Bryan -- Changing the Way You Watch City TV

You'd hardly think of city-run television as must-see-TV. But month-by-month, the city of Bryan is changing that. An inside look at "An Inside Look" proves just that.

From one dark room in Bryan's city hall comes a shining light of city programming.

"I tell people it's the best 30 minutes they're going to spend watching TV," said Jay Socol, Bryan's public information officer. "That may be a slight exaggeration, but it's a lot of fun for government TV."

In the past, Bryan's show was chock full of info, but way short on entertainment.

"Every city does their show like this, so Chad [Cockrum] and Mike [Neu, a Bryan videographer] really are the ones who asked why we're doing things the same way other cities are doing it," Socol said.

"The way we were doing it before was very informational, but you couldn't watch it," said Cockrum, who is Bryan's media specialist. "Now, you can sit there, and you can laugh, and if you get something out of it, that's what we're trying to do."

"What you see is me and other people who are actually the cast of characters in our own weird reality show," Socol said.

"In the past, the city employees have always wanted to come off serious," Cockrum said. "They want you to think that everything is serious, and a lot of what they do is serious, but a lot of what they do on a daily basis is kind of comical."

The comic value has earned serious acclaim. Bryan's always pulled in awards for "An Inside Look," and the lighter version is doing the same in state and national competition...with the added opinion that this new concept of Bryan's is revolutionary. It certainly takes a lot of work.

"In any given show, you're looking at 30 to 35 hours worth of tape, and that gets cut down to 30 minutes," said Cockrum. "We go through a lot of tape."

But the end result couldn't be more satisfying for the city's staff.

"I really think this is going to change the way cities end up broadcasting their programs," Socol said. "I really do."

Though other cities might be quite as funny and educational as Bryan.

"Bryan: An Inside Look" airs daily at 5:30 and 10:30 on the Bryan City Channel.

In the future, the city will look at added informational videos to their website, with topics ranging from looking up ordinances to using new voting equipment.


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