Alexis Cairo Hosts Comcast Newsmakers - A Program that Gives Back - Apr 05, 2012|
For one day a month, the crew, management and host gather at the Blair Kunz studios located in the southwest corner of Salt Lake City and shoot between 10 and 12 episodes of Comcast Newsmakers. White Rabbit Productions assembles and dresses the set, lights the studio, shoots and edits the shows.
A carefully selected lineup of guests arrive about every half hour, go into make-up, visit with show host Alexis Cairo until it’s time for lights-camera-action! And the five-minute show is made.
It is evident that Alexis spent the better part of her career in front of the camera as she calmly, charmingly asks the guests questions and guides the conversation into points of interest and wraps at exactly five minutes.
The guests the day I was there were Christi Scow from the Utah Education Savings Plan, Jill Mueller from Mountain West Ballet, Stan Penfold from the Utah Aids Foundation, Mark Shah from the Utah Disaster Medical Assistance Team, Kabi Catalano from Girl Scouts of Utah, Emma Houston from Salt Lake County Aging Services, Amber Watkins from NAMI Utah, Gigi Smith from Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center, Jeanetta Williams from NAACP Salt Lake, Mayor Mike Winder from West Valley City, and Ted Tingey from Utah Highway Safety.
For the time I was there, I learned as I watched the interview about the services the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers. What a value it is to learn a bit about so many different non-profits and government entities.
Ray Child, director of public relations for Comcast describes Comcast Newsmakers as a public information television program designed to inform viewers about news that’s going on in the community from a variety of aspects. The news/information-based show inserts during CNN Headline News at 54 minutes past the hour. The approximately 12 five-minute segments air over the course of a month with 10 to 12 new guests each month.
Viewer numbers cannot be measured but Alexis is often stopped by viewers as evidence of its popularity and in one instance a thankful woman related how meaningful the resources were from an episode featuring an organization assisting in the grieving process.
Ray says, “We started this a little more than three years ago and it’s exciting to see the growth of the show. We do it because we really believe in giving back to the communities we serve,” he continues, “These non profits don’t have a lot of resources so this is one way of getting some information out to the people they can help in the community. We have this great capability of reaching thousands of people in the community and spread the word about the services of people who are very passionate in their non-profit missions.”
The first host was Don Olsen and Alexis Cairo came on as host in January of 2011. Alexis comments about the remarkable dedication of the people in the non-profit world. She says, “I learn information about this community that I had no idea about. This is another way to give support to the community that is beyond giving financially.”
Scott Dansie, Director of Franchising at Comcast says that Comcast’s robust corporate program of giving back to the community gives employees a sense that they are part of something that is making their community stronger and better. Ralph Roberts, the 90-plus-year-old founder of Comcast instills the art of giving on a personal as well as a corporate level.
Among the many Comcast corporate giving programs, a few to mention include Comcast Cares Day Utah—a day of volunteerism engaging employees, families and friends. In 2011, its 10th year, Comcast Cares Day engaged 3,200 volunteers and completed 11 projects along the Wasatch Front. Another initiative is the Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program where $55,000 in scholarships is awarded to 35 recipients. And Internet Essentials is a corporate program designed for families who have students who participate fully in the school lunch program and don’t have full access to high-speed Internet at home. These families can have high-speed Internet at cost for $9.99 a month as well as a voucher to purchase a netbook style of computer for $149.99 that comes with digital literacy training.
In addition to Newsmakers, Comcast broadcasts a program called Capitol Journal during the Utah legislative sessions. Host Dale Zabriskie interviews policy makers, who discuss legislative issues that affect the Utah community.