March 07, 2014

‘ 26:46’ earns college television nomination

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s student-produced television news magazine program is once again up for honors. 

After winning the College Television Award for the best collegiate television magazine news show for the sixth time in 14 years last April, “ 26:46” is a finalist this year. 

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation’s 35th annual College Television Awards ceremony will be April 23 in Los Angeles, Calif.  In addition to winning in 2013, the program took top honors in 2000, 2001, 2008, 2009 and 2011 to go along with two second-place finishes and one third-place finish. 

The nominated episode is a compilation of the best from the fall 2013 semester.  The episode features a theme park in North Carolina inspired by “The Wizard of Oz,” National Beard and Mustache Championships in New Orleans, a coffin race in Manitou Springs, Colo., and a look at the self-titled “Dragon Man.” 

Jan Thompson, a professor in radio, television, and digital media, is an award-winning documentary film producer and also faculty adviser. 

“The best part of being a teacher is watching your students succeed,” she said.  “I am very proud of all of the students in who have helped continue the legacy that has been built over the decade.” 

Matt Sloan, a senior in radio, television, and digital media from Germantown, Tenn., and Marcus Odom, who is working on a second degree in television production to go with his cinema production degree, are this season’s executive producers. 

Odom, who is from Carbondale, said he’s excited with the nomination. The group went to last year’s awards show with then-executive producers Haley Conner and Cara Gordon. Repeating “would definitely feel like we are living up to the standards we have always tried to set in the past,” he said. 

Sloan said he is proud to be involved in continuing’ tradition of excellence. In addition to the two executive producers, there are nine staff members and more than 50 students involved. Since 2001, the program has earned 30 regional Emmys -- 28 from NATAS’ Mid-America chapter in St. Louis and two from the Chicago Midwest Chapter. 

“It is a validation that all of the stress, all of the late nights and all the hard work put toward this program was worth it,” he said.  “It is intimidating working for a program that has been recognized as a top-tier show both collegiately and professionally.  There is a standard -- a bar -- that is expected every year.” 26:46 airs on WSIU-TV Channel 8/16.  The final three episodes for the season will air at 11:30 p.m. March 29, April 26 and May 10.  The work, along with more information about the program, is available at