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Lantern Media Group absorbs Buckeye TV to ‘serve OSU community’

Kaily Cunningham / Asst. multimedia editor

In a society teetering toward web and TV dependency for news and entertainment, The Lantern is looking to advance its on-screen presence as well.
The Lantern Media Group – previously consisting of The Lantern and www.thelantern.com – joined with Buckeye TV Fall Semester as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ strategic plan.
Gifford Weary, divisional dean of social and behavioral sciences at Ohio State, said the vision for The Lantern Media Group is to create “permeable boundaries” between broadcast and print journalism and enhance education experiences for students.
“If we’re going to train people to do broadcast journalism and we’re focusing on multimedia journalism, just logically there’s no reason to keep them split across two departments,” Weary said. “There’s every reason to bring broadcast journalism on board and make the two organizations very, very permeable.”
Buckeye TV, which airs about 10 shows on Channel 19 on campus, is offered as a course in the OSU Department of Theatre.
The Lantern  is built into the curriculum of the School of Communication’s journalism program and run by 17 paid student editors.
The integration of Buckeye TV into The Lantern Media Group created three paid director positions at the news station as well, which are station manager, news director and sports director.
With the exception of the business operations of The Lantern, which is run by Gannett Publishing Services’ subsidiary Media Network of Central Ohio, Buckeye TV and The Lantern have separate budgets allocated through Arts and Sciences.
Weary said the bulk of expenses for the integration went toward additional travel funds for Buckeye TV and compensation for the new director positions.
Although there is no broadcast journalism major at OSU, Weary said with the integration it’s possible for the Buckeye TV class to become part of the journalism curriculum in the future, but no strides have been made to remove the class from the  Department of Theatre.
Daniel Gray, chair of the Department of Theatre, said most students who enroll in the class are not theatre majors.
“It is a really popular course. It’s always full,” Gray said. “It’s been a really good class for us for our students who might be interested in expanding past traditional theater to more of a television and media perspective.”
Buckeye TV began as a student organization in 2001 with funding from the student activity fee and was later attached to the theatre department, which Gray said was a “convenient” fit because the department had a location for the news station in the basement of Drake Performance and Event Center, where the Department of Theatre is based.
Gray added he’s thankful it has stayed with the department through the integration into The Lantern Media Group.
“I’m hoping this is a win-win for us,” he said. “I’m hoping it gives us some greater exposure by becoming more of a centralized kind of media group. I’m glad that at least to this point they’ve been able to keep their identity as Buckeye TV.”
Weary said, however, an official rebranding of Buckeye TV to the name “Lantern TV” is slated to be announced by the College of Arts and Sciences Spring Semester.
Buckeye TV station manager Aja Goare said despite an expected change of name and being housed under The Lantern Media Group, Buckeye TV exists as a separate entity from The Lantern in terms of news coverage.
“We do want to make sure that we’re not just mimicking what The Lantern has,” said Goare, a third-year in communication analysis and practice. “We’re kind of our own standalone brand also. It’s definitely a partnership, but we have our own independent material.”
For Ally Marotti, editor-in-chief of The Lantern, the partnership opens up more opportunity for the paper and staff.
“It’s a way to incorporate something different we’ve never done before,” said Marotti, a fourth-year in public affairs journalism and comparative studies. “It’s bringing in new minds, new ideas and a new way of seeing things because we’re so used to being oriented toward print, and they have a different way of looking at things than we do.”
Dan Caterinicchia, director of student media who oversees The Lantern Media Group, said another aim of the partnership is to increase the exposure of The Lantern‘s content while broadening Buckeye TV’s viewership.
“We don’t want to duplicate efforts unnecessarily,” Caterinicchia said. “Ultimately we’re all trying to serve the OSU community.”
Dave Fisher, Buckeye TV adviser, agreed.
“Buckeye TV is not as well known as The Lantern, so hopefully we can, with this partnership, become more aware for the students as a source for news,” Fisher said.
Calling Fall Semester a “soft launch,” Caterinicchia said the first collaborative effort between The Lantern and Buckeye TV took place election night.
Buckeye TV aired an election night special from 10:30-11:30 p.m., shooting live for its first time ever with The Lantern from remote locations around Columbus, including the Democratic and Republican watch parties downtown, The Lantern newsroom and the Ohio Union.
Caterinicchia said even though there were some glitches in the broadcast, one thing outweighed any of the mishaps.
“Buckeye TV and Lantern students were on air live when the 2012 presidential election was called for Barack Obama. Bottom line, that’s historic,” he said.
Since that broadcast, Fisher and Caterinicchia said The Lantern Media Group intends to do one live, remote broadcast each semester. Arrangements for this semester are still to be determined, but Fisher mentioned the “Buckeyes Got Talent” show as a prospect.
“It’s not going to be easy. There’s definitely going to be bumps along the way,” Caterinicchia said of the goals for the partnership. “(But) video is the way the world is going, so the more professional, quality video content we can have under The Lantern Media Group umbrella, the better.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: Jan. 11, 2013

An earlier version of this story stated
The Lantern was through the School of Arts and Sciences. It is the College of Ar
ts and Sciences.

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