For years, Mason Cable Network (MCN) has been missing a key component of television: a live news program. On Feb. 5 at 10 a.m., the network is broadcasting its new and revamped news program, Mason Cable News (MCNews). The show will also be broadcasted on channel 231 and online on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Jake McLernon, a grad student and the general manager of MCN, is heading the new project.

“There has never been a full-out live morning news program at Mason,” McLernon said. “There have been news programs in the past, but there’s never really been anything like this attempted. When students come out of high school, they’ve experienced the morning announcements that you’ll see on television screens in the mornings. We didn’t have that here. We do now.”

MCNews is a significant addition to Mason Cable Network, not only because it will inform students about their school in an easy-to-access way, but also because it will give students interested in television broadcasting a chance to learn.

“It’s a great experience for students who want to come, want to learn, and want to gain experience. We will show you the ropes, we will train you to read the teleprompter, we will teach you how to go out and find a story and produce for television news,” McLernon said.

Although the show begins at 10 a.m., the MCNews team comes in at 9 a.m. to get everything ready—scripts, teleprompters. At 9:55 a.m., the video feed is started to make sure the equipment and broadcast is working. Once the show starts, there are about seven minutes of news from anchors and reporters. After that, there is a three-minute commercial break. Then, there is about five minutes of time left open for sports reports or other important information and a weather forecast. After one more commercial break, the broadcast ends with an eight-minute interview with anyone interesting or influential.

Advertising on MCNews is available for both student groups and outside advertisers. All of the proceeds made from advertising goes directly back to equipment and upkeep of the show and Mason Cable Network as well. The show is useful for both on- and off-campus students because it allows them to stay connected to the Mason community because the information covered directly affects them. Unlike most morning news programs that begin in the early hours of the morning, MCNews is geared towards college students who normally wake up around 10 a.m.

For students that would like to be a part of MCNews, McLernon encourages them to stop by the Office of Student Media (OSM) and ask how they can get involved.

“The whole point of student media, and the whole point of MCNews is to give these students an opportunity to get experience,” McLernon said. “They can learn, improve, and take those skills out with them into the real world, whether or not it’s a career path for them. I want to give students that opportunity.”

The MCNews team has budget meetings every Friday in the OSM in the HUB.

“Budget meetings are only going to be about an hour, so it’s really easy for people who are involved with the show to pop in, and not only know what stories we’re going to cover and who we’re going to interview for the Tuesday and Thursday shows, but also to pitch stories as well.”

MCNews requires students to keep to deadlines and produce timely stories. For Tuesday shows, deadlines are on Monday nights. For Thursday shows, deadlines are on Wednesday nights. Anchors are responsible for two news stories per broadcast, while reporters are responsible for one.

“Reporters are case by case, so they’re able to choose what day they want to do their story. They can go out, shoot a package, and we can air it on a particular day, depending on the news story. But there are also stories that they can pursue that are long term, like let’s say an investigation on parking or an investigative report on dining.”

MCNews is having practice runs on Jan. 29 and Jan. 31 in the OSM, and interested students are welcome to stop by.

“There is still time to come and be a part of the show. You can come and join us any time during the semester. As long as you are eager to come and report the news, and be a part of television news, there is a place for you,” McLernon said.

Anyone interested in working for the program can stop by the Office of Student Media in the HUB, or go to to see any job opportunities for MCNews or for MCN in general. Students of all ages are welcome to participate. The show will be rebroadcasted throughout the day on channel 231, as well as on