New College Professor of Political Science Frank Alcock has worked as a political contributor with ABC since 2007, and with CBS for the past six months. Now, Alcock is the host of Focus One, a new political talk show on Manatee Educational Television (METV).
Although the show’s topics are politically related, Alcock said he doesn’t want to “sit there and replicate a bunch of national news.” Therefore, the show’s goal is to discuss more local happenings, such as the state primary results in the Sarasota-Manatee area. “It’s an opportunity,” Alcock said. “It’s a platform.”
The first episode was put together not long after METV station manager, Charles Clapsaddle, approached Alcock and asked him to host the show. “I just jumped into it,” Alcock said, even despite having just had mouth surgery that left him swollen for the first day’s filming.
Alcock is being given a good deal of freedom in deciding how to run the show. “[Clapsaddle] is just letting me run with it,” Alcock said. “And so far, so good.”
Alcock has also recruited the help of New College students to help him behind the scenes in running the show. When thesis student Casey Morell suggested Alcock turn his search for help into a tutorial, three students joined the team as regulars. While all the students have an interest in politics, not all have experience in media or journalism. Two of the students have a background in literature, but Alcock feels that this makes the process more fun because “we’re all learning at the same time.” In the future, Alcock wants to give students the opportunity to write their own scripts and produce their own episodes. “I certainly like having the students co-own this project,” he said.
The studio set is a little sparse as of now and Alcock is interested in moving the show around to different locations, filming in cafes, coffee shops and even on the New College campus. He’s also very open to the idea of having both students and faculty appear as guests in the future as long as it’s “the right time and the right topic.”
Focus One can be seen on METV on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Alcock also emphasized the importance of getting hits on METV’s Youtube channel, which so far has the first three episodes up.