Dorrington in Spotlight with Tewksbury Telemedia Dept.
TEWKSBURY -- Over the past month, Brian Dorrington has taken on the role of executive director for the town’s new Telemedia Department.
Before coming to Tewksbury, Dorrington was the executive director of Lynn Community Television for about a year. Prior to that, he worked at Lowell Telecommunications Corporation and at Bedford TV.
“It’s a great opportunity to build something new from the ground up and kind of put my own stamp on things,” Dorrington said. “Also, the community has been really supportive, especially (Town Manager Richard Montuori) has been very supportive of the creation of the new station.”
The 32-year-old Lowell resident has been working on the town’s infrastructure issues in order to put them in a position to get a studio.
“As soon as I interviewed him, I knew he was the guy I wanted to hire,” Town Manager Richard Montuori said. “He just seemed like a good fit from the beginning.”
Montuori said Dorrington has also been assessing the equipment the town currently has to be used for the local access television station. He is also looking at options for a studio. One consideration is the studio based at the Tewksbury Memorial High School.
“It truly is taking the operation from nothing to building it up,” Montuori said. “In the next couple of weeks, we’ll meet with the Cable Advisory Committee. They spent some time on this issue so we want to hear what they have to say.”
The Cable Advisory Committee formed last year conducted extensive research on community access television stations in surrounding communities and presented a number of goals to the Board of Selectmen back in February. The committee also held public workshops and issued a survey for residents to better understand what they would like to see on their local access television station.
The town also hired Jason Marshall, director of Municipal Programming at LTC, to begin as the operations manager for the department in a couple weeks.
Dorrington grew up in Billerica and during his middle school years, got trained at Billerica Access TV, directing his mother’s show. From then on, he continued to work in community access television.
“I would love for the station to function as a community service, for people to see us as a part of the community,” Dorrington said. “A place where they can come in and create media and use us as a resource, but also where we can provide access and transparency in filming government meetings and really getting stuff out there to the public.”
Dorrington said the fact that the community access cable station is an extension of the First Amendment is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job.
Montuori said a timeline on when a new studio will be set up has not yet been determined. He said the department will continue to grow once the operations manager comes on board.
Currently, Tewksbury broadcasts municipal meetings and some community events like the tree lighting on the common, author talks at the library and Veterans Day ceremonies. These are televised live, then posted on the town’s YouTube channel. In the past, videos were not posted to YouTube in a timely manner, but Dorrington has been working on uploading content there more consistently.
“I am looking forward to utilizing the equipment that we have to its fullest and ensuring that types of programming, no matter what it is, is quality. We have so much difficulty with quality of the video and sound,” Montuori said.
The town manager said he is also looking forward to more community events being broadcast. He said places like the Tewksbury Public Library, the senior center and school department have great events.
“Everybody I talk to is super friendly and super excited,” Dorrington said. “It seems like everybody I talk to has an idea for a show they’d like to do and they’re all just champing at the bit -- and it’s great to have that community involvement.”
Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.