Spotlight: Newark – Quality Content at Newark 78

by Gary Campbell, Station Manager/Producer, Newark TV

In today’s competitive television, cable and streaming market, government-access television Newark TV-78 is producing high quality content for the largest city in New Jersey–Newark.  Newark continues to shine in public safety, affordable housing, the arts, equitable growth and empowering residents.  Mayor Ras Baraka says that in 2023 we are finally experiencing the Newark Renaissance that has been in motion for over fifty years, and TV78 has been there to help the city achieve its goals.  

We strive to achieve consistently high-quality content with every production.  In this context, we are referring to visual, audio or video created and made available through a particular channel(s) as programming that appeals to a large percentage of Newark residents.  Behind the renaissance at TV-78 the Newark access channel are the talented people at Cologna Productions.  Under contract from the city, Cologna Productions has been running the station for nine years.  Initially it was a one-man operation run by Ed Cologna alone; today, the production company now has a staff of 6 employees and covers over 250 events annually.  The channel not only covers city council meetings and local emergency announcements, but many other events and programs which have become very important in to the content hungry residents of Newark.  This programming is provided 365 days and 24 hours a day. 

The diligent work has allowed TV-78 to receive many awards throughout the years and 15 awards in 2022 alone.  This trend will hopefully continue in 2023 when we may be considered for an Emmy Award.

Our current programming lineup includes Ras in 60, led by host, Mayor Ras J. Baraka and co-host Desiree Hadley.  Ras in 60 provides conversations about Newark’s community, economic development and more.  Recently, the show has featured the American rap group The Sugar Hill Gang, best known for its hit single “Rapper’s Delight”, …what a treat!

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Overall, TV-78 has been successful because of its focus on quality videography while responding to the particular needs of the Mayor’s initiatives.  The Mayor has masterfully gone past just a boring access channel to clearly convey the intentions and progress of the administration.  Under his reading initiatives there is programming provided such as “Launch of 1,000 Books before Kindergarten”, “ Literacy Conversation with Dr. Brown,” “Mayor’s Book Club” and “Soar with Reading” held at various schools and libraries throughout Newark.  The Arts are also important to the Mayor’s vision for the city.  In the past year, we have covered events like Newark mural unveilings and the Newark Arts Festival.  In addition, Great Point Studios and NJPAC partner have partnered with LionsGate to present Down in the Ro, a Great Day in Newark and many other events.  Annual TV events include 24 Hours of Peace, Latin Festival, Fashion Forward, Lincoln Park Festival, LQBQT events and flag raising, the Senior White Affair and many others.  We also cover events that concern the public safety of our citizens, OVPTR events, Newark Peace Week, Woman’s Empowerment, Men’s Meeting, Women’s Meeting, Prayer Walk against Violence and National Night out.  In addition, we have documented events that honor the following members of the Newark community:  ethnic groups from Nigeria, Italy, Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cape Verde, Barbados and others by having their flag raisings recorded for TV.  The station is now working on new shows, including “Out Loud”, “Caribbean Commission” and “Scooter Stories” along with others, and this list is growing, so stay tuned!

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How is all this accomplished? In a two floor studio located in the Central Ward of Newark that includes seven rooms, two edit bays, four computer work stations, programming room, equipment room and green room. However, I must add that Cologna Productions has a bunch of creative people that love the City of Newark and love creating quality content.  We look forward to growing and creating more content to serve the diverse citizens of Newark.