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History Timeline

1981

  • Larry Aldridge and George Walters present studio concept to Ernest Chism and Frank Bluestein. 
  • Dowden Communications is awarded cable franchise and establishes Germantown Cablevision.
Jim Barrett working camera for a GHS football broadcast.

Jim Barrett working camera for a GHS football broadcast.

1982

  • Dr. Worth McDougal of the University of Georgia designs original GHS-TV studio and Germantown Access Studio.
  • The GHS-TV studios are dedicated. GHS-TV begins to operate over Channel 7. The first summer intern program is established. The studio is a totally unique concept. GHS-TV provides local origination programs for the community. In return, the cable company furnishes the studio with equipment and provides for a yearly operation and maintenance budget. GHS-TV is one of the few cable high school television facilities in the country.
  • Jim Barrett is named as the first General Manager of GHS-TV.

1983

  • Martin Cutler receives the first Cablevision Communication Arts Scholarship.
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1984

  • The community access studio is not being utilized at the Germantown Cablevision location. GHS-TV agrees to handle the community access programming as well as the local origination. All equipment is moved to the campus of Germantown High School.

 

A delegation from the People's Republic of China visits GHS to learn about its unique TV & Arts programs.

A delegation from the People's Republic of China visits GHS to learn about its unique TV & Arts programs.

1985

  • First Hometown USA video award won.
  • GHS Fine Arts Department & GHS-TV is visited by a delegation from the People's Republic of China, uses Germantown as a model program.

 

1986

  • At the request of the Cable Advisory Committee, GHS-TV combines government access, community access, and local origination into one channel. The Access Together Program is created. GHS-TV agrees to a minimum of 70 access shows per contract period. The school provides the equipment and personnel. The cable company provides the operation and maintenance support. The Germantown City Government provides the capital needed and the community provides the talent.

1987

  • GHS-TV programming exceeds 300 hours of government, public access, and local origination programming over one channel. GHS-TV televises all Board of Mayor and Alderman meetings, Planning Commission meetings, Design Review Board meetings, as well as special events.

1990

  • GHS-TV reaches 400 hours of programming per week. Additional programming needs require GHS-TV to take over a classroom area for expanded production work.
The original anchors of Wake Up, Germantown!

The original anchors of Wake Up, Germantown!

1991

  • GHS-TV debuts its student hosted and produced newscast Wake Up, Germantown!

1992

  • Expansion of the GHS-TV facilities is proposed. Heritage Cablevision increases Senior Scholarship to $750.00.
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1993

  • In March, GHS-TV studios are totally renovated and re-opened with a dramatic ribbon cutting ceremony attended by dignitaries and alumni from across the country.
  • Shelby County Schools commits over $100,000 in funding to completely renovate and expand GHS-TV in order to keep pace with rapid growth of the studio.
  • Jerome Lawrence, the acclaimed playwright and author of Inherit the Wind, conducts workshops for GHS-TV students.
  • GHS-TV produces a three part training video, Combat Masters International, for Certified Fight Master David Leong.

1994

  • Seth Rowan, a tenth grader at Germantown High School, is tragically killed in an automobile accident. A Sophomore Achievement Award and a permanent endowment fund are established in his memory.

1995

  • Germantown Community Television enters into international agreements with educational access facilities in Europe and the former Soviet Union. GHS-TV participates in a collaborative venture with the Moscow International Film School. 
GHS-TV students conduct an interview with Howie Mandel during the Disney & McDonald's teacher awards broadcast.

GHS-TV students conduct an interview with Howie Mandel during the Disney & McDonald's teacher awards broadcast.

1996

  • Frank Bluestein is named the Disney and McDonald’s Performing Arts Teacher of the Year. Backstage interviews from a four student GHS-TV crew are featured throughout the awards ceremony, which was broadcast nationally on the Disney Channel.
  • GHS-TV participates in a collaboration with the Television Profile School in the Republic of Georgia.

1997

  • The Germantown Community Television Foundation is founded with George Walters appointed as the chairman, along with a six member Board of Directors. This non-profit organization is given responsibility to oversee the fiscal management of GHS-TV.
  • GHS-TV students participate in a cultural exchange with students from the Television Profile School of Tbilisi, Georgia.
Barrett

Barrett

1998

  • GHS-TV begins operating as SmartLink Channel 17.
  • Alumnus Jim Barrett returns to GHS-TV to produce the documentary 100 Visions, which chronicles the 1995 trip to Russia made by the Poplar Pike Playhouse students and staff. The documentary is shown nationwide on the Channel One network.
Eventual vice president Dick Cheney grants an interview to GHS-TV reporter rob edwards and videographer justin card during a campaign stop at GHS. 

Eventual vice president Dick Cheney grants an interview to GHS-TV reporter rob edwards and videographer justin card during a campaign stop at GHS. 

2000

  • GHS-TV students interview eventual vice president Dick Cheney in the lead-up to the 2000 election.
  • GHS-TV is now producing over 100 shows per season, including 10 Access Together shows per month, for a total of almost 5000 hours of local and national programming seen over the channel per year.

 

2001

  • Under the leadership of Sandra Abel, GHS-TV's Auction 2001 meets its goal of $20,000.
  • GHS-TV wins 12 1st place Hometown Video Awards (an all-time record) and is, once again, named as the Best Educational Access Station in the USA. 

2005

  • GHS-TV establishes a relationship with a new partner school in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Twenty-five German students visit GHS in January and the same number of American students pay a return visit in June. During both segments of the exchange, the students create television shows that are broadcast throughout their respective communities.
  • Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Hubert Sauper comes to Germantown to offer Master classes to students and to present to the community his latest film, Darwin’s Nightmare.

2007

  • Students and teachers from GHS-TV return to Germany in the summer for another exchange trip with their sister school in Ludwigshafen.

2011

  • GHS-TV begins streaming its channel online and hosting local programs in a video library available at ghstv.org. 
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2013

  • GHS-TV completes its 5-year plan to become HD ready with a total renovation of studios A and B. The upgrade includes two new talk show sets in Studio A, transforming Studio B into a dedicated news set, new flooring, a digitally controlled lighting system and an expanded green screen with a traveler track.
  • GHS-TV founder and department chair Frank Bluestein announces his retirement at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Bluestein, was also founded and directed the Poplar Pike Playhouse, joined GHS in 1976.
  • Allison Rogers Long is named chair of the Fine Arts Department and executive producer of GHS-TV. A GHS alum, she returned to GHS as a fine arts teacher in 2003.

2014

  • GHS-TV begins cablecasting throughout the Memphis city limits on Comcast C19 thanks to an agreement with Shelby County Schools. The channel switch makes the station's student-produced programs available to a much larger audience.