new generation of internet based publication. We will continue to grow and expand into areas our readers and viewers express an interest in.”
One of the keys to the early success of Wabash WebTV has been the strength of the broadcasting team, made up of Bill Barrows, Jim Landrum, Rick Harness, and Tim Harness.
“We knew we had to get a good, solid core group of announcers to show viewers that we are taking this endeavor seriously,” operations manager Sam Frieden said. “We feel like we’ve got a tremendous group of four guys that are extremely knowledgeable about sports and are active in the surrounding community as well.”
As time progresses, Wabash WebTV hopes to expand its offerings into areas other than sports, including the possibility of airing area government meetings, church services, and other breaking news from around Wabash County.
Along with the launch of Wabash WebTV itself, The Paper of Wabash County has also redesigned its website to accommodate the link to the Wabash WebTV main page. To view the video online, visit The Paper’s homepage at www.thepaperofwabash.com and click on the Wabash WebTV link located on the right hand side of the screen.
“All of these changes are allowing us to reach out to readers and viewers from not only the Wabash County area, but across the United States,” advertising director Julie Frieden said. “One of the neat things about Wabash WebTV is that it allows family members from outside the area to see these student athletes live, when that might not normally have been an option.”
Starting Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., Wabash WebTV will air the county matchups in the Class 2A Manchester Sectional, beginning with third matchup between Southwood and Northfield, followed by the Cass versus Wabash game. On Friday, March 1, Wabash WebTV will broadcast the Manchester Squires at 6 p.m., followed by the other semifinal game pitting the winner of the Northfield-Southwood game against the winner of the Cass-Wabash matchup. On Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m., Wabash WebTV will air the sectional championship game.
“We couldn’t be happier to bring this to our readers,” Rees said. “I feel like we have a great crew of announcers that will only help to get the word out in a positive fashion. This is something we have wanted to do for quite a while, and we are excited to see it going the way it has.”
As basketball season concludes, Wabash WebTV will return to a full broadcasting schedule with the beginning of the 2013 high school baseball season.
For those interested in advertising with Wabash WebTV, contact Rees at 260-563-8326 or via email at email@example.com, or Julie Frieden at 260-563-8326.