BY SHANNON DUFF
THE MINTO EXPRESS
CLIFFORD – Minto and area is making its debut on the small screen.
Wightman Telecom in Clifford has launched Wightman Community TV to its customers and staff are excited about the local angle.
“It’s always been one of those things we really wanted to do, it was just a matter of when,” explained Hope Robertson, marketing manager. “We’ve always had a huge focus on giving our customers the best, keeping things local and supporting our community.”
The internal launch to employees took place in early August. The company took feedback and completed testing over the course of a month, then launched it to customers in September.
The feedback has been positive.
“It’s been really good. From our customer base, everyone loves it,” said Robertson. The only drawback, she said, is not being able to be in more than one place at one time.
And there’s quite an area to cover.
“Everywhere that we have fibre to the home,” said Robertson. “As well as Ayton, Neustedt, Mildmay, Clifford, Formosa . . . it’s pretty widespread. Anywhere from Walkerton, Hanover all the way over to Listowel.”
Adam Olivero, local tv content producer, films and edits the local segments.
“He covers our whole area,” said Robertson. “It worked out really well when we were looking to hire somebody. We did several interviews and Adam really stood out.”
Originally from Port Perry, Olivero now resides in Hanover, where he formerly worked in Wightman’s tech support office. He graduated from Algonquin College’s radio and tv broadcasting program.
He said he appreciates the opportunities the job presents and working with Robertson, as well as Wightman Telecom co-chairs, Paul and Blair Wightman.
“I have a lot more creative control,” he said. “They are really receptive to my ideas, they give me some great ideas ideas and we’ve been able to build a really good product,”
Wightman Community TV can been seen on channel six and is included on all Wightman customers’ basic package. The channel offers a national, international, sports and entertainment news crawl, lottery numbers and weather, all the while focusing on local features. The channel includes special events, several municipal council meetings, church services and the flagship program, Our Stories.
“Our Stories focuses on a local company, a local service group, an individual, a community itself, and we basically tell the story,” said Robertson. “We’ve gotten really good feedback from everyone that watches them. They want to see more.
In the future, Wightman will be working with local chambers, business owners and service groups to post upcoming events and fundraisers in the channel’s community listings.
“It’s almost like a partnership,” said Robertson. “That’s one thing we’re pretty pumped up about.”
In order to meet customer requests, the channel may soon air live bingo games so they can play along at home.
Olivero said the channel lends a visual voice to the region.
“I think too, given the nature of Wightman’s presence in this area, I feel like we have a responsibility,” said Robertson. “We have such a great customer base, we do a lot in our community, we’re incredibly active. This is just one area where we have a responsibility to do this. We have all the technology, we have digital tv, why wouldn’t we?”
To order Wightman service, call 1-888-477-2177. For more information on Wightman Community TV, to make submissions or to request coverage, email firstname.lastname@example.org.