For 43 years, the Media Unit has been a staple in downtown Syracuse, sitting on Montgomery Street. The program gave teens looking for a career in video the chance to see how TV production works.
“It’s a TV show which tries to stretch the limits, but is focused totally on teen issues,” said Walt Shepperd, Former Executive Producer of the Media Unit.
The group tackled subjects like racism, school shootings and diversity. However, for a while now, they’ve had recruitment issues. Shepperd said it’s simply impossible to ask teens in the 21st century to be ready for showtime, all the time.
That’s why for three years, the board has been deciding what to do with the media unit, they were going to shut it down. But after one of the members stepped up, they will still be producing their weekly show.
“Media unit is family. Whether that be a home away from home, or you’re not really that happy at home and this is just your family. So for me, I’m not about to watch my home go down the drain,” said Elijah Sheridan, a Media Unit Alum.
The program is closing and most of the equipment will be given away this weekend. Now, the group could use some financial help.
“We are starting from ground zero,” Sheridan said.
Still, for them, it’s not the end of their mission.
“This really is getting back to basics. This is, The Media Unit, if it were an animal, it was a phoenix, this is us coming back out of the ashes. This is not us dying,” Sheridan said.
The open house will be Saturday, March 30, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. anyone can stop by and walk away with a piece of equipment. Donations are being accepted.