The new face of Telluride TV is not just pretty. Executive director Katie Karow is hell bent and determined to re-establish the public access station, the smallest in the country, as a go-to media platform in the region. And she is making fast tracks in that general direction.

Created in 1986, the mission of Telluride TV, originally TCTV12, remains, in a nutshell, to celebrate Telluride’s culture by capturing its vitality and connecting citizens to on another through media arts education, community-based content, and access to broadcasting.

Why the name change? Shrinking local competition in the platform created a gap opportunity for a revitalized brand. The new and improved programming is the heart  and soul of Telluride TV, but there’s more to the rebranding than meets the eye. Under Karow’s leadership, Telluride’s local TV station is on its way to becoming the hippest, funkiest media source in the community, the visual analog to KOTO Community radio, whose core values the station continues to mirror: non-profit, non-commercial, locally managed and operated, community-focused, citizen-driven, innovative, and reflecting a diversity of interests and viewpoints.

What’s in the name change? A lot sweeter and more in-depth programming for one thing.

Telluride TV is also a treasure trove of local history, producing 100s of hours of new programming per year: student films (and lots of educational initiatives), lectures, theatre, political debates, music, dance, drama, all the annual events of a vast array of local non-profits, including summer festivals and kids’ activities. The station is also a storehouse of past history, with more than 2,500 hours of programming in its archives, including popular music festivals and concerts, government meetings, school board meetings, superintendent updates and local flair.

Telluride TV airs “Democracy Now!”, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. It also runs environmental programming from the internationally renowned Bioneers conferences.

In 2011, and for the first time in the station’s history, Telluride TV began broadcasting live programming, which included government meetings, election debates and local fundraisers.

Last year, Telluride TV also partnered with the Wilkinson Public Library and University Centers of the San Miguel to provide the community with video education classes and access to professional video equipment.

And, for  the first time in TTV’s history, the public is encouraged to create content.

Telluride TV also offers full-service production services for hire including filming and editing. The station can also produce video ads for local businesses and non-profits.

In June 2012, after two very tough years (2009 – 2010), when the station nearly collapsed under the weight of its debt,  Telluride TV became officially debt free. Karow also set up a blue chip Advisory Council.

Susan Lilly, Emmy Award-winning producer, CNN and NBC, is Advisory Council Chair. Council members include other heavies: Jeff Price (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Shrek III” and more); Lary Simpson (high-profile, Hollywood studio attorney and co-producer of films such as “Flashdance,” “Top Gun,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” “The Rock”); Roy Conovitz (past president of Telluride TV); and Ben Knight, (local award-winning documentary film artist).

Telluride TV’s Board of Directors, is likewise a powerhouse: Jill Masters (Board President); Scott Doser (Vice President); Walter Wright (Secretary); Mary Jo Guarrero (Treasurer); Nana Naisbitt; Erin Sweet-Neer; Dave Johnson; Tamara Sisler; and Leslee Reeder.

Saturday, September 22, 2012 Telluride TV hosts its First Annual Video Awards competition. The live-streamed, red carpet event takes place at the Sheridan Opera House at 7:00 p.m. Cash prizes and a custom trophy created by local artist Lisa Issenberg will be given for Viewers Choice, Best Student Film, Funniest, and Best Overall.

Telluride TV partnered with The Ah Haa School of the Arts, Wilkinson Public Library and Lary Simpson Productions to offer our first Screenwriters in the Sky weekend workshop, Friday, September 21- Sunday, September 23. The workshop  includes  industry experts ranging from an established screenwriter, to an agent, a published script doctor, and a Hollywood attorney. One-on-one time with each speaker is available.

Viewers can watch Telluride TV programming two ways: on cable television channel 12 and streaming from the website, www.telluridetv.org.

To learn more about Telluride TV, click the “play” button and eavesdrop on my conversation with Katie Karow.

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