It’s a banner year for Temple. The university is reaching new heights and helping local partners like 6 ABC achieve the same feat. The station’s general manager, Bernie Prazenica, contacted Provost Hai-Lung Dai about installing a new high-definition Skycam atop the roof of the would-be Morgan Hall back in 2013, after hearing about the university’s plans to construct the tallest building in North Philadelphia.
“[Morgan Hall] provided us a location that gave us views that we didn’t really have, and we didn’t really see on the competition. So we felt it gave us a competitive advantage,” said Jonathan P. Ganas, the Director of News Operations at 6 ABC.
The camera was installed back in July and has been used regularly since then. It provides the station a unparalleled view of the city, offering a vantage point capable of stretching thirty miles in every direction. According to Ganas, shots from the camera are broadcast at least once for every hour of news coverage.
The camera is able to record time-lapse footage of storms crossing the region and zoom into specific locations throughout the city.
“It’s improved our ability to show Center City to show the Ben Franklin Bridge and even to spin over toward the western suburbs, which is the direction a lot of storm systems come from.The visibility on top of Morgan Hall is great: it’s an unobstructed view from atop that tall building.” Action News Meteorologist David Murphy told Update.
Temple Sky Cam, along with several other Sky 6 cameras, are operated by a team of news engineers from within the station’s control room, using an internet-based computer program. These cameras are used by both the news and weather departments.
According to Christopher Hulbert, a Senior News Engineer a 6 ABC, “[Producers] might want something specific like on Broad Street. A traffic accident, so it’s not really in weather but it might be a traffic report. So we might going to broad street and zoom in as close as we want to get.”
Sky 6 was strategically placed to show as much of the city as possible. The camera is able to spin 360 degrees to broadcast nearly every corner of the city, including shots of Temple’s iconic logo from the roof of the Liacouras center. The Temple T, along with aerial shots of Main Campus, is broadcast repeatedly each day.
“People are excited to see the Temple T, and that it’s you know the Temple University Sky Cam. So I think people are proud of that affiliation and happy to see the continued exposure that temple’s getting regionally adn nationally in what’s really been a break through year for the university,” said Brandon Laush, the Director of Communications at Temple.
WPVI-TV is home to many Temple alumni. Murphy, an alumnus himself, agrees the camera has helped to promote the university.
“I like it because I’m from Temple and I get to show Temple’s logo and when the football team is doing well I can sort of tie that into it. It’s always nice to go back to the old alma mater even in sky 6 form,” said Murphy.