UW-Eau Claire student transforms on-campus TV station

By Luke Young

Most people wouldn’t start filling out a job application if it was due within the hour. Then again most people aren’t Matt Peterson.

“I wasn’t going to do it, because I didn’t think I’d been here long enough,” Peterson said. “I didn’t think I was qualified.”

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Matt Peterson instructs students about video editing software in the TV-10 control room. © 2016 Luke Young

After only one year of working at the TV station in the Towers Hall basement, Peterson applied for the role of station manager of “TV10.” Peterson may not have been sure he was ready, but his friends knew better. One of those friends, Dwight Mills, who hosts a talk show for the station, understands the value that he contributes to TV-10.

“Matt has always been the perfect fit for this job,” Mills said. “Ever since his early days here he’s made a lot of positive changes for TV-10.”

When Peterson was a first semester freshman in fall of 2012 he wasn’t involved with any student organizations. A student tutor urged him to check out the on-campus TV station in the Towers Hall basement. Peterson did and never looked back. He has more than doubled the staff size and instituted a revolutionary live sports production broadcast.

TV-10 has changed since Peterson took hold of the reigns. In the fall of 2013, when he took over as station manager, he only had 17 staff. He then launched an all-out recruiting drive. Today, he supervises a staff of 50.

Production output has increased, too. TV-10 broadcasts to more than 3,000 on campus students through the university cable.

The biggest change to the station happened last spring semester, when TV-10 added live sports productions to its list of programming, doubling its production output. After many years of talks about the station doing this, acting in partnership with Learning and Technology Services (LTS) and the Athletic Department, Peterson got the ball rolling.

“It was a big thing that the opportunity was presented to me,” Peterson said. “I just took it and said, We got to do this, and we’ve got to do this well.”

Peterson said the TV10 staff put in extra hours and were dedicated to the project. Professional broadcasts of home games: involving multiple high-definition cameras, full with commentary and sponsorship were added to the roster. A stable of experienced staffers made the job easier on him.

“There was never one thing that I’ve seen TV-10ers care more about,” Peterson said.

All of this growth helped to get the name out about the seemingly-humble channel of TV-10. Peterson is proud of the increasing notoriety that the station is receiving. John Reichert, a UW-Eau Claire residence hall director and TV-10 staff adviser, says he enjoys how Peterson has made his staff take TV-10 more seriously. Reichert says he appreciates how he implements ideas rather than just talking about them. He said they were talking about live sports broadcasting when he was the TV-10 station manager back in the late 2000’s.

“The station never took the steps to make that happen,” Reichert said. “What Matt’s done, is he took this idea and he worked with the right campus partners and actually made it happen. So, now we have relationships with LTS, Athletics and we keep building relationships with a lot of other departments.”

If you ask Peterson what his favorite thing about the station is, he’ll tell you it’s the people. This is what attracted him to the organization in the first place – a really cool group of people who all enjoy TV. For Peterson, it’s all about the relationships he’s built, way before it’s about TV production.

“I’ve met my best friends in college here at TV-10,” he said. “Without a doubt, the number one reason why I’m involved in TV-10 is because it’s like a family.”

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