Sun Devil Television

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Tempe, Arizona
City Phoenix, Arizona
Branding State Press TV
Channels Analog: Online Broadcast
Digital: Online Broadcast
Affiliations MTVU
Owner Arizona State University
Founded Video Broadcasts Began in 1995, Teletext Broadcasts Began in 1992
Call letters' meaning Sun Devil
Former callsigns SDTV
Website [1]

State Press Television (Formerly: Sun Devil TV, SDTV, Channel 2) was an independent, Student television station based in Arizona State University's campus in Phoenix, Arizona.


Early years[edit]

Although SDTV did not began to broadcast programs until Fall 1995, it physically began in 1992, when ASU's Residence Life Department wired all on-campus housing with basic cable. Six channels on the cable system were set aside for University use, and Channel 2 was given to Residential Life to disseminate information through the on-campus dormitories. During this time, Channel 2 operated as a teletext service, showing a few low quality, scanned .bmp images via a set of rotating text-screens with information about the university calendar and various events while the campus radio station, The Blaze, played. It was managed by the University's Information Technology (IT) department.

In the summer of 1993, Kolby Granville, VP of Public Relations with the ASU Residence Hall Association, discovered Channel 2 as a promotional tool and asked the IT Department to post text screens promoting events organized by the Residence Hall Association. On a fateful day, Granville, faced with a vacationing IT Department, figured out how to operate the text-screen program himself and, once granted access, the IT department opted not to take it away. This was the beginning of student-run text-screens on Channel 2. The first video broadcast was in Spring 1994, when Granville experimented with the video card in the back of the computer that ran the teletext program. He discovered that the computer was able to play video programs, played two minutes of rented copy of Alice In Wonderland over the Channel, and called a friend in the residence halls to confirm it was airing.

Move From Teletext To Video[edit]

In Fall 1994, with $12,500 from ASASU for equipment and each Hall Council's rollover budget for movie rights, Channel 2 truly became a television station, showed three movies per night. Weekly student produced programs included KASRV and The Farce Side Comedy Hour. Permanent funding occurred Spring 1995 when the Arizona Board of Regents raised the RHA fee by $1.50 per semester, per student. Teletext program lived on during the day (they were discontinued in 1999). In 1996, as VP of Activities for ASASU, Granville entered into an interclub agreement whereby his budget would pay the entire SDTV movie rights budget for the year, $8,500, and SDTV would provide a single text-screen that stated SDTV was partially sponsored by ASASU for the year. In 1997, Channel 2 moved to its current office in the Matthews Center, and joined the Student Media (then called Student Publication) in August 1998. All main ties with the Residence Hall Association were severed that same year (although minor ties still remain to this day).

Hill Era (1998-1999), Beginning of SDTV[edit]

In 1999, Hoyt Hill, a graduate student from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication, was hired by ASU Student Media to be the station's first general manager. With the hire, all administrative control of the station officially shifted from RHA to Student Media.

During Hill's tenure as General Manager, student programming continued to develop; some shows created under Hill still continue today. Hill also came up with the station's name and call letters—Sun Devil Television / SDTV. (Until that point, the station had simply been known as "Channel 2.") The current broadcast format also started at this time, when the teletext service that began since the station's launch was replaced with music video programs from MTV's University Broadcasting arm. Hill also saw that the station's paid staff was expanded from one (himself) to two—adding David Klee as the first Station Director.

Hill's last actions as General Manager included negotiating with Student Media for the purchase of a Final Cut Pro editing system and Canon GL1 camcorder—the station's first digital video camera and non-linear editor. While these items didn't arrive until after Hill left the station, they proved instrumental building blocks for SDTV programming and the station's overall future.

Klee Era (1999-2002)[edit]

Student Media was unable to find a graduate student replacement for Hoyt after his graduation in 1999, so David Klee, a sophomore political science major, took the position of General Manager.

During his three-year tenure, the station offices moved to their current location, and the volunteer staff expanded from two to nearly two hundred. Paid staff expanded from two to five: Josh Davis (a freshman Broadcasting major) was hired as the station's first News Director in 2000; Joelle Keane (a junior Business major) took on the post of Promotions Director, managing all the marketing, advertising and business-related operations of the station in early 2001; and Shannon Brown (a junior Broadcasting major) became the station's first paid Personnel Manager in late 2001, coordinating the ever-increasing volunteer staff.

Student-produced programs continued to thrive during this time, and the station also received equipment donations from various sources, including its second Canon GL1 camcorder, donated by Kolby Granville.

In 2000, the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication began a series of equipment upgrades. Jim Dove, the Cronkite School's lead engineer, saw that most of the old equipment went to SDTV. This allowed SDTV to build a small studio with a news set, which it used to broadcast a live, weekday news updates. Other live and taped programming followed including an ASU Football analysis show hosted by members of the State Press and ASU Web Devil, along with the station's first live Presidential debates for ASU's student government (ASASU).

Bylaws were written during this time and an organizational structure was developed with a General Manager and Station Director as the top managers, followed by a news director, promotion director, and staff of seven volunteer department managers that were each responsible for a specific operational aspect of the station.

After graduating, Klee remained a part of the ASU Student Media department for an additional year as a graduate student adviser and Convergence Coordinator—working to combine the efforts of the student newspaper (State Press) and news website (ASU Web Devil) with SDTV.

Klee is currently a member of the Student Media Advisory Board

Garrison Era (2002)[edit]

After David Klee graduated in May, 2002, Aron Garrison, a senior broadcast business/management major, became the station's third General Manager. Aron doubled the amount of student programming on SDTV's airwaves each day, and saw the purchase of a second Macintosh editing system along with the first major purchase of studio equipment to help supplement SDTV news and other productions.

Schuler Era (2002-2004)[edit]

Kelly Schuler, a sophomore broadcast business/management major, followed Garrison as General Manager in December, 2002.

During her tenure, Schuler further expanded the amount of student programming on the station, and put SDTV through its first major reorganization since its bylaws were written in 2000.

Schuler streamlined the organizational structure, and created a set of five paid positions that were ultimately responsible for all aspects of the station, eliminating the need for a large set of volunteer managers. During this time, Schuler also worked hard to cooperate with The State Press and ASU Web Devil on a number of projects and created the SDTV website on the Web Devil portal.

One of Schuler's hallmark accomplishments was the creation and distribution of the first ever Sun Devil Television TV Guide, which was a huge success for the student station. Also, under Schuler's management, the station also held its first major event, "The Big Ass Lawn Bash", and organized other major events such as live giveaways and the ASASU Presidential Debates.

McGuire and Pignotti Era (2004-2006)[edit]

The station continued to grow under the tenures of Jeff McGuire and Arthur Pignotti and brand new programs were made. In recent years, sports and news programs have become the dominant programs on-air, and, with the help of Productions Editor Shannon Cook, improvements in graphics and presentations have also brought the quality of broadcasts to a level unimaginable when Channel 2 started as a teletext service. It was during this time SDTV successfully executed its first live transmission. TV personality Ian Schwartz conducted a live interview with “Saw” director James Wan, screenwriter Leigh Whannell and Jigsaw the Puppet . Cook, McGuire and Pignotti's technical skills were an integral part in this landmark live broadcast.

Passaro Era (2006-2007)[edit]

In May 2006, Media Production major Jason Passaro became SDTV's eighth General Manager. He began a reform program for the station, and began by concentrating on having as much new programming as possible. During this time, new shows of all genres were produced, including one show that is hosted by a campus student best known for auctioning off his body as advertising space on eBay. During 2006 Michael Lisi redesigned the SDTV set with the help of his wife and friend. Lisi, a Channel 2 news anchor, expanded the size of the studio as well as refined the aesthetic look. One of the major changes was handcrafted metal work and a new station logo.

On October 27, 2006, the station made its second live television transmission test. A live election night results broadcast, the first ever for SDTV, was produced on November 7, 2006.

Swanson-Bober Era (2007)[edit]

In April 2007, Journalism major Honora Swanson-Bober was appointed as SDTV's ninth General Manager. She served during the fall semester.

Struening Era (2008)[edit]

In November 2007, Journalism major Michael Struening was appointed as SDTV's tenth General Manager.

Abdo Era (2008- 2010)[edit]

In May 2008, Journalism Major Nate Abdo was appointed as Sun Devil Television's eleventh General Manager. One of Abdo's first actions as GM was the phasing out of the "SDTV" Brand and the subsequent re-branding of "Sun Devil TV." This era also saw the introduction of the "Entertainment Director" position to further emphasize quality in Sun Devil Television content.

Also, in what appeared to be an unprecedented series of storms the Matthew's center was flooded several times - destroying much of the reserves of equipment that were so painstakingly built up in years past. Abdo worked diligently to take this horrible situation and turn it into a period of growth and change.

During his second year as General Manager, Abdo shifted SunDevil TV to an entirely online medium. In light of changing powers of the Web and the increasing importance of integration with other facets of Student Media SunDevil TV became State Press Television. This move helped bring multimedia to the State Press Web and further improved the quality of content produced by Student Media. The new home of State Press Television is



SDTV News is the only program in the station to be produced on a daily basis, and can be considered as one of the more dominant program genres on the channel's schedule. (other programs take longer to produce). The news airs around noon each day, and in one-hour intervals thereafter until 6 p.m. local time.

In fall of 2005, the news presentations received extensive reforms under the management of news director Kunal Patel. A department volunteer at the time, Kenneth Wong, initiated these new changes into the news and evolved the format into what it is today. The reforms continued after Wong and Nissania Trujillo became News Directors in January 2006. The reforms included the addition of news graphics and innovative ticker bar features. Continued reforms and changes to news presentations were made after Jordan La Pier joined Trujillo in the News Director position in August 2006.

SDTV also airs Cronkite NewsWatch, a professional news program made by advanced journalism students in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication during prime time hours every week.

Sports and Light Entertainment[edit]

A dedicated team of volunteers are responsible for the sports department at SDTV. Depending on the time, they would produce programs about the relevant teams of the time. The programs include interviews with star players, game updates, and other discussions in regards to the season.

Likewise, a dedicated team of volunteers produces two light entertainment programs at SDTV. In 2005, light entertainment programs became less prominent, as the channel becomes dominated with sports and news programs. However, this situation is beginning to turn around, as the station begins to produce more light entertainment programs.


The station broadcasts some form of programs (be it student produced or MTV feeds) 24 hours a day. Student-produced programs officially begins at noon each day with the broadcast of the flagship news program, which is repeated every hour until 6PM, when two student-produced shows are shown. This is followed by a feature movie at 7PM. The programs aired during 6PM and 6:30PM are repeated at 9PM and 9:30PM. Afterwards, two feature movies are shown, at 10PM and 12AM respectively. Afterwards, the station closes down, and rejoins MTVU's music programs.

Notable members of the SPTV (former SDTV) Board of Governors[edit]