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Sue Bush
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MCLA Alum Donates NBC Equipment

12:00AM / Friday, July 21, 2006

MCLA alum Ryan Kiernan donated about $15,000 worth of lighting from the NBC television studios to MCLA.[submitted photo]
North Adams - Studio lights that until recently lit up Tim Russert of "Meet The Press' and others on the "Today" show and the Nightly News" in NBC's Washington, D.C. bureau will soon be working at the Massachusetts College Of Liberal Arts.

Donated by 2003 MCLA graduate Ryan Kiernan, the studio lights are worth about $15,000, according to Peter Gentile, MCLA television studio director.

Although in good working order, because NBC recently renovated its
Washington news room, the company found it no longer needed the lights.

"These could have gone right back up at NBC," Kiernan said. "But the
person in charge of everything said, 'Let's do everything new.'"

In addition to the studio lights, Kiernan also donated dozens of the
specialized replacement light bulbs needed for that equipment. Gentile said the donations will enhance existing studio equipment and that they were a vital gift to the college.

"This is very expensive technology and we try to stay above the learning curve," Gentile said. "Certainly, donations like this are helpful to us. This will hold us over until the financing comes through for our digital upgrade."

Kiernan said he would encourage others to attend MCLA as his experience provided him with valuable hands-on training.

"It was a good start to learn camera stuff and just to get a feeling aboutwhat TV is about. There's a lot more when you get out there, but it's a good starting point, learning to edit and stuff like that," he said.

As an NBC cameraman,"I was able to jump in there and know what I was doing. I knew how to frame it up. If there was a movement on air, I could do it. I knew all that stuff - that was good."

While still a student at MCLA, Kiernan did several internships for NBC, working on the "Millennium Celebration" in New York and on the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.

"We also stress more than just the technical," Gentile said. "We really concentrate on writing as well so that students have a lot of entry-level options. Ryan certainly is working his way up the ladder and I'd like to think that, with people that he met here and some of the opportunities, that we laid the groundwork. We were the first rung on the ladder on his way up."

Last year, Kiernan, who works with the studio equipment at NBC, donated monitors, microphones and cables to MCLA.

"These are important relationships that we have with alumni - not only with dollars and cents but with equipment and placing interns," Gentile said. "There are dozens of other alumni like Ryan in the industry that look to us because they had positive experiences here."

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