I Want My Channel 73

by | Aug 4, 2006

WHHI-TV’s new owner, John Byrne (photo by Harmony Motter)

I took note yesterday of an article in The Island Packet about new ownership at WHHI-TV, the local cable channel. According to the paper, the new owner has big plans for the future, which is good news since the current production values and content offerings of the station are a bit soft.

Admittedly, WHHI has to do more to capture the interest of local viewers. A lot of residents have told Byrne they’ve seen his station, but they don’t watch it, he said.

Staff members say there are a lot of misconceptions about the station. Some people think the station is a cable-access arm of the government instead of an ad-supported station. Others think it is just a visitors’ guide.

“We are the good-news channel,” said Dick O’Donnell, director of sales for WHHI. “We don’t have hurricanes. We don’t have wars. We talk about the things your friends and neighbors do.”

Going forward, the station’s programs will be archived on the Web site, www.whhitv.com, so viewers can watch them online at any time. The Web site also offers schedules for shows, which include “Talk of the Town with Ed McCullough,” “Street Talk with Brian Finnerty” and “Doug Weaver’s Hilton Head Golf Weekly.”

A station like this needs to accurately reflect the community. Beaufort County has plenty of people with ideas and money. My hope is Mr. Byrne can channel some of these precious local resources into his new venture.