A Conversation With Eric Glandbard

Eric Glandbard is the new executive director at LTV Studios in East Hampton. Courtesy photo

Formerly the general manager and co-director of the nonprofit public access station LTV in East Hampton during the 1980s, Mr. Glandbard — a 38-year resident of Sag Harbor — returned late in 2018 to become LTV’s executive director. He shares his inspiration for returning and some of the new initiatives happening at LTV.

What inspired you to come back to LTV?

I’ve always had soft spot for LTV, having worked here 30 years ago. When I discovered that the executive director, Morgan Vaughan, was stepping down, I thought, ‘What an opportunity!’ When I was at LTV, it was some of the best times of my life back in the day. The chance to experience that again inspired me to throw my hat in the ring. Because I’ve always been in love with the idea of TV for the people, by the people, I wanted to come back and continue that tradition here.

How has LTV evolved since you were here last?

I started with the building up on Springs Fireplace Road, a small building and a smaller operation. I came back to the media center, which is a much bigger place with four studios, a bigger staff, producing a lot more programming than we did back in the day. We’re doing over 260 town board meetings and hundreds of shows produced in our studios and out in the town every year.

What are some new initiatives you have coming up?

We’ve started training programs, classes, in making documentaries for little or no money with your smartphone. We’ve had a tremendous response already. We hope to create a mosaic of our town with these short documentaries produced by the community to really reflect who we are — the people, the places, the ideas, the issues. To be the chronicler of East Hampton that we’ve always aspired to be. We’re also doing classes in studio production. We’ve got four studios here, but a big thing we’re doing is developing our second floor. We’ve refurbished part of it into classrooms and office spaces where we’re hoping to host media makers, production companies and independent filmmakers. We have a first-class audio room, and we are looking to develop a complete sound studio, recording studio, edit rooms and production offices. We hope to create a digital academy there with classes in filmmaking, virtual reality, audio production, et cetera. We will also launch, in the next few months, a new website which we hope to be a media hub for the East End, featuring sections devoted to natural resources and the ecosystem as well as sections for student work, arts presentations, government, et cetera.

What do you think is the role of public access TV?

I think that public access is two things. One is to give a voice to people, the electronic soapbox. If people have something they would like to say, they can create a show and it’s put on the airways and the website. The other is to teach people how to use media to express themselves.

What are your needs, and how can people support you?

One thing to know is we’re not a town organization. We get money from East Hampton Town to cover the town board meetings, et cetera, but we’re an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit and we’re looking for funding to fulfill some of these projects that we’d like to carry out. We’re also looking for donations of office equipment and production equipment to fulfill that. We are working with local not-for-profits and we’re inviting them to be part of our digital academy to bring their programs here or develop programs with us. We’re looking for funding for this year to complete the renovations of our edit rooms and our upstairs, and for people to come use the media center. Our studios are available for rentals, affairs, film screenings. Our audio room is for rent for creating podcasts. We invite you down here to see it and be part of our training programs and use our facilities. We’d love to find out what LTV can do for you.