So much has been said about the recent budget cuts, from their detriments to the community, to the extra-curricular activities that will be cut, that people have lost sight of the fact that changes are being felt at East as we speak. Today, Principle John O’Breza informed the members of Eastcast that it will no longer have a place on channel 19, which it has had for decades.
According to President and Lead Anchor Justin Wachman (’10), Eastcast was cut “because the people at [central administration] don’t want to have live broadcasts on channel 19.” Due to the budget cuts, the position at Central that involved transferring Eastcast shows onto channel 19 has been terminated. Seeing as how no one else at Central knows how to utilize the technology, Eastcast has suffered.
Rather than airing weekly, the show now airs every other week, and only on YouTube. Recently, the shows have been added to eastside-online.org. Eastcast members have proposed that if they can get 100 YouTube subscribers of their show, they can prove to Central that the show should continue to be aired on channel 19.
“[Eastcast] has been around since at least the eighties. I just think it’s something that shouldn’t be tossed away,” says Wachman. “We’re trying to raise awareness about it…there’s no loss of interest in the club and we’re being forced to not put on the actual production of it and air it. We’re still doing the YouTube thing, but that loses the fun of it, it’s supposed to be on television. A bunch of students want to do it as a career and they need to gain that experience through Eastcast.”
In the past, responsibility for airing the shows on channel 19 was up to the students of Eastcast. Now that the professional position has been cut from Central, Eastcast members would ideally like the responsibility to be reinstated to the students.
Eastcast is not provided with any money; it simply wants to continue to function as it always has, even if that means the students have more accountability, because it is so important to them.
“I’ve been doing it since I was a freshman and other people have been doing it for a long time, too. This is something I’m now taking classes in and it means a lot…this is another way for kids to find out what they want to do in their future,” Wachman said.
Students can help Eastcast try to air on television again by viewing its shows at http://www.youtube.com/cheasttv.