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Dec 11, 2018 2:57 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

LTV's New Director Looks To The Past For The Future

Eric Glandbard, the new executive director of LTV in East Hampton.   ELIZABETH VESPE
Dec 11, 2018 4:01 PM

Two months ago, Eric Glandbard was hired to replace Morgan Vaughan as the (not-so) new executive director of LTV, the local public access channel of East Hampton.

Mr. Glandbard was raised in New Jersey and, after living on a sailboat in the Caribbean in the 1970s, decided to settle in the small former whaling village of Sag Harbor. That’s when, in the 1980s, he first tried his hand at video work at LTV.

At the time, the television station was abuzz with local music, art, cooking and pretty much anything residents of East Hampton wanted to broadcast, he said. The station had started in a small studio on Springs-Fireplace Road and began cablecasting in 1984.

Mr. Glandbard worked as the channel’s first station manager and trained dozens of local producers who over the years created work that remains in the archives today.

His current job as executive director will be to oversee 12 staffers, manage the station’s finances, and lead the development of existing and new programming. Prior to accepting the position, he was a photography and video professor at Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism.

“It’s a voice for the people,” he said in the talk-show-type studio in Wainscott. “We like to have fun here, and it’s a place where people can get excited about video production, and learning about the media.”

Mr. Glandbard said he plans to enhance the community’s involvement at LTV as it used to be in the earlier days.

Five years ago, a popular PBS show titled “It’s A Big World” was shot at LTV. The crew constructed several large rooms upstairs that Mr. Glandbard plans to utilize. “It’s my initiative to do something with the space, whether it be offices or classrooms,” he said as his voice echoed through the large, empty rooms. “We’re trying to develop these rooms into a digital academy,” he said, gesturing from one room to another. “We have a world-class sound booth—it’s expensive to construct and completely isolated.”

Currently, he plans to create a digital academy and collaborative space, including classes about video production, podcasting, animation and managing up-to-date software. Mr. Glandbard said he hopes to construct a full-on film school specializing in documentary production.

As of now, the rooms that have been sitting empty for the past two years are in the process of being painted and brought up to speed again.

“As long as it’s not a commercial piece, anything can be aired on public access,” Mr. Glandbard said. “Anything goes on local access television,” he said, standing near a kitchen set that is used to film cooking shows.

For $15, residents are allowed to visit the studio and record a 30-minute video about anything they’d like.

In addition to putting empty space to use, Mr. Glandbard plans to start an initiative called the “Thousand Stories Project,” with the goal of students and residents producing 1,000 documentary videos shot locally by local people.

“We have so many masters of the documentary and film world living out here, from the Spielbergs to a dozen high-profile documentary makers,” Mr. Glandbard said. “We have incredible talent out here.”

Next, the LTV website is up for a reboot. “I want to turn a part of the website over to the students, so they can create their own sub-sites with whatever they’re interested in shooting,” he added. His goal for the website is to have a “visual hub” for everything going on in town. “We want to get the schools involved and the not-for-profits involved,” he said. “The not-for-profits can come in and shoot their stories too.”

Throughout the years, the schools have been very much involved with LTV, Mr. Glandbard said—and he hopes to bring the schools’ involvement back. For example, the East Hampton High School Bonac Broadcasting used to air sports games and a news show on LTV, and students at the Springs School produced “Springs School In Action,” which aired weekly. Students visited LTV on field trips and Southampton College students even participated as interns back in the day.

Overall, Mr. Glandbard plans to bring locals back into the studio, he said. Some of their old film and VHS equipment is still stored on the second floor—what can currently be captured on an iPhone used to take an entire crew of bulky cameras and sound equipment to film.

In 1986, LTV began community classes in production, which Mr. Glandbard plans to bring back in January. “We started free classes where people could come in and learn how to make a TV show,” he said. Free classes are slated to begin again in January in editing with iMovie and other simpler softwares.

Mr. Glandbard mentioned fond memories of one of LTV’s earliest talk shows hosted by Jeffrey Potter, “Meet Your Neighbor, Neighbor.” The show explored the local scene and interviewed local characters—the type of programming Mr. Glandbard hopes to bring back to the public access channel.

LTV moved to its current location in Wainscott in 1992. The building today houses editing suites, talk-show style studios, a well-equipped kitchen studio, a tech shop, the archive library of around 35,000 tapes, and Studio 3, a gigantic black room with high ceilings for public forums and performances.

The 35,000 tapes document more than a 30-year span of the life of East Hampton. Many of the early tapes feature people and places that are long gone.

“It’s really TV for the people, by the people,” Mr. Glandbard said.

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Congratulation to Eric! My first experience with video production was at East Hampton High School when Eric oversaw the video production (Bonac Broadcasting Systems, or "BBS"). I then spent a lot of time at LTV and worked with Eric on a bunch of projects.
By Rich Morey (349), East Hampton on Dec 14, 18 9:04 AM
I am so glad he is back, I remember been in the board many years ago when we interview him for the ED position.. I was one of the board members that wanted him as the ED..lots of knowledge and care for LTV.
By Mate (38), Southampton on Dec 14, 18 12:54 PM