20 Years of the Southeastern Channel

Since 2002, the Southeastern Channel has been producing original, award-winning content for local audiences, while setting its students on a path to career success.


A flip of the switch was all it took, and the Southeastern Channel was formally “on the air,” christened by a small group of officials from Southeastern and Charter Cable as the University’s new educational access television station. Little did any of the group realize at that moment on July 9, 2002, in University Center Room 130, that they were launching what would become one of the premiere college television stations in the country.

Then Southeastern President Randy Moffett (front row, second from left) officially opens the Southeastern Channel at a ribbon cutting with channel General Manager Rick Settoon (front row, third from right), faculty, staff, and partners.

Now in its 20th year in operation, the channel has already won over 500 national, international, and regional awards, including 23 Emmy awards and first place in the nation 12 times. It has produced over 200 graduates working in the television, video, film, and marketing industries.

In the beginning, the Southeastern Channel was established as an educational cable channel by then-Southeastern President Randy Moffett, who saw the station as an innovative educational outreach venture that would allow the University to reach into the homes of students and residents.

The channel’s programming would help realize the University’s mission of furthering the educational, cultural, community and business development of southeast Louisiana, while also providing great promotion of the University, its faculty, and its programs. The Southeastern Channel would also serve as fertile training ground for students focused on careers in broadcasting, television, video production, and marketing.

In creating the channel, Southeastern partnered with executives at Charter Communications, who loved the idea that its local educational channel would produce and air original telecourses, or academic courses that could be watched and taken for course credit by students who couldn’t make it to the University’s campus. Over the next 20 years, this would result in Southeastern television courses spotlighting faculty in a wide variety of fields.


Initially, the Southeastern Channel reached into Tangipahoa Parish and half of Livingston Parish on Charter for a potential viewing audience of 57,000 viewers. Within a year Southeastern’s station had expanded to cover St. Tammany and Washington parishes as well, essentially all of the Northshore, for a potential Charter viewing audience of 240,000.

In addition to Charter (now Spectrum) cable channel 199, today the channel can be watched anywhere on the popular streaming services Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and the Spectrum App. The live 24-7 webcast can be viewed at thesoutheasternchannel.com and mounthermonTV.com.

At the outset, almost all of the channel’s programming, roughly 98 percent, had to be acquired or licensed from educational providers like Annenberg, the Research Channel, NASA-TV, Classic Arts Showcase, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting. However, to meet the demand for original, local programming, which was also the channel’s initial plan, within two years 95 percent was originally produced and focused on people and topics within the viewing area.

Over the next few years, that push resulted in over 40 original TV series covering the channel’s programming mission of educational, community, entertainment, and sports. The channel began producing newscasts; newsmagazines; sportscasts; coach’s talk shows; game broadcasts; documentaries; faculty lectures and forums; public affairs roundtables; and shows about Northshore business, history, tourism, nature, schools, and health organizations.


Additionally, the Southeastern Channel produced and aired Northshore and statewide political debates and forums, including the Louisiana Gubernatorial forums in 2003 and 2015. In the latter, the channel partnered with LPB for a live statewide forum moderated by a Southeastern Channel news anchor, Paul Rivera, with University students as panelists.

On the entertainment end, the 24-7 lineup was dotted with student comedy, film, and music video shows, along with a series spotlighting Northshore artists. The channel shot and aired Southeastern live events like music concerts and dance, opera, and theater productions together with concerts at the Columbia Theatre performed by tribute bands for iconic performers like Elvis, Michael Jackson, The
Beatles, and Eagles.

As well as important video production and audiovisual services for a variety of Southeastern departments, the channel’s commercials, promos, and annual live production and streaming of events have promoted the University for a large number of viewers.

Along the way, the channel and its students have earned an abundance of awards, which can be attributed to it fulfilling another of its primary missions—that of training students for careers in the television, video, film, and marketing industries. The top-shelf training in both television and film for all formats, programs, and positions—both in front of and behind the camera—can be credited to national award-winning channel staff members along with television instructors in the Department of Communication and Media Studies.

Within seven years of the start of the Southeastern Channel, the department initiated a concentration in electronic media to take advantage of Southeastern Channel training opportunities. The enrollment eclipsed 200 students within three years.


Comprehensive TV and video courses were offered in television studio production and operations, basic and advanced field video production and video editing, television reporting and newscast producing, on-camera performance, television commercial production, and newsmagazine and sportscast reporting and producing.

Those classes have continued in the new television/multimedia journalism and sports communication concentrations. One exciting new sports communication course is producing the live game broadcast, allowing students to operate all positions of a Southeastern game broadcast of all sports for live streaming on ESPN+.

For the past 20 years, the Southeastern Channel has been located in the University Center, but students will soon enjoy brand new TV and film studios located in the heart of Southeastern’s campus.

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