GRA welcomes new station manager for Channel 180

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

Chris Weis, Foley, is the new station manager for television Channel 180, the local access channel for Little Falls. Starting Oct. 4, he is truly excited to have the opportunity.

“I am happy to be back into mass communications,” Weis said. “There are so many things I can do with video. I am anxious to begin.”

What Weis is talking about is filming not just government meetings, but adding the news to Channel 180, along with some comedy, drama, educational programming, breaking news, classes and more. He has even talked to Charlie Peterka, owner of Charlie’s Pizza, about a cooking show.

Chris Weis, Foley, is the new station manager for Channel 180 TV, a division of Great River Arts. He is excited about his new job and is diligently working to bring the studios into the digital age. He is pictured in one of the studios containing white flooring which curves up to meet white walls.
Chris Weis, Foley, is the new station manager for Channel 180 TV, a division of Great River Arts. He is excited about his new job and is diligently working to bring the studios into the digital age. He is pictured in one of the studios containing white flooring which curves up to meet white walls.

But for now, until Weis gets the studios, located in the Great River Arts (GRA) building, organized, he will be showing the Little Falls City Council, the Morrison County Commissioners, the Minnesota Senate and church services on Channel 180.

Weis, a St. Cloud State University graduate (2014) with a degree in theater, emphasizing technical design, began his career in video in eighth grade when he ran his school’s auditorium audio and lighting. In college, he worked with KVSC 88.1 radio as its chief engineer for one year and at St. Cloud State University as an audio specialist for the school’s sporting events.

Weis also has worked with Pioneer Place Theater Company in St. Cloud as first the stage manager. That job developed into the company’s technical director.

Diversified Media Resources, a video production company also in St. Cloud, also hired Weis as its video editor and camera operator.

“I have also worked in several theater companies in Minneapolis and St. Paul,” Weis said. “I still do sound work at Jackpot Junction in Morton for its shows and was asked to work with Foreigner when they play there in December.”

Weis started his newest position by accident. He was asked to help out with lighting for an upcoming theater production at GRA when he learned about the need for a new station manager.

“I looked at the television studio area and knew it was a diamond in the rough,” he said. “I went home, thought about it for awhile, sent in my application and got the job.

“Since starting, I have recognized so many people who have walked through the door at GRA, people I know from working in St. Cloud,” he said. “I feel very comfortable in my new position and the people in Little Falls have been great. As I walk through town and see all the old buildings, I think there are a lot of stories in Little Falls.”

Weis’ plans, which have started, include rebuilding the studio to become digital and more up-to-date.

“The station needs to keep up with technology to ensure good quality pictures and audio,” he said. “I want Channel 180 to inform the public of what’s happening in town. I want to make local access television fun.”

He would also like to add classes to the stations’ offerings, on using cameras and camcorders

Weis’ first month on the job has seen him working long days cleaning the studios and learning the inventory.

He is also learning about public access television and its laws and regulations, for it’s a new endeavor for him.

Weis said he wants to make sure everything is up to code and running within the laws.

The goal is to have Channel 180 up and running by the end of November.

For more information, or to offer ideas for programing, contact Weis at [email protected] or call (320) 631-0005.

  • It all looks great but I see no experience with public access television??? GRAA doesn’t own the station nor does the city. I hope someone understands the laws the govern public access and first amendment rights or this is another lawsuit waiting to happen.

  • Offer ideas???? Its public access!!!!

  • robin hensel

    I am happy to report that so far Chris has been great to work with and Theresa and my new program called “Can We Talk” has already been aired on channel 180 at least 3 times. Kudos to Chris. It is a pleasure to work with you.