July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Business Beat: Focus turns to area


Staff Writer

He’s worked with the stars of Hollywood, but now he’s going to be working with the gems of Medina County.

In April, Armstrong Cable appointed David Jones of Medina as its new programming coordinator for the Medina office. In his new role, Jones will create original programming for Armstrong in the communities of Medina and Orrville.

In Medina County, Armstrong provides cable service to Medina and the townships of Litchfield, York, Liverpool, Montville and Medina, as well as portions of Brunswick Hills.

As a partner with the production company Kojak Creative, Jones has an extensive array of experiences working with the small and silver screens. On movies such as “Antwone Fisher” and “The Oh in Ohio,” he has worked with stars Denzel Washington, Mischa Barton, Paul Rudd and Heather Graham.

He also has worked on programming for networks like PBS, Spike TV, ESPN, HBO and MSNBC.

Jones said, though, his plans with Armstrong are to focus on Medina County and its local flair.

“In the cable industry, there’s a billion channels on TV, but you catch yourself flipping through channels trying to find what you want to see,” Jones said. “So we wanted to be able to do something that pertained to people here, what they want to see.”

In the next two weeks, Armstrong will begin running original material produced by Jones on Channel 4 of its channel lineup. Currently, the channel runs a slideshow of advertisements throughout the day.

David Jones conducts an interview Tuesday for an internal presentation to be shown later to Armstrong Cable employees. The company’s programming coordinator for the Medina office will create original shows for Armstrong in Medina and Orrville that will air on Channel 4. (Andrew Dolph | Staff Photographer)

Jones said he hopes to run six hours of original programming daily on the channel by the end of the year. Calling the new channel “Your 4,” Jones said he wants his commercial-free shows to have “a network feel with hometown flair.”

“We’re really going to hit Medina County hard and find all those things that you might not know is going on here,” Jones said.

One of the first shows to run will be called “Medina County Events,” which will feature local nonprofits. The first episode will spotlight United Way of Medina County.

A second show, “Street Beat” will feature interesting cars and motorcycles from throughout the county.

“Every city in Medina County you go to has car shows constantly. I’m trying to pick shows that are for the community. So obviously people really like cars,” Jones said.

Also, Jones will produce “About Town,” which he described as “a half-hour magazine-type of show” that will showcase different attractions throughout the county and special events.

“Pampered Pooch” will feature local veterinarians who will give different tips on animal care and introduce dogs from throughout the area that are up for adoption.

Finally, Jones plans to create a show called “Haunted Medina” that will explore some of the local places that are rumored to be haunted.

Jones said he is looking for hosts for many of these shows. In addition, he is looking for show ideas and people who wish to host their own shows.

“But it’s not going to be a ‘Wayne’s World’-like public access,” Jones joked. “Even though I want to make the channel accessible to the public, it won’t be ‘Hey, just record something in your basement, come on in and we’ll throw it on.’ It’s going to be quality shows.”

And Jones said he has the ability to create quality television. Armstrong recently purchased new equipment for his ventures, such as high-definition cameras. Jones promises that Armstrong’s Channel 4 will look like any other channel offered on cable.

“You know when you flip through channels you notice when you pass the public access channel?” Jones noted, pointing to the sub-par quality of many public access channels. “I want it to be seamless It’s going to have the quality of the local shows but not the low picture quality of public access.”

Truck driving school

A new truck driving school is opening just outside of Medina County.

Great Lakes Truck Driving School at 27740 Royalton Road in Columbia Station will hold a grand opening and open house from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

Roger Rollins, director of marketing for the school, said this will be an opportunity for the school to show off some of its state-of-the-art facilities. Situated on 10.7 acres, the school features a 9,000-square-foot facility and a shifting track. Rollins said the track “is very unique for driving schools” and the campus of the school “is one of the largest you’ll find in the Midwest.

He explained between him and founder Doris Young they have more than 30 years of experience in commercial driver’s license (CDL) training.

“We’re venturing out on our own and starting on our own,” Rollins said.

In addition, the school will employ five full-time and five part-time instructors.

“But that will grow as we grow,” Rollins said.

He explained full- and part-time classes will begin every couple of weeks. Drivers can graduate from the school in anywhere from 3½ to 10 weeks.

Just in time for some of the school’s first students to graduate, the school will hold a career fair with 30 to 40 trucking companies in attendance.

“We deal with numerous local, regional and coast-to-coast companies that hire people that come out of the school,” Rollins said.

He added that despite the rise in gas prices, there is still a need for truck drivers in America.

“No matter what home you go into, what business you go into, everything was delivered by a truck. So there’s always a demand for CDL drivers,” he said.

Kacik may be reached at 330-721-4049 or business@ohio.net.