KOCT – Oceanside’s Documentarian

Tom Reeser
KOCT Executive Director

One of the most valuable and unique television formats that KOCT excels at is long form documentary programs. We’ve made in-depth documentaries on subjects such as the creation of Oceanside’s Charles Moore-designed Civic Center; reconstruction of the Oceanside pier; restoration of the historic Americanization School Building and building the modern Oceanside Museum of Art.


KOCT’s tradition continues this month with two new documentaries about a 100-year-old sports institution and a 213-year-old religious and community landmark.

Simcox Field, home of the Oceanside Pirates, is a story that chronicles the past, present, and continuing legacy of Pirate Football. We hear stories of the old football stadium and its transformation into a new state-of-the-art playing field.

San Luis Rey: Origins of a Community explains the role the Mission played in the past and today in our north county community. The program features photos and drawings over the life of the Mission since its founding in 1798, its demise and its rebirth.

The reason I cite these programs as “valuable” and “unique” is that few media organizations have the structure or interest and ability to work for years on a single program as a building slowly rises or as an historic structure is restored or as a multitude of experts are interviewed over time. KOCT is committed to capturing these timeless and historically valuable programs. Where else can you enjoy quality television programming for, by and about the community in which we live? It’s a challenging experience for our young people to create long-form programs and we hope you, our viewers, will appreciate the commitment and attention we give to these massive civic and social projects.

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KOCT Open House & Forum

Julia Swain
Production Team

On Friday, February 11th, KOCT hosted an Open House and Forum for the public. In attendance were over a hundred guests, all of whom were able to take an exciting tour of the studio and participate in a Q & A session. There were Boy Scout troops and even the first Latina Girl Scout troop exploring the facility. I was stationed in the studio, where guests could jump into a car on the green screen and drive through beautiful downtown Oceanside along the beach.


We had several stations along the tour: guests could visit edit bays and learn how to piece together a show, take a tour of our website, learn about the Master Control department, and even go inside the truck studio and host their own news show. This interactive and informative night allowed the public to see what KOCT is all about, and we’re definitely going to be hosting more in the future. Here are a couple pictures from inside our studio.

KOCT Open House & Forum Green Screen

Guests could take a virtual drive through Oceanside utilizing Green Screen visual effects

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KOCT’s Role in the Community – How PEG shines a light on our City Council meetings

Tom Reeser
Executive Director

I’ve told you about PEG and the many services she provides. (Now let’s not get nasty here—I’m talking about the Public, Education and Government access programming shown on KOCT.) But I can hear some of you asking, “Why should I care about a Spanish language church program or a Board of Supervisors meeting?” What good does a PEG channel do me when I have 300 others to choose from? Can you say Bell, California?

I’m going out on a limb here to tell you that Bell, California – a municipal government ripping off its own taxpayers – could not have happened in Oceanside because of KOCT.

How can I make such a bold prediction? Because of intense citizen scrutiny made possible by live television coverage of city government that KOCT shines a light on. Bell, California has no television coverage of their council meetings. For example: Bell, California held a critical election during Thanksgiving week that had minimal voter participation but set the stage for inflated staff and council salaries. Bell, California has no television coverage of election issues.

Televised coverage of local government encourages citizen oversight and involvement with our government. It illuminates elected officials’ words and deeds. Residents need PEG to shine a light on local government as KOCT has done for more than 25 years. With your support we’ll continue to serve this vital role for the next 25!

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KOCT Insider’s Look

Julia Swain
Production Team

Welcome to the KOCT Insider’s Look. I’m Julia, and I’ll be taking you behind-the-scenes of our studio shows and many programs we produce here at the station. KOCT has been producing shows for over 25 years now. We shoot hundreds of shows in the studio each year, while covering local events in the city and neighboring cities outside the station.


Check back here at the Insider’s Look for our latest projects, as well as information on where we’ll be shooting next! This week we have a Journalist Roundtable LIVE episode being shot in the studio, so check back for photos and a show recap! In fact, we have lots of new shows being shot in the studio this month. Our Production Team is made up of very talented individuals all working to make these shows the very best. A typical studio crew consists of a director, assistant director, audio technician, floor director, camera operators and, of course, the hardworking producers that plan and execute the show. You’ll find that here on the blog different crew members will write about their different jobs and how putting a studio show comes together.

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Who is PEG & what’s her role in Oceanside?

Tom Reeser
Executive Director

KOCT’s official name is Oceanside Community Service Television Corp. Community and service are the heart of why we’re here and what we do. So who is PEG? KOCT is a PEG station (non-commercial Public, Education and Government access) with a federal mandate to provide local programming in the public interest. Started by citizen volunteers and governed by a volunteer board of directors, KOCT provides a dizzying array of programs for, by and about Oceanside and North County on television and on-demand online.

Government programs (the G in PEG) bring you the California State legislature, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Tri-City Healthcare District Board and Oceanside City Council Meetings. Public access programs (the P in PEG) provide Democracy Now! UCSD, and religious church services. We air educational programs (the E in PEG) from a variety of sources —NASA, The Pentagon Channel and documentaries.

KOCT is not a traditional public access channel. From the beginning we chose to serve the viewer instead of the user. Due to early budget constraints—not enough money or equipment to teach the public how to use cameras and edit programs— as well as fulfill our City contract obligations. As time evolved the KOCT non-profit model was embraced because the public saw itself in large community events, learned about topical city issues and kept its eye on local government without having to become video experts to do so.

Unfortunately, hundreds of PEG channels are dying across the county. PEG is only thriving in New England because state laws guarantee a percentage of cable franchise fees to public access stations. Sadly, this is not the case elsewhere, and in California we see many PEG stations go out of business for a variety of factors—all having to do with funding. Although KOCT is the largest and most successful PEG station in San Diego County, we too are grappling with budget cuts and an uncertain future. Read about the “perfect storm” that has overwhelmed PEG and KOCT’s survival strategy in my next blog…

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A look at some of KOCT’s shows…

Priscilla Wells
Executive Assistant

Hi! I’m Priscilla Wells, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director here at KOCT. In addition to performing your typical administrative duties, I also produce (book the guests) for many of KOCT’s programs such as Journalist Roundtable, Voice of Oceanside and Oceanside Spectrum.

Journalist Roundtable is the only LIVE program KOCT produces right here at our KOCT Studios. It’s a topical monthly program in which local journalists interview local current newsmakers of the day with topics leaning toward the controversial side. This is one of the more ‘stressful’ shows to produce because it is taped LIVE but it also one of our most viewed programs.

Oceanside Spectrum is geared specifically for nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations and schools. This program is a venue for organizations to get the word out about an upcoming event, solicit volunteers or just to talk about their good works (for free!). The show is taped monthly and guests and organizations call me to book their spot several weeks in advance. Our program host, Elaine Swann, is a lively fun hostess making this a very popular show with our guests.

Voice of Oceanside, the longest running cable television show in San Diego County, is a monthly show focusing on one specific theme but with various guests speaking on different areas of expertise. The Executive Director and I decide on a main topic, then I contact and invite local guests to appear on the hour-long show. After the guests are confirmed, I hand over the information to the Associate Producer who writes the script for the program host, John Bonosoro. We tape the show and usually air it the following month.

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An ever-changing industry…

Jeffrey Colwell
Multimedia Specialist

Greetings and welcome to the Industry Happenings section of our blog. My name is Jeffrey Colwell, KOCT’s Multimedia Specialist; I will be one of your go-to resources for the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos in the video production world, from prosumer to professional. So charge up those batteries, partition those hard drives, and don’t forget to check back often for new posts. As always, feel free to share your experiences and findings with the rest of us!

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