The idea for a student-run television organization at UAlbany started in 1997. Will Platnick had the idea of broadcasting student-created content on one of the channels that broadcast to University at Albany students living on either the uptown or downtown campus. Will took it upon himself to see his idea through as he contacted school administrators to discuss content, copyright issues and of course, how to financially support the project.
In 2002, Albany Student Television was created, and it affectionately became known as "ATV". Will Platnick became known as the "Founder of ATV" as all the hard work he had done in the years prior had finally paid off. Jeff Baez became ATV's first Director, Brian Sullivan was the Post-Production Editor and Eric Dombroski became the Technical Engineer. ATV operated out of the UAlbany Student Association and as a department of Student Association, they received funds to pay for equipment as well as an office to work out of.
ATV was broadcast to students on UAlbany's closed-circuit television network on channel 46. "Speak Out" became the very first ATV show and was available to students by watching channel 46 from their dorms or on-campus apartments.
After the departure of Will Platnick and Jeff Baez, ATV was nearly non-existent for several years. Student Association struggled to find capable and skillful directors and the department suffered.
In 2004, because of limited programming, channel 46 was reassigned to BET. However, Albany Student Television still existed as a service to UAlbany students and as a department in Student Association.
In 2008, the position of Director of Albany Student Television was up for appointment. Many around the University at Albany campus were interested in the position, but only Joe Bonilla was able to make the interview date and won by default. Despite this, Joe Bonilla, the CEO of BASKnickerbocker Inc. took it upon himself to reinvent ATV by assembling a new collection of cast and crew to headline ATV's forthcoming line-up. To help him with his daunting task, John Dias was given the position of Assistant Director to assist Joe in reinventing Albany Student Television's image and reputation.
The new Director decided to search for a crew first by interviewing students in the Communication major and Documentary Studies major at the University at Albany. It was then that Joe Bonilla first met Mike Allen and shortly after Zach Johnson who would become major parts of ATV in the coming months. Mike Allen was appointed the position of Operations Administrator and Zach Johnson was given the position of Associate Director for Production.
The next step was to find a fresh new cast. Assistant Director John Dias was able to e-mail all students in the Communication major to notify them of ATV's impending auditions. A week later, dozens had showed up to audition in the Campus Center. It was here that J.B. Biunno, a future Director of Albany Student Television was first introduced to Joe Bonilla and John Dias. Other notable individuals who were at those same tryouts were Todd Schlegel, Jenae Bonlarron and Tammi Landau.
With the cast and crew assembled, ATV was ready for action. Director Joe Bonilla set his new cast and crew for the premiere of a new show, Wake Up Albany. Wake Up Albany was ATV's morning news and talk program featuring John 'Mel' Dias, J.B. Biunno, Jenae Bonlarron, Mike Wolf, Tammi Landau and others. The premiere was on November 5, 2008 the day after President Barack Obama defeated Senator John McCain in the 2008 Presidential Election. The show gathered a large audience and was even featured in Albany Times Union. Under Joe Bonilla, ATV had become relevant on the UAlbany campus once again.
On May 3, 2009, J.B. Biunno was elected as Director of Albany Student Television for the 2009-2010 year. Todd Schlegel was elected in as Assistant Director. For the first year ever, Albany Student Television will not operate as a department of Student Association. Instead, ATV will exist as an independent student organization at UAlbany.
One of J.B.'s first acts as Director was to revise ATV's flagship program [[Wake Up Albany]]. For the 2009-2010 academic year, the show will be renamed [[ATV 360]] and it will be produced as an evening and night news program.
DIRECTORS OF ALBANY STUDENT TELEVISION
2012 - 2013 Frankie Contreras
2011 - 2012 Lisa Belli
2010 - 2011 Ivanna Elliott
2009 - 2010 J.B. Biunno
2008 - 2009 Joe Bonilla
2007 - 2008 Cleon Grey
2006 - 2006 T.C. McCarthy
2002 - 2003 Jeff Baez