As we are preparing for some new offerings via SkiNC and SkiSoutheast this season, we wanted to take a moment and do a little pre-season promotion for our good friend and contributing editor Joe Stevens. Joe writes a weekly column for us that shows right here on this portion of the website and he’ll get going pretty soon as the 2006-2007 season draws near.
Joe’s not one of those guys that brags a lot (except on his clients) so we wanted to give him and his fledgling company a well deserved "plug".
I’ve known Joe Stevens for a few years, beginning while he was serving as the communications director at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. Stevens worked for Snowshoe for 15 years, and it came as somewhat of a surprise to me when he called me to share the news that he was venturing out into a new endeavor. That endeavor is a partnered venture into the communications and production industry.
The Media Center was formed in October 2005 by Dan Shreve and Joe Stevens to assist partners in managing their corporate message. The Media Center is a multi-faceted communications and production business in Charleston designed to help companies, government agencies or others to access and communicate with the media.
Shreve and Stevens are veterans of the media relations world, with over 60 years of experience between them. Shreve was a Vice President and General Partner of a video production company in Charleston for over 20 years after a stint as a news photographer and production in TV news. Stevens was Director of Communications at Snowshoe Mountain Resort for 15 years with another 15 years prior to that in Richmond, Virginia newsrooms. Both know how to communicate with the media to get the word out. When it comes to product, Shreve is an awarding winning photographer and producer and the two have had projects that aired world-wide.
Not long after they opened for business and only hours after the January 2nd explosion and disaster at the Sago Mine in West Virginia that trapped (13) coal miners, The Media Center’s phones began ringing. Due to the proximity and timing of the disaster Stevens’ began receiving calls from CBS, SNN and ABC. "They knew we were trying to buy a satellite uplink truck at the time and they were calling to see where they could get a truck to send to Buckhannon. I found all three of them trucks."
NOW, The Media Center owns their own satellite uplink truck. Stevens and Shreve bought one of their own — a television station on wheels — in March. Purchasing a satellite truck had been an important part of their business plan from day one and they had been scouring the country for new and used vehicles for months.
"Every one is custom built," Shreve said. "There’s not one on every corner."
The truck that they purchased is a 15-ton vehicle nicknamed "Bubba".
"It’s a name well known in the business, Stevens said. "When I started talking to networks, letting them know we have an uplink service in West Virginia, they said, ‘You bought Bubba!’"
Upon acquiring it they upgraded and rewired all of the equipment from analog to digital. Shreve proudly states, "It’s digital, dual-path and fully redundant. That means you can send two signals simultaneously, and it has a backup so in case an electronic component fails, there’s a backup system."
There’s is not the first satellite truck in West Virginia but it IS the first independently owned and operated – separate of any of the broadcast stations.
Joe Stevens called me shortly after the purchase and expressed excitement over the capabilities that "Bubba" allows them to offer their clients.
Stevens’ stated, "We can broadcast a signal and handle all of the production work as well as offer our clients the ability to communicate from just about anywhere."
"The way it usually happens is, a client has a public relations firm and has a news conference and the firm contracts with a satellite uplink company and a production company to handle the video dissemination of the news conference," Stevens added.
The Media Center actually operates "reverse" of the typical satellite truck company. They work as a media relations company that has a truck as a communications tool. With their more than 60 years of mutual experience, they can handle all of the associated production work…literally providing a complete package of media services.
While a lot of their business is expected to come from networks such as CBS, CNN, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Weather Channel and from some local and regional television stations…they also are equipped to handle most any kind of promotional event.
"If you have an event or an announcement, we can take the mountain to Mohammad instead of having Mohammad come to the mountain," Stevens said.
If you or your business is in need of communicating your event or message to the world…give The Media Center a call. You can reach Stevens at 304-720-5466 or visit their website at www.TheMediaCenter222.com