New NCTV studio goes live today |

New NCTV studio goes live today

Photo for The Union by John Hart
John Hart | The Union

Nevada County Television is set to flip the switch today on a sparkling new studio that will help increase the station’s digital and technological capabilities, said Lew Sitzer, NCTV interim executive director.

The station will go live with a Valentine’s Day special which will feature 90 minutes of local poetry, art and music at 5 p.m. and then again at 9 p.m. The programs may be viewed on Comcast channels 11 and 17 and Suddenlink 11 and 16, as well as live streaming online at

“We are changing the technology to broaden our instruction and capabilities and work more on the Web and Internet,” Sitzer said.

NCTV was created by the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools office in 2004, stemming from its roots as Foothills Community Access Television (FCAT) and recently became focused on a digital approach.

“So even though we’re local and will always focus on local issues, we are global in our reach,” Sitzer said. “It’s a visual way of representing our community, recreation, the beauty of the area.”

The studio also plans to provide video production and editing classes, and Regional Occupation Program training open to interested high schools, some of which already include Nevada Union, Bear River and Bitney College Prep high schools, as a way for students to obtain school credit and technical experience.

“We are continuing to work with high schools and charter schools and realize that we’re more than a TV station, we’re also a laboratory for innovation and working with young people because digital is where the kids are,” said Sitzer, who taught high school for 30 years.

Sitzer was the NCTV director for five years and continued to develop the studio after he retired from his teaching job, took off four years to care for his wife, and became executive director about a month ago.

“It’s filled a void in my life,” Sitzer said. “It’s moving along and really great.”

Bitney College Prep students visited the studio Tuesday and the principal, Bruce Herring, is in the process of working on a grant with Sitzer’s help to develop an elective class for Bitney students.

“Now with Lew Sitzer coming back, there’s new energy coming into the group and he wants to include eventually all schools in the area,” Herring said. “It’s huge. Not only for our students, but for anyone in the county the chance to do live streaming shows on the Internet, TV broadcasting, kids are attracted to that, but it’s great hands-on training, not just for fun, but could develop into a full-time career.”

The studio was formerly located at the Nevada City armory on Zion Street and is now at 400 Providence Mine Road, in an area subleased by Grass Valley USA, LLC (known locally as Grass Valley Group). The NCTV facility is equipped with two studios, several cameras and two green screens, Sitzer said.

“We have two studios, which we weren’t capable of in the past,” Sitzer said. “We have multiple sets and green screens so we’ll be able to create backgrounds of the Yuba River or Washington, D.C., and can even have moving backgrounds.”

NCTV is a nonprofit organization, financed by sponsors and revenue generated by the cable stations through the city.

“The county and the cities provide money for us primarily through fees generated by cable stations,” Sitzer said.

Businesses and individuals can rent out the studios and equipment for their advertisement and broadcast needs, Sitzer said. To rent the studio or find out more information, call 530-470-0794 or visit

“This is public TV, so it is set up for citizen input,” Sitzer said. “That means it’s the essence of democracy; you get to say what you want on TV and the World Wide Web and it’s here on Nevada County Television.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call 530-477-4230.

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