HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – As Rafael Zaratzian stands in the control room at WHoH-TV, surrounded by humming machines and what looks like several hundred feet of wires and cables, he calmly explains that his job is simple – controlling the Internet, phone and cable access for the entire village of Hastings.
Zaratzian, along with Jen Corso, is responsible for keeping Hastings connected to the rest of the world and providing local information to residents’ televisions and computers.
“We have each other’s backs,” Corso said. “That’s how we keep this village running.”
Zaratzian, deputy technology director for the village of Hastings, got his start in technology by picking up video editing as a hobby. Corso, cable access director at WHoH, began working at the station right after college, and since then, the two have proved to be an unstoppable team, winning various broadcast awards, including four Pegasus Awards.
The public access station, CableVision channels 75 and 77 and Verizon channels 43 and 27, broadcasts local municipal meetings, a monthly show called The Current, and recreational and sporting events, among other programs, Corso said. The station also produces and airs "Conversations on the Hudson," a program that features local prominent writers and information about their books and lives, Corso said.
WHoH always has been ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, Zaratzian said. The station was one of the first to send information to viewers via email and stream programs online, and in 2005, the station went completely digital.
“We try to provide as much information as we can online,” Zaratzian said. “It’s the greenest way to communicate with people and you’re not wasting a piece of paper.”
Technological upgrades in the past few years have made things easier for Corso and Zaratzian. Instead of having to be at all municipal meetings in person, the station has set up cameras at the village hall, library and community center that feed audio and video straight to the station’s offices, Corso said.
In addition to entertainment programs, the station is a vital source of information in emergency and weather-related situations, Zaratzian said.
For more information about WHoH-TV visit the station’s website or call 914-478-3400 ext. 620.