Montgomery Media Center baptized | New

MONTGOMERY— A building that once housed a variety of media like the Vining Library on the West Virginia Institute of Technology/WVU Tech campus has been transformed into a different kind of media center.

On Friday, June 24, a large crowd gathered to see the unveiling of the Montgomery Media Center by the Syner Foundation and WZTS-TV, an affiliate of COZI TV, which serves southern West Virginia. WZTS already has a base of operations at a fiber-connected Oak Hill studio, which will remain operational, representatives pointed out.

“This is an extension,” said Tommy Syner of WZTS. “It’s for the upper Kanawha Valley: Montgomery, Boomer, Smithers, Glen Ferris and up to the Gauley Bridge.

“We will cover more in this area.” In the past, the station has covered, for example, sporting events in the area involving the former Valley High School. “We’re spending more time on programs that the mayor (Greg Ingram) himself will be on, called Montgomery Today.” The overall scope of coverage will include a Shop Local segment, historical segments, general television programming, public service announcements, and community-related features and programs involving local individuals, groups, and businesses. “We feel welcome here” to “tell the stories of Montgomery and Smithers and all of the surrounding areas,” Syner said.

Among the network’s flagship programs are The Capitol Report and Doc Talk with Dr. Paul Conley. An upcoming show of the first was recorded recently at Montgomery’s studio, Ingram said.

Syner called it an “emotional” day. “It’s not about us, it’s exciting. I’ve been on TV for over 30 years, and this is the most exciting day I’ve had on TV.”

“It was an honor to be part of this community,” he continued. “Mayor Ingram was fantastic. It was a wonderful day, and we look forward to more great and wonderful days in communications to come…as part of the Montgomery Media Center.”

“I’m so grateful to be part of this community,” said Shari Syner, wife of Tommy Syner and president of the Syner Foundation.

“Shari has the vision; she understands what we’re doing,” her husband said, thanking her for her efforts behind the camera.

The main COZI television channel is channel 130, and in the UKV it is seen on channel 17. Broadcasts can currently be watched up to the Chuck Yeager Memorial Bridge in Charleston. Negotiations are underway to extend the signal, Tommy Syner said.

“It’s not just for Montgomery; it’s for the region,” Ingram said during his remarks.

Ingram thanked, among others, Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito for their support, as well as the support of county commissions in Kanawha and Fayette counties as the region continues its rebuilding process, the Mountaineer Challenge Academy South and Governor Jim Justice, Dan and Becky Hill, and more. He paid tribute to the Syner Foundation for its vision and for undertaking the effort to transform the Vining library.

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