Edina TV Leads the Way in Government TV Programming

Local production team leads the way in government television programming.
Scott Denfeld and Jennifer Bennerotte strive to ensure Edina TV provides high quality programming.

Most people identify the Emmy Awards as an annual red-carpet event featuring their television favorites. Edina residents can take pride in an Emmy Award of their own, one recently presented to the city by the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It was awarded for Edina TV’s Public Art Profiles, consisting of ten 2- to 3-minute videos that highlight artists and public art in the Edina community. Scott Denfeld, city of Edina video production coordinator, accepted the award in October at an event hosted by Twin Cities Public Television.

Awarded for television and online content, regional Emmys are almost entirely focused on news programming, says Jennifer Bennerotte, Edina communications and technology services director. “It’s a big honor to win because it’s not only public, educational and government programming in the mix,” Bennerotte says. Competition includes all TV news production, both public and private.

Denfeld and his Edina TV production staff, including former community television administrator Nathalie Gage, who was nominated for her editing work on Public Art Profiles, are the creative team behind Edina TV’s Emmy. Denfeld oversees all video production including internal training videos and content for the city of Edina website (edinamn.gov). He and his team also produce all content for Edina TV and for the new high-definition channel 813. They work, surprisingly, without their own dedicated production studio. “Production happens in the field,” says Denfeld, adding that filming on location at Edina businesses, parks and artists’ studios adds creativity and variety to their programming. “At first, we had no choice,” he says, “but now it’s our hallmark.”

Two regular community programs, Agenda Edina and Beyond the Badge, are produced at Edina City Hall. Other popular programming on Edina TV are live broadcasts and re-broadcasts of Edina City Council meetings.

In addition to airing on television, much of Edina TV’s programming can also be found online on Edina TV’s You-Tube channel and on a websharing service available on the city’s website.

Public Art Profiles won the Emmy for a category called “interstitial,” or, as Bennerotte explains, “filler programs between other programs.”

Whatever the programming, interstitial or otherwise, “Edina government TV is well-respected,” says Bennerotte. She adds that Denfeld is often called upon to consult with other local community television organizations because “Scott’s work breaks out of the stigma and assumptions of government TV.” Important to Denfeld is the recent switch to high-definition broadcast. As someone who obviously values quality, it’s part of his desire, he says, to have government-produced TV be as attractive to the viewer as other programming.