Over a year ago, KingstonBarn was born out of a need for civil discourse on the events and problems that affect us here in our home. The goal was to create a jumping-off place for thought and discussion that might lead to answers. I have been pleased with KingstonBarn’s progress. Readership is up, as are the frequency of comments. I haven’t published all of the comments, because I ask people to submit their real names, but even the anonymous contributions have been thoughtful and helpful. I try to pass them along informally to the subjects and in conversations, so I want you to know that you, Anonymous, are still participating.
KingstonBarn is earning some recognition, and this is about an experience I had recently with the group of barn builders over at Kingston NOW.
In May, at the opening of State Senator Cecelia Tkaczyk’s uptown Kingston office, I had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy Buff, Producer and Host of Kingston NOW, a show I have been watching on the web since last year. I’m a fan, and I told him so, to which he said, “So, you’re the one.” Perfect timing, I must say. After briefly discussing KingstonBarn and Kingston NOW, Jimmy asked me to come shoot a segment for the show. A little further in the conversation, he also asked that I discuss my upcoming candidacy for 3rd Ward Alderman here in the City of Kingston. You can click on the embedded video and see the show as it appears on YouTube. My segment occupies the middle six or seven minutes, but the whole show is worth a viewing at your leisure. If you prefer, you can click on Kingston NOW’s YouTube Channel. That way, Kingston now can track their number of views.
Since August of 2011, Kingston NOW airs locally Wednesdays on Time Warner’s RNN, Channel 22. Executive Producer Jeremy Ellenbogen tells me they have over 100 shows to their credit, with nearly that many appearing on their YouTube channel. To now, the show has focused largely on local issues, shooting most segments in Ellenbogen’s 721 Media Center right here on Broadway. After RNN moved their Kingston operations to their Rye Brook home base, Ellenbogen says, “they requested we do a show so they could keep a foot in Kingston.” Adding “it’s been great for us as well,” he says this remains the only locally produced regular program about our area.
Host Jimmy Buff is the lynchpin to the success of the show. At the center of a professional production team, he is unusually curious, and seems genuinely interested in his guests’ views. He is well prepared, has notes, but will pay attention to the interviewees, and isn’t afraid to let conversations take a natural path. He listens, and he is generous with his guests. Buff lets the subjects speak for themselves. He doesn’t cut them off, but he won’t leave them hanging, either. Both extremes are real fears for novice guests like me, but he makes it seem just a conversation that simply ends too soon.
Anybody who lives, works, or spends time in Kingston is a part of our community, and the crew over at Kingston NOW are community builders. Watch it, share it, and help spread the word. This is too good to keep just between us.
Kingston NOW is one of the jewels of our city, and it’s expanding beyond our local boundaries. Ellenbogen says they will be branching out, covering other happenings in our part of Ulster County and beyond, but they will remain focused on and anchored in their home port of Kingston. Thank goodness for that.