Public Access Channels 7 & 8 proudly broadcasts throughout the cities of Arlington, Gaylord, Gibbon, Winthrop, and Fairfax, Minnesota. Founded back in the early 1980's, it is safe to say that the channels have evolved immensely over the past 30 years. The main broadcast schedule has shifted from a basic community message board to a seven day a week mix of various church services, council meetings, and some very popular self-produced variety shows. The current playlist includes "Our Backyard" (various shows on bird watching produced by Delores Hanson of Henderson), "Our Story" (a soap opera spoof produced out of Fairmont, MN), and KGFW-TV (Kids of Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Schools Television). Each show brings a uniqueness to the channel that appeals to many viewers.
The manager of Public Access is Wade Werner of Gibbon, MN. He is the GFW Elementary Student Dean and Computer Teacher. Running the public access channels is a part-time duty that fits nicely into his schedule. Teach during the day, produce television after school. His assistants have all been former students were once reporters for KGFW-TV. KGFW-TV came onto the scene in the fall of 2001. Werner wanted to give students an opportunity to meet the role models they looked up to. Working as an educator and being a freelance videographer makes for some wonderful opportunities for the children. Guests on their show have included Country Music Artist Brad Paisley, former U.S. Vice-President Walter Mondale, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, WCCO Radio Legend Roger Erickson, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Paige Hemmis, Sesame Street's Elmo, and many more influential figures. Many local talents from the community have also been featured on the show. It's been a wonderful program for both the participants and the viewers at home.
"Our Story" is an entertainment, news and current-events program that features the biggest and best happenings in "Our Story" country. The show was created by Jeff Rouse of Fairmont, MN. Some of their featurettes include "As the Corn Grows", "The Cocklebur Morning Show", "The Women of Sweet Swine County", "The Sweet Swine Scoop", "In the Passenger Seat", "Speaking Health", etc. Each of the volunteer character's are community members of Fairmont, MN. Their show has literally gone worldwide, they even have requests for autographed glossies of the characters and DVD box-sets.
"Our Backyard" is a show for bird-lovers by bird-lovers. Delores Hagen is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, bird lover, and avid videographer who loves the outdoors and spends most of the time available photographing birds of the Minnesota River Valley. Her shows are very popular all year round.
The equipment used at the Channel 7 & 8 station is quite diverse. The capability to broadcast in VHS, DVD, and digital file format is all available. Nearly all the broadcasts are in DVD format with very few still using VHS. Leightronix software is used to program the shows while the message board is produced using SCALA. AVCHD cameras with 16 GB memory cards are used to record community events. Studio productions are created using the Adobe CS4 package. KGFW-TV is the only group to experiment with live productions. It's always interesting and entertaining to have 4th graders on live television.
For more information on this station check out the AGGW Public Access Channels 7 & 8 on facebook. Public access television is alive and well in Sibley County, MN.