“Seinfeld” didn’t do it. “M*A*S*H” didn’t do it. Neither did “Cheers.”
Three hundred episodes — and counting. Very few television shows reach such a milestone, but this weekend, the Santa Clarita Valley’s own “SCV Newsmaker of the Week” interview show will celebrate its 300th episode. Fittingly, the guest on SCV Newsmaker No. 300 will be U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon.
It will be McKeon’s fifth appearance on the show, which launched in September 2003 with a pilot episode featuring science fiction novelist Ray Bradbury. The following show featured Dan Masnada, general manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency, kicking off a long and distinguished list of local guests.
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“We’re proud of the role ‘Newsmaker of the Week’ has played in chronicling our community’s news, politics and history in the making, and the people who make it all happen,” said Leon Worden, host of the show and president/chief executive officer of SCVTV, Santa Clarita’s nonprofit community television channel. “If you look at the list of all 300 episodes, it reads like a who’s who of the most interesting and engaging people in our community — and beyond.”
Guests on “SCV Newsmaker of the Week” have indeed run a wide gamut, with a roster of leaders ranging from City Council members to state legislators and current Gov. Jerry Brown, who has made two appearances. The show has hosted rival candidates debating the issues prior to elections, and has also devoted hours of interview footage to help the SCV’s other 120 nonprofits get their word out to the community.
“Some of our most fun shows have featured the JPL folks who build and send all of our stuff to Mars,” Worden said. “We’ve got 300 JPL employees in the Santa Clarita Valley, and they have played interesting and historic roles in our nation’s space exploration. People who are the most directly responsible for sending NASA’s spacecraft to Mars live right here in the Santa Clarita Valley, and we enjoy the opportunity to showcase their talents for their neighbors.”
The local show also broke national news: “Newsmaker of the Week” was the first place a general officer (Janis Karpinski) directly implicated former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the White House in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. “Karpinski believed she was being turned into a scapegoat, and she fought back,” Worden said.
Worden added that he’s grateful for all the people who make local television shows like “Newsmaker” possible.
“There are so many people who play key roles,” he said. “We couldn’t do it without the dedicated staff and volunteers at SCVTV.”
“Newsmaker” also frequently serves as a classroom laboratory for the William S. Hart Union High School District's Regional Occupational Program Video Production Class, with the students crewing the show.
The 300th episode of “Newsmaker of the Week” airs 8:30 a.m. Sunday (Feb. 27) and again at 9 p.m. Thursday on Time Warner Cable Channel 20, AT&T U-Verse 99/Santa Clarita, and online at scvtv.com. Archived episodes of “SCV Newsmaker of the Week” are always available for viewing at scvtv.com.
“As we sit down with Congressman McKeon for No. 300, I’ll be reminded of all the great guests we’ve had in the past eight years on ‘Newsmaker of the Week,’” Worden said. “I’ll also be reminded that, with Mr. McKeon’s episode, it’s not just 300. It’s 300 and counting.”