For the last month, Mike Bremer, Hastings Community Television’s new executive director, has been working to adjust to his new role. While the transition has been hectic, Bremer has over 10 years of experience at the station under his belt.
“A lot of this business I already know and I already understand. I’ve seen Tom [Wright] do it and the executive director before him. Now that I am getting comfortable with everything though, it’s great,” Bremer said.
Bremer began working for HCTV as a volunteer intern while studying marketing communications and communications studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He worked his way to being a paid intern, mostly creating news packages.
He’d had an interest in cameras and filming since he was a kid and the family got their own video camera. He eventually dabbled in editing software and took a broadcast journalism class in high school that further sparked his interest.
After graduating from college, he went back to former executive director Tom Wright and asked for a job. At the time, there weren’t any open positions, but Wright was interested in getting some new TV shows started.
That is when Bremer had the idea for his well-known show, “Take a Hike, Mike!” where he goes behind the scenes at local businesses. Bremer started doing the show as a volunteer, but it eventually lead to a part-time paid position with HCTV.
From there, Bremer became a full-time program director, producing and scheduling shows, and then an executive producer, where most of his attention turned towards the shows HCTV produced.
When Wright announced that he would be moving on from the station, Bremer decided that he would be interested in the position.
“It’s hard to believe how fast time flies. I never thought when I started at Hastings Community TV as an intern that it would grow into something. Now, I’m literally running the place as an executive director,” Bremer said. “It feels exciting. I’m very honored to be in this position.”
Finding his new role with HCTV
With a new job comes new responsibilities, and that means letting go of some old ones as well.
Although Bremer will have to allocate some of his previous beloved duties to other staff members, he feels comfortable passing them on to his capable staff.
If there is anything that is hard to let go of, it’s his own show, “Take a Hike, Mike!”
Bremer hopes to keep the show going, but for now, the show has taken a brief hiatus while he figures out his new responsibilities. Right now, Bremer is focusing on pinpointing his vision and mission for what HCTV could be.
HCTV has three topic areas that its programming focuses on — public access, education and government — something Bremer has been thinking hard about when forming his mission for the television station.
One area that Bremer said had fallen by the wayside at HCTV is a news component, something he hopes to get back up and running.
“Our mission, first, is filling out those three tiers of government, education and public access. I want to make sure we satisfy those needs. Then, I also just want to share the stories of our community,” Bremer said.
“There are a lot of great stories that happen in town, and people might not hear about it. If I can film and capture those stories, and put them on TV, put them on social media, that’s fantastic.”
Another initiative that Bremer took strongly when he started his new role was getting the station’s website updated and running again, which launched Sept. 19.
The website was developed in house by staff member Kurt Radtke, Bremer said.
“It’s clean and it fits all of our needs,” Bremer said. “We’re excited to have that resource for the community where if they want to reach out to us, they now have a way to do it.”
For more information on HCTV, visit www.hastingstv.org.