WNBC’s Darlene Rodriguez helps celebrate BronxNet’s 25th year

It’s been 25 years since BronxNet began broadcasting to Bronx cable TV audiences, featuring innovative programs for by and about Bronxites. To celebrate 25 years of growth and achievement, BronxNet recently held a celebration luncheon at Marina del Rey, hosted by NBC 4 New York’s Today in New York Host Darlene Rodriguez. Rodriguez started her television reporting career at BronxNet.

Hundreds of Bronxites including organization leaders, elected officials and independent BronxNet producers joined BronxNet chairman Paul T. Gentile and BronxNet board member Kenneth Knuckles in honoring three outstanding individuals. “On behalf of our board of directors I thank everyone who has contributed to our 25 years of BronxNet success. Today, we are a twenty-four hour per day broadcasting network and we are unique in that we provide content specifically related to the Bronx,” said Gentile during his address.

Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. was honored with the Quarter Century Award for his vision and his role in the station’s expansion. Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center president and BronxNet founding board member Madaha Kinsey-Lamb received the Public Service Award for helping BronxNet become a leader in community programming, media training and workforce development. Former Borough President Fernando Ferrer received the Founder’s Award for his foresight and tireless work launching BronxNet. Each honoree received a unique award, a work of art created by Bronx artists Melissa Calderon, Michael Ferris and Dennis Redmoon Darkeem.

“BronxNet ramped up…out of a need…after seeing news accounts of us by people who didn’t know us…to tell our own story in our own way,” said Ferrer.

Regarding the people who work with her to provide unique performing arts programs for youth, teenagers and adults at Mind-Builders, Kinsey-Lamb stated: “It takes a special kind of person to be a mind builder, a special kind of person to nourish the spirit and have it have an impact for a lifetime.”

Diaz commented on BronxNet’s impact on community development and the opportunities the station provides, students, residents and up-and-coming leaders. “It all started because an institution like BronxNet provided a platform so that some of us could go out there and get the message out, and now, that platform is resonating all over the City of New York,” he stated.

BronxNet executive director Michael Max Knobbe shared BronxNet history and future plans. “The Bronx went from lacking channels and being devoid of media spaces, to attaining the public service multi-media multi-channel multi-site TV Network that BronxNet has become. There are multitudes of different people and organizations that helped get BronxNet to where it is today,” Knobbe stated.

Since 1993, BronxNet has been providing television production training and equipment and channel access for Bronx residents, workforce development via internships for high school and college students and signature programs that contribute to community development.

The BronxNet 25th Anniversary Celebration was made possible thanks to support from BronxCare, Mountco, Diversified, Mercury LLC, New York Botanical Garden, Lehman College, Montefiore Health System, Hutchinson Metro Center, Lyft, Fordham University and Hostos Community College.

BronxNet is the independent not-for-profit organization serving the people of the Bronx with media production training, access to technology, and television channels. BronxNet programs six channels – 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 on the Verizon Fios system and six channels – 67, 68, 69, 70, 951 and 952 – on the Optimum system in the Bronx.

BronxNet’s ultra-local programming helps connect the Bronx with the world while our training programs and partnerships are a part of community development through media. For more information visit: www.bronxnet.org.

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