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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          4/5/2020

                                                                                  (By Lisa Garrett)


SPARTANBURG --- During this unprecedented novel COVID-19 pandemic, the media plays an increasingly important role in getting information to readers and viewers as day-to-day situations unfold and change rapidly.

The media/cable industry professionals are deemed essential employees, dedicated to ensuring their viewers stay informed during this unprecedented pandemic.

Be assured local stations are doing their part to keep folks abreast of events as they happen and how to prevent the spread of the virus – while at the same time keeping their employees safe.

Media Arts Production alumna Caroline Woodson, a member of the Nexstar (WSPA-TV) team, works third shift in centralized broadcasting operations.  She works at the Spartanburg office from 11 p.m. – 7 a.m. five days a week.  She has a driving provision that allows her to travel from her home in Anderson to the Spartanburg station. She leaves home at 9:15 p.m. and arrives at the station between 10:15 and 10:30 to prepare for the shift.

It’s her job to ensure the right commercial and television shows air at the right time. 

“I’m in charge of maintaining 4 – 5 stations,” she said.  “I look at the schedule of shows and commercials for my shift and make sure they run on time.”

She and her colleagues maintain strict social distancing rules with repeated hand washing, along with using hand sanitizer and disinfectant sprays during the entire shift.  Colleagues maintain more than six feet of distance from each other around the hub.

Before the next shift arrives, as an extra precaution, it is mandatory to wipe down individual stations. This is in addition to the services of a full-time professional cleaning service at the station.

She loves working behind the scenes in the control room or the hub, as she calls it.

“I’ve found my calling,” said Caroline. 

Initially, she enrolled in Tri-County’s Veterinary Technology program but soon realized her true interest was in what she had observed her father doing all of her life – radio and tv broadcasting.  A well-known media personality in the Upstate, John Woodson has been leading Tri-County’s Media Arts Production (formerly Radio and Television Broadcasting, or RTV) program since 2002. Prior to joining Tri-County, Woodson served  as a radio personality and general manager at WRIX in Anderson.  He is a 1985 alumnus of the program.

For many years, graduates of Tri-County Technical College’s Media Arts Production (MAP) program (formerly Radio and Television Broadcasting) predominantly worked behind the camera and microphone.  Often students’ internships at local TV and radio stations turn into full-time employment before getting their degrees.

The Internet changed the format and speed at which we receive information with folks getting their TV and radio news through 24-hour breaking newscasts and/or reading newspapers online or on their cell phones. 

Today, graduates still are getting jobs in traditional media but they also are working as spokespersons for school districts and government agencies and at hospitals, non-profits, churches, and businesses as videographers, graphic designers and freelance photographers.

“The curriculum really prepared me for the workplace,” Caroline said. “I love working behind the scenes.  My dream is to work as a producer one day.”

The College’s MAP program remains one of the few two-year broadcasting/media production programs in the nation.