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BCTV finds new home on Penn Street

By Berks Community Television & Alvernia University

Jun 09, 2021

Collaboration with Alvernia brings community media to CollegeTowne campus 

READING, Pa. – Through a collaboration with Alvernia, Berks Community Television (BCTV) will move operations to a new studio and office setting at the university’s Reading CollegeTowne campus at 401 Penn St., effective August 2021.

BCTV, one of the oldest and longest-serving cable access managers in the country, spent nearly 40 years in downtown Reading and makes its new home on Penn Street to better serve the entire Berks County community.

“Our team is excited to return to downtown Reading and to be a part of the dynamic development of Alvernia’s CollegeTowne project,” said BCTV Executive Director Heather Adams. “This relocation is a critical step in our long-range plan to strengthen our local community media resource while creating opportunities to be ambitious in our mission to empower and engage through media.”

BCTV will work with the Alvernia Communication Department and O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship to develop experiential learning opportunities for Alvernia students and local businesses and entrepreneurs in the university’s student-powered entrepreneurial lab. Alvernia students, faculty and staff will work together to develop engaging content, including programming, podcasts, blogs, PSA campaigns, social media takeovers and local event coverage.

“Community-driven media is a timeless and vital component of economic and community development,” said Alvernia President John R. Loyack. BCTV has long been the go-to place for community information, and their progressive movement to downtown Reading will greatly benefit our students and the residents of Reading and Berks County. We look forward to welcoming BCTV as our new partner and the business and academic relationship this partnership brings to our new home on Penn Street.”

The university’s Communication Department recently added a track for sports media and added a health communication minor as part of an update cycle to position the program to meet the needs of the marketplace and current and future students. The move to the Reading CollegeTowne campus will also add curricular enhancements to the programs as new spaces and cutting-edge technologies will allow for instruction enhancement and expanded experiential learning opportunities.

“Alvernia communication students will greatly benefit from the collaborative programming with BCTV,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Glynis Fitzgerald. “This partnership, combined with a refreshed communication curriculum and new technology and learning spaces at our CollegeTowne campus, will afford our faculty and students new, cutting-edge opportunities to stay on the forefront of a quickly changing and evolving media landscape.”

In January, Alvernia started a $20 million renovation project on its newly acquired building at 401 Penn Street, which will serve as the hub of Reading CollegeTowne, a strategic model for economic development in downtown. The downtown location, where the new O’Pake offerings will operate, is slated to open in August 2021.

Photos: From left: Alvernia University Senior Vice President and Provost Glynis Fitzgerald, Alvernia University President John R. Loyack, BCTV Executive Director Heather Adams and BCTV Chairman of the Board of Directors D. Bala Peterson 

Alvernia University is a thriving comprehensive university that empowers students to become ethical leaders with moral courage, while providing an intellectually challenging environment with real-world learning experiences. Operating on a scenic 191-acre suburban campus in historic Berks County, Pennsylvania, the distinctive Franciscan university of nearly 3,000 students is conveniently located near Philadelphia (60 miles) and within an easy drive of New York, Baltimore and Washington, DC. 

Berks Community Television (BCTV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community media organization serving the citizens of Berks County. BCTV has empowered thousands of individuals to create and share in dialogue across our community, and across the world. BCTV has been an industry pioneer in telecast and community media and continues to use technology in multimedia platforms to connect community members to issues, information and ideas with hyperlocal focus. 

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