IMAGE COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY

The curtain will come down beginning this weekend on the county’s long-running public affairs TV program, Volusia Magazine, with a retrospective on the show’s history of beaming news and information into residents’ living rooms for nearly four decades. The program’s video stories, however, aren’t going away. They’ll be migrating to social media, including the county’s YouTube channel, under the brand name Volusia Today.

Volusia Magazine debuted in July 1986 as a public education forum to enlighten residents about the inner workings of county government, the county’s programs and services and how their tax dollars were being spent.

The final TV show will air at 5 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 18 on WDSC-TV15 and feature interviews with several former county employees who were instrumental in producing the show over the years. WDSC-TV15 will rebroadcast the final show at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19. The program will include interviews with former Volusia County Community Information Director Dave Byron and Volusia Magazine’s first producer and director, Bob Wince, and its first associate producer, Jeff Crumbley.

Others interviewed for the show include one of the program’s very first co-hosts, Tom Huger, and former County Council members Frank Bruno and Pat Northey.

The show has featured a mix of informational stories, health segments, interviews with newsmakers and features on county services, local businesses and events. Many of those interviewed for the final show recalled how production of the program began simply and modestly on a miniscule budget and got more sophisticated over time.

“It’s kind of neat to see where the show began and what we were able to do with the money that we didn’t have or the budget to make it work,” Crumbley recalls in the last show. “As time went on and technology got better, we were able to improve on that.”

The transition of the program to shorter video vignettes that will go directly to social media has been in the works for about the last six months.

The County Council agreed in June to cancel the pact with Daytona State College, which owns WDSC-TV. The decision to end the show, though difficult, was ultimately necessary to keep up with changes in how and where the public consumes information, explains Volusia County Community Information Director Kevin Captain.

“While the nearly 40-year partnership between the county and WDSC-TV in broadcasting Volusia Magazine has served a wonderful purpose, the times are clearly changing,” said Captain. “With more and more people cutting the proverbial cable cord and consuming news and information through social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook, it just makes sense for Volusia County’s communications platforms to also migrate to social media. That way, we can deliver more of our stories to cyberspace, where the viewers already reside, instead of making them continue to come to us on their TV dial. Our communications services must keep up with the times in order to remain timely, relevant and beneficial to our residents.”

Viewers can access the county’s YouTube channel and receive notifications when new video features are posted by going tohttps://www.youtube.com/user/VolusiaCountyInfo and clicking on the red “subscribe” button.

— Volusia County Community Information Specialist Gary Davidson

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