President’s Message: April 2024 Station Check List – JAG Can Help Grow Your Station

by Bob Duthaler

This article is an updated version of one I did previously, with more information, details and solutions. Moving your station forward is always the goal as a station manager. Here are some ideas on how you can grow, strengthen and improve your station operations and overall appearance. They are in no particular order, so use these as a guide for your station. Do all or do some, but the key to change and growth is to do something.

Use What You Have and Use It to the Fullest We are all guilty of this, I know that I am.  What am I referring to? Just about any product or software you have in your place. You would be surprised how much they have to offer and how we don’t use them to their full potential. What are some examples of this? How can I find solutions? I will give you a couple examples, but take inventory of all your hardware and software, research all they have to offer, then train yourself to use all they have to offer. Read all product material that came with your purchase, find user guides enclosed or online, and search for useful videos on the web. For our purpose I am going to talk about broadcast systems and multi-camera productions. Each one of these are important to station productions, operations and overall appearance.

Broadcast Servers:

Do you know how to schedule series programs?

Do you know how to use squeeze backs?

Do you know how to add “now playing” and “up next” snipe graphics?

Do you run a station logo or bug?

Are you running text crawl messages and incorporating emergency notifications?

Do you know how to add closed captioning?

Multi-camera Productions:

Do you understand the concept of two-hand switching?

Do you know how to use M/E?

Are you doing live graphics?

Do you know how to create virtual sets and chromakey?

Do you know how to roll in video clips?

Do you know how to bring in sources over the network, web and other sources?

Learn all the above and more. How? Come to the JAG conference on Thursday, May 16 and attend the special user group session by Telvue and Newtek. Learn the ins and outs of your broadcast server, make creative bulletin boards and discover the extra features that make your station stand out during the Telvue users group. Get the most out of your live or live-to-tape productions by fully understanding all that your switcher can do. Learn how to create a picture-in-picture effect, virtual sets and how to bring in sources over your network or internet. Varto Technologies will review all this and a lot more during their Vizrt Tricaster users group. Learn to get the most out of all the equipment you already own or are looking to get. Register now for this year’s event at

Cable, live streaming on social media, and cord cutters, serve them all… The time has come to serve everyone in your community, whether they have cable or not.  Gone are the days the cable was the only way to see your station.  As the viewing habits of the residents in your community change, so your operations must change to reach them. But how do you reach them?  What are the benefits of live streaming? Is there a way to reach the cord cutters? Apple TV, ROKU and Amazon Fire, are not just for Netflix. Learn how you can get your channel on these platforms and more. What about creating videos for all the new social media formats like Reels, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Special workshops geared for this topic, along with vendors with the knowledge and ability to show you an affordable way to get your station broadcasting in platforms you never thought were possible. Where? Come to the JAG conference on Thursday, May 16 at the Crowne Plaza in Edison, NJ. Learn how create these special videos, get access to affordable streaming equipment, have your channel on OTT platforms and a lot more.  Register now for this year’s event at

Know what the future of PEG could hold, and know what you are entitled to now…  One of the biggest ways to be successful in our industry is to understand the laws the govern our industry and what you should be advocating for. Over the years JAG has fought hard to get your station access to training and equipment. JAG also made it possible for you to have a high-definition channel. But do you know how to go about getting these? Wouldn’t you like to learn what stations around New Jersey and the country are getting in their local franchise negotiations? Knowledge is power, which becomes an advantageous ally when dealing with cable companies during your franchise renewal. I am sure you don’t have time to sit and track all the state and federal legislation that pertains to PEG-TV, broadband and more on a regular basis. If you are looking for an easy explanation of all the above, in a clear, concise way for you to understand and bring back to your cable board or local government, then you need to attend the annual JAG Conference on Thursday, May 16. Learn about current legislation, FCC rules and proposed legislation in special topics during the legislative sessions scheduled during the JAG Conference in Edison, NJ. Register now for this year’s event at

VHS Tapes, File Based Broadcast Servers, Closed Captioning and AI We have watched our industry change over the years, but what is in store next?  Are you contemplating the addition of closed captioning to your station? What is the best approach? Should you have an on-site unit or a cloud-based subscription? What about remote video transmission, is there an affordable solution out there? Can you harness the power of the internet and cellular data to transmit live video? How about AI technology? More and more we are hearing about the use of AI and what it may mean to our industry. There is so much new technology out there and more is on the way after the NAB Tradeshow. How can you keep up with it all? Get caught up with some of the latest and greatest right here in New Jersey at JAG’s annual conference. Mark your calendar now and click the registration link: and set yourself up to be in the know. Join us on Thursday, May 16for a one-day event that will surely enhance your knowledge and ability to successfully operate your station.

Respond faster and make informed tactical decisions! By working together, local government access TV and the OEM can enhance the community’s overall awareness, preparedness, and responsiveness during emergencies. To that extent, the Jersey Access Group (JAG) will be hosting an informational panel session on OEM, fire and police working collaboratively with local government access channels to disseminate information to the public in real time. This session will also include a discussion and demonstration of using drones, video and bonded cellular technology to get mission critical, real-time video to both mobile command units and OEM command centers. “It is very important to emergency management that we collaborate with local tv stations to ensure important and timely information is provided to our citizens before, during and after a disaster.” Dennis VanNatta, MAS ,CEM, OEM coordinator Township of Scotch Plains, New Jersey. JAG is offering this session FREE to all OEM, Police and Fire Officials on Thursday, May 16 at the Crowne Plaza in Edison, NJ. This session is sponsored by the Jersey Access Group, Varto Technologies and LiveU. A special registration for all police, fire and OEM officials will give them access before and after the session to have a chance to visit the JAG conference floor which will have some of the latest technology in drones, video equipment and bonded cellular technology. To register for this free session please go the JAG Conference website: . For more information, please feel free to reach out to me, Bob Duthaler (JAG President) at  for a special information sheet on this session. Space is limited. Act fast. Register now!!! So much is going on throughout the day at the JAG Conference. But, there is still time for networking with others in our industry and vendors from around the country. This event is designed specifically for those in the PEG community. It is our chance to get together, discuss topics that pertain to our industry, learn the latest and interact with each other. There is no doubt this is the one event each year you do not want to miss. Register now for JAG’s Conference 2024 on Thursday, May 16 in Edison, NJ.  Don’t wait!!! I look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s event!