UW-Eau Claire’s TV-10 celebrates 40 years of broadcasting

Members past and present reflect on organization’s growth over the years.

More stories from Brian Sheridan


On Oct. 27, 1976, UW-Eau Claire’s TV-10 flicked on the switches and the cameras started rolling.

After 40 years, with a location change, some equipment upgrades and countless students looking to create something special for fellow Blugolds, TV-10 continues to broadcast on campus and around Eau Claire.

It all started when Eau Claire housing installed its own campus cable system in the fall of 1975 and former Housing Director Chuck Major saw an opportunity for the campus to broadcast its own channel.

With the purchase of a singular camera, Eau Claire launched its first broadcast “What in the Hall is Going On?,” a program aired from the housing director’s office. The news program later became Focus News, became uWEc in the late ‘80s and eventually Blugold News Now, what it is today.

While a variety of TV-10 programs have come and gone, others, like their first game show Wing Feud, much like the TV show Family Feud, still runs today. All of TV-10’s broadcasts have aired from Towers Hall, first being set up in what is now the Towers conference room, but then moving to the Towers basement in 1978.

John Reichert, Governors hall director and TV-10 adviser, said he was part of the broadcasting organization when he attended Eau Claire and worked his way up to station manager in 2008. Reichert said he has been seeing a number of notable changes coming to the station recently.

“I think homecoming this past year, winning the competition, really helped get the TV-10 name out there,” Reichert said. “And we’re working with a lot of different departments on campus now to help them produce content, to help them with their department.”

Reichert said it is the strong departmental commitment that kept TV-10 going for the last 40 years. It’s the value, he said, the department sees in the work students create and the people involved that helps keep the station going.

Current Station Manager Matt Peterson agrees it’s the people that make TV-10 special.

“I’ve made some of my best friends through TV-10 and we like to have a lot of fun, goof around a lot,” Peterson said. “At the same time, we get a lot of work done and have a lot of pride in our work.”

Past members of TV-10 have come from an array of backgrounds and majors, and have subsequently gone off into a professional world completely unrelated to broadcast. While some have become local anchors and reporters like Andrea Albers for WQOW, others are now vice presidents of companies or even senators, like Pat Kreitlow.

The most notable member of TV-10’s history, Peterson said, is Kato Kaelin, who had his own show “Kato and Friends” and eventually went to Los Angeles and became an actor. Kaelin is notable for his role as a witness in the O.J. Simpson murder trial as he was living at the house at the time of the murder.

Peterson said he has had the chance to meet with past alumni of TV-10 and enjoys hearing about the station from their era and telling them about TV-10 today.

“A lot of them always tell me to make sure we don’t forget about the shenanigans,” Peterson said, “to never stop goofing around.”

Whether it’s making a dinosaur out of wood and bed sheet and recording people’s reactions at night, or hanging out in the office with the rest of the TV crew, Peterson said it’s the sense of community that makes TV-10 great.

It’s the nature of journalism with its long hours and long nights that makes them so close and helps build pride in their work, Peterson said.

“There’s always consistently been a solid core of students who are just proud of it,” Peterson said. “We just want TV-10 to live on forever and leave it better for the people who come in after us. We will make sure it’s going for another 40 years.”