PARAMUS, N.J. – After 10 years, and multiple National Council for Marketing & Public Relations Medallion awards, Bergen Community has thrown its digital television news magazine into a blender. The result? Studio Bergen: Remix.
At its core, the program still features news, soundbytes and information from the state’s No. 1 college for associate degree graduates on student, faculty and staff success stories. But with viewers’ appetites for content evolving, showrunners have reduced the length of the program from 15 to five minutes, accelerated the pace of stories and added dynamic graphic and sound effect packages that reflect the change in format. The show even features a countdown timer so viewers know exactly how much content remains in the episode.
“People want to digest content in small chunks,” Larry Hlavenka, Ed.D., the College’s spokesperson and the program’s creator said. “Longer formats allow you to do different things - in-depth interviews and deep-dives among them - but we have to acknowledge our audience. Many community college students don’t have a half-hour to devote to watching a program - especially with their family responsibilities, vocations and coursework. With Studio Bergen: Remix, we’re saying ‘give us five minutes and we’ll give you the most important stories of the last month at the College.’ Remix represents the natural evolution of this program - and media in general - that fits with the institution’s overall progressive digital strategy.”
That strategy, largely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saw Bergen double down on its digital efforts by enhancing its state-leading social media presence, launching new communication vehicles and debuting a completely reimagined Bergen.edu.
“Bergen has featured a community college sector-leading public relations department for many years,” Hlavenka said. “But you have to evolve in order to remain relevant and keep people in engaged.”
Studio Bergen debuted Sept. 30, 2011 with Hlavenka hosting the traditional evening news-style program that also featured a sit-down interview segment. The format remained largely the same until midway through season five in 2016 when a reboot shortened the program to 15 minutes and introduced a “top 10” countdown of stories. The College also used the Studio Bergen brand as the vehicle for multiple livestream episodes - including at commencement, the first day of classes and interviews with past presidents.
Response to the latest Studio Bergen refresh has remained positive - the first episode garnered more than 200 clicks on its first day on YouTube. Various state and county organizations and agencies planned to share the episode via their social media channels as well.
“It takes a leap of faith to tear down an award-winning program and create something new,” Hlavenka said. “But it takes courage and the belief that evolution remains necessary if you want to become better. I’m very proud of the efforts of the Office of Public Relations and the Office of Media Technologies, which coproduce Remix.”
Studio Bergen: Remix airs on the College’s official YouTube channel (youtube.com/BergenCommCollege) and Torch TV, channel 26 of the Verizon FIOS cable television system. New episodes debut October through June at the beginning of each month.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.