The Kaua‘i Channel adds a few new twists

KAPA‘A — As The Kaua‘i Channel approaches the 10-month mark under new ownership, more changes for the increasingly popular cable television station are in the works to improve service for residents and visitors alike.

Silvin Morgan of Wailua runs the show, literally.

The program manager for Channel 26 took the existing format, which basically consisted of time share presentations, and has started adding shows that will appeal to the local community.

“It was a lost loop,” said Kapa‘a resident Chris Jensen, who owns the station with his business partner Kevin Hurst. “We didn’t pull the plug on it. We started adding things to it to freshen it up.”

Whether it’s features on Koloa Plantation Days, covering drag races or reporting the Taste of Kaua‘i, Morgan is out in the community.

“He’s like a butterfly flying around with a camera landing at different places with different angles,” Jensen said.

Morgan, 37, said he wants to show the “real stuff” that is “fun and positive” happening throughout the island.

“We can appease the tourists pretty easily with what we have, but let’s also give the locals their own station they can relate to,” he said. “Let’s give them something higher quality than they’ve ever seen. More insightful. More informative.”

Instead of a one-host format, Jensen said the shows are mostly behind the scenes.

“The films come and then they go,” he said. “There was nothing for people to tune into that’s catering to both markets.”

Complimenting the programming is affordable advertising, Jensen said.

“We’re trying to give big businesses and mom and pops stores a chance to reach their target market,” Morgan said. “We don’t want to be unattainable. We’re trying to make it plausible and possible for the guys who never dreamt of commercial advertising.”

Jensen said he could not comment on the specifics of ongoing negotiations, but “the stations will grow very quick and very fast.”

Residents have started to recognize the label, Morgan said, and understand what the station is about.

“The community has already helped out a ton,” he said.

Jensen said the station has a core team that is about to get over the start-up hump.

“We’re not just a one-man band here,” he said.

As the station grows, Morgan said he anticipates the creation of opportunities in the industry for interested residents and student to become directly involved.

“We hope it gives the kids not only a new way to express, but hopefully also a job,” he said. “We all know how hard it is to stay here and work here. We want to have something viable outside of the tourism and construction industries.”

The station will be working with the schools to teach students about the camera, editing and production, he said.

“We’ll have that platform to get themselves out there,” Morgan said.

The upcoming changes for the station will be expanded programming and more on its Web site, which makes the programs available on demand.

Channel 26 will stay with arts and entertainment, Morgan said, but will add activities, events, ocean safety tips, shots of beautiful Kaua‘i, documentaries, music videos, syndicated shows and a live ticker with news, sports scores, stocks and weather updates.

Jensen, 35, said timing will be key. He said the programs will be aired at times that hit their target audience.

“We’re not just hitting one demographic here,” Morgan said. “This isn’t just let’s nail 35-year-olds. It’s travelers, locals, tourists, old, young.”

The Web site, www.kauaichannel.com, will, over the next year, have 20 more live Web cams showing traffic and weather conditions at specific locations on island, Jensen said.

The station also welcomes feedback and new ideas, Jensen said.

“We want to know what you want to see and hear,” he said. “We’ll honestly review it and give them an honest answer.”

Another way the station will serve the community better in the future is by not polluting, Jensen said.

The station, which has offices in Kapa‘a and Lihu‘e, will be run on wind power and be a “totally green company,” Morgan said.

“We want to keep the Garden Island, the Garden Island,” Jensen said.

Morgan said the station is working to give viewers the best entertainment in a Kaua‘i style.

“We don’t pretend like we know everything,” he said. “But what we don’t know we’re eager to learn.”

For more information, visit www.kauaichannel.com

• Nathan Eagle, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or neagle@kauaipubco.com

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