The Man Behind CAM

An Interview with Justin Shannahan


Justin Shannahan

The town’s newly built Cable Access Media (CAM) Studio is located at Abington Middle-High School, 201 Gliniewicz Way, and is available for use by the community, teachers, students, and clubs.

Matthew Lyons, Digital Media Editor

The Abington Community Access and Media, Inc., more commonly known as CAM, is a corporation that provides public, educational and government TV for the town of Abington. For years it has provided endless hours of educational entertainment.

People come in and, get to learn, and just try things and experience them before they go out in the real world even if they want to do it or don’t want to do it. It’s a great tool.

— Justin Shannahan

Mr. Justin Shannahan is the Executive Director of CAM. He has worked for CAM for seventeen years and has not lost his love for media and entertainment. Before running CAM he took a class at a facility similar to the High School’s studio to learn the basics of filming, editing, and media production. With this knowledge he went to college, worked for Comcast, and developed a relationship with Public Access TV.

After graduating in 2003, he started working for Comcast for a number of years, and through that he learned the ins and outs of TV and media. Public access TV used to be run by cable companies in Abington. The cable companies would fund and control what was put on the channel, but now it is run and funded by the Town. This transition has allowed Shannahan to move from Comcast to the local access channel CAM.

Shannahan has watched the corporation grow each year, even more so recently due to the construction of the new middle-high school, where the studio now resides. Shannahan couldn’t be happier.  Now that CAM has moved to the middle-high school and is “in the center” there is more “opportunity, creativity, and as we’re living here now, it’s starting to grow,” he said. Shannahan went on to say that the students and staff “are getting involved, they’re becoming educated, they’re becoming creative” on all the studio has to offer.

The studio is open to anyone to film, edit, broadcast, learn, or just visit. It’s filled with all different kinds of cameras, microphones, soundboards, and any other equipment imaginable. Shannahan wants people to “come in, get to learn, and just try things and experience them before they go out in the real world even if they want to do it or don’t want to do it.” The studio is “a great tool,” he added.

Between the students, teachers, staff, and community using the studio for various reasons, Shannahan is kept constantly busy. When asked what a typical day looks like, he said, “I have yet to see a typical day.” He added, “Think of it in the sense of technology. Okay well, when does technology remain constant? It’s ever changing.”

But despite his busy schedule and unpredictable days, Shannahan loves his job. He can’t wait to see how the studio and Public Access TV grows in the coming years. For those on Twitter, you can follow them here at Abington CAM.

Correction: The article stated “but now it is run and funded by the Town.” Abington CAM is not funded and run by the town. It is a non-profit corporation funded by the cable subscriber’s franchise fees every resident pays as part of their monthly Comcast and Verizon cable TV bills. ACAM’s mission is to involve the community in the studio they fund.