The Edmontonian is now broadcasting Local news and events in Edmonton on ShawTV. Jeff Samsonow, content director and show host and Sally Poulsen, creative director and producer, premiered the third episode I caught  on Sunday, May 22 at 9:00pm with a theme called “Spring.” (Their first episode “firsts” aired May 1, 2011.) In the third episode, Jeff hosted the show that included an indepth look at storm sewers (did you know that there are 2,335 km of storm sewers running through Edmonton?), a romp around the pedway at the Legislature demonstrating various physical exercises with a trainer from Defining Eve (did you know that there are 3 health loops and 10 exercise stations throughout the pedway?), a stroll through Whyte Avenue with a chat with Ken Fiske of Edmonton Economic Development on the Fringe Festival, a peak at the new SOS Festival that had launched the previous year when ended up in a discussion about the many emerging winter festivals and the recently announced Metropolis Festival.

The Edmontonian’s most recent episode broadcast on June 12, 2011 and themed “food” was equally quirky, irreverent and informative. This show ran for an hour at 9pm, unlike the first that ran a half hour on May 22 at 9pm and repeated at 9:30. Again Jeff served as the moveable host a la Bridget Ryan from Breakfast TV. He introduces viewers to such things as how to grind expresso, the coffee scene on Whyte Avenue, the slow food movement, organic foods, local food, food on the street carts and he takes a poke at the Taste of Edmonton. This show airs again on Sunday, July 3 at 9pm or you can watch it online, along with the other episodes, here www.livestream.com/theedmontonian or download it from iTunes.

This is not a show for tourists or anyone not acutely interested in the quirks and quarks of Edmonton. For those of you who are, it’s worth catching. What else is on of interest on TV on Sunday nights at 9:00pm that will make you a well rounded and better informed Edmontonian? See more at www.theedmontonian.com.

Following is an email interview conducted on June 14/15, 2011 with Jeff and his crew…

When do your shows run?

“the edmontonian presents” airs on ShawTV (channel 10 on Shaw cable in Edmonton) Sunday nights at 9pm. It’s also available on YouTube, Livestream, and in iTunes, as soon as each episode gets its original airing.

How often does each new show run and at what time?

We are running a six episode series, with each episode getting a premiere at 9pm, repeating at 9:30 (except for our most recent 60-minute episode), and getting at least one more run on a Sunday after its first air date. So, five of our six episodes – the 30-minute ones – will air at least four times, with a few of them getting a third airing and being on ShawTV six times. The show will always be running on our website, YouTube and Livestream channels, and whenever folks want to watch via podcast. We wanted to make sure the original airing became sort of Edmonton “event” television, and we’re happy to know that people are tuning in for a local show. But we also know the show has to be readily available for people to watch online and through podcast, on their own schedules (or if they forget to set the PVR).

Do you have an editorial lineup for your upcoming shows?

We chose the six show topics (firsts, money, spring, food, edmontonia, history) before the series began airing, so we could get to work on segments and stories. For the episodes that are yet to air, “edmontonia” and “history,” we have our lineups set and most of the interviews are done. edmontonia, for example, will include a trip to West Edmonton Mall, and a profile of the creator of the “Long John Index.” But, as time allows for us to submit each episode to ShawTV, we are always open to people submitting their own videos, whether they are stories, profiles, music, or simply on-camera talks about a subject that fits the episode theme. This isn’t our show, it’s a show about Edmonton that we’re putting together, so the more submissions the better.

What is the topic of your next show?

Episode 5 is going to be about “edmontonia,” so an all-things-Edmonton kind of show. All of our episodes have had themes, and it’s up to us, and those submitting items, to figure out how to interpret those themes. Our “money” episode seemed to be a lot more about doing things that don’t always make you money, as one example. A few things we thought of when we thought about Edmonton were driving, West Edmonton Mall, all the creating that happens when people are burrowed inside for winter, and a great Edmonton-related song. Like all of our episodes there will be an Edmonton musician performing at the end of the show. This time it’s Omar Mouallem with his very-Edmonton song about our festivals: “yegsummer.”

Will your upcoming shows be 30 or 60 minutes

Episodes 5 and 6 will be 30 minutes, just like our first three. The fourth episode, our food show, just grew and grew and we knew we couldn’t cut anything and be happy with the end result. The great advantage of independently producing the show, and having it air through public access television, is that there’s a lot of flexibility. Working in news media for a decade I, and also the show’s executive producer, Sally Poulsen, know you couldn’t possibly double the amount of airtime you needed in a traditional television or radio show, and took advantage of our 60-minute window with Shaw. But we’ll be back to our nice relaxed work pace for 30-minute programs to end the season. Wait, what’s a relaxed work pace?

Do you welcome story idea pitches

We sure do! We have received a few submissions during the series, from people we’ve never met, to local video producers, and lots and lots of musicians. Much like our website, we see ourselves as editors, or the people who hit “publish” and check the monthly traffic stats, and the real content comes from everyone else in posts, photos, videos, comments and conversation. We just make sure the end result times out to 30-minutes. Every episode has also been full of Edmonton music, with at least 9 or 10 songs from local artists and bands, and a recorded performance at the end of each show. We’re calling “the edmontonian presents” a local news variety show so there are stories, features, and profiles, but also scripted material, comedy, satire, and music.

How can I help you promote the show?

Just talking about us is great! We really want people to watch and know that Edmonton is a great city, and news doesn’t have to be just what’s happened in the last few hours. We think the larger Edmonton story isn’t car crashes and stabbings, but includes the creative, entrepreneurial, and passionate people and stories here, and want that to be seen by people here and across the country. So after watching, we hope to hear from people by e-mail (info@theedmontonian.com) on Twitter (@theedmontonian), at our YouTube channel (YouTube.com/theedmontonian) or any other way they can get a hold of us. People can submit ideas (for the show and the website) to this e-mail address: submit@theedmontonian.com and they can always get a hold of me at jeff@theedmontonian.com.