In late 2010, we ran an article commending BTV, a once-functioning campus television station right here in Binghamton, for moving to revamp its image. Finally, we thought, BTV was rising from the ashes. After losing the staff that ran it moderately well, BTV sank into a mire of awkwardly unfunny humor and mind-numbing sketches. A new era of BTV couldn’t be far away, right? All we had to do was wait.
So we waited. And waited. And waited. Then one day, the drive that had once filled the station was gone. But instead of compensating for the years of low quality we had suffered through — or even making some attempt to fill the airwaves — BTV simply shut off. Gone. Kaput. Turning to campus channel six yielded only elevator music and a picture of some buildings here.
What exactly happened at the BTV office no one really knows. Was the massive BTV office somehow being utilized without anyone knowing? Was the E-Board busy at work while the rest of us slept? Any time someone glanced in their office during the day, it was empty and dark.
And did it really take $1,000 a year to broadcast a picture? Maybe they were paying live musicians to play the background music.
After losing its $15,000 annual budget last year for its lack of, well, anything, we would have thought that BTV would strive to prove that it did deserve money, after all. Then came another year of squandered opportunities. Not one new show premiered; the still-frame of campus continued to taunt students with its maddeningly generic music and promise that new programs were “coming soon!”
There is hope, though. Reviewing BTV’s woeful past few years is like reading the story of an addict. There was a bright future once. But bit by bit, with each terrible decision, with each indulgence in a new piece of equipment to get back to the high of what the channel once was, it was dragged lower and lower, less funny and more pathetic, until at last there was simply nothing left.
BTV was left lamely requesting more money, wasting it on who knows what.
But now we see the light at the end of the tunnel for the long-beleaguered channel. It has hit rock bottom. With almost nothing left — a budget that was $0 for the coming year and raised to $1,000 only after an appeal — BTV is a shadow of what it once was. Surely, it has sunk as far as it possibly could.
From the bottom, though, it can only get better. Even as it grapples with a severely slashed budget, BTV says it has good things on the way. Scheduling to premiere at the end of the semester apparently includes a game show, morning and evening news segments and a comedy advertised as “The Binghamton Bro Code.”
We hope BTV doesn’t let this campus down again. Binghamton could use something worthwhile to look at. If this truly is the beginning of a renaissance for the channel, we wait with bated breath for its debut.