Partnering with the Newton County Recreation Department and Alcovy High School, the producers of Covington Cable's popular show "Taste of Newton," are taking over the "Catch 22" sports program.
Current Events Productions owners Chris and Teri Haler said they would bring new programming to the show which they hope will strengthen, promote and educate residents of the many opportunities that the recreation department has to offer. "Catch 22" will be filmed at Alcovy High School's film studio and will feature guests from Newton County's past, present and future sports culture.
"We recognize that our local audience is often multi-tasking," said Chris Haler. "We believe that our new program will enable us to further reach the county residents who desire to keep informed about our local community via television, web, podcast and/or printed programs."
"Catch 22" will now offer cable subscribers tips from the pros, local sporting event stats and interviews, calendars and information about local businesses. In addition anyone will be able to view monthly programming on the show's Web site at www.catch22newton.com.
"Ultimately, our goals are to generate more participation from residents, revenue for the county, tourism and history interest as well as boost local business' sales," said Teri Haley.
Teri said Current Events would be filming games from all three county high schools in addition to recreation department games.
Current Events Productions filmed the first monthly installment of "Catch 22" at Alcovy Thursday morning. Approximately 20 students from Alcovy's advanced video broadcasting class will be working with Current Events throughout the year in the field on "Catch 22"
Kim Newhouse, Alcovy's instructor for video broadcasting, said students would be filming games, writing scripts and also be given the opportunity to do freelance work for Current Events.
"It's just a very good opportunity for them to work in the professional field while they're learning their skill," Newhouse said of the partnership between Current Events and Alcovy.
Broadcasting student Josh Hardge, a junior at Alcovy, was on hand Thursday assisting Newhouse and the Halers with filming for "Catch 22."
Hardge, who has ambitions of becoming a Hollywood movie director and has already written four film scripts said that Newhouse's broadcasting class - in its second year - had taught him a lot.
"It's really fun," Hardge said of the class. "This class made me want to pursue a career in film."
Already Hardge said he had gained experience in editing, directing, operating cameras and working in the field - filming, reality wrecks, high school graduation and football games.
Haler said that Current Events was in the process of becoming a Partner in Education with Alcovy and was developing a Youth Apprenticeship Program with the school to give high school students more hands-son practice.
Hosting "Catch 22" will be Oxford resident Philip Lehman who got a little help Thursday from "Taste of Newton" host Irene Smith in introducing the show's new format to its viewer audience. Sitting in the set designed by Anne Wildmon of Current Events, Lehman and Smith easily gabbed of this and that while the cameras rolled.
"Taste of Newton" - the year-old-program which highlights small businesses and local events in the county - will be moving from Covington Cable's Channel 20 to Channel 22 said Haler.
Guests for the show's first installment included Newton County Recreation Department Director Tommy Hailey, Assistant Director Anthony Avery and Dan Ragsdale, a retired official for the Georgia High School Football Association.
Hailey said that he was very excited about the partnership with Current Events. While in the past "Catch 22" televised as many recreation department games as possible, Hailey said that option no longer made much sense. Hailey said he thought the new format of "Catch 22" would be well received by the community.
According to Teri, "Catch 22" would now focus on game highlights in addition to more interviews with local athletes instead of broadcasting the entire length of games.
"It's been a great partnership," Hailey said of working with the Halers. "They're great to work with."
Hailey said he fully expected to continue the independent programming of "Catch 22" after Charter Communications takes over Covington Cable later this summer.
The first episode of "Catch 22" will air on August 1 on Covington Cable channel 22.