The show airs three nights each week. On Monday and Wednesday, viewers see in-depth discussions, features, and special series on Connecting Point that reflect local communities. Friday night’s program focuses on public affairs under the auspices of “The State We’re In.” “‘The State We’re In’ has been looking at local and national politics, along with current events, for more than 30 years,” says Director of Public Affairs and longtime host Jim Madigan. “Viewers will see community and state leaders, political candidates and commentators discussing all the hot issues.”
The fourth season of Connecting Point will not only serve the show’s television audience, but its online audience as well. Viewers will be able to access additional content via the Connecting Point Web page or WGBY’s YouTube channel. Producers will encourage viewers to engage on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, using the new #CPonWGBY hashtag.
Among the first topics this season are the following: sports-related concussions, Springfield’s Stay in School campaign, speakers from the Springfield Public Forum, the 75th anniversary of the Quabbin Reservoir, and the Cummington Creamery. New “Making it Here” segments are also in the works, due to the overwhelming popularity of past episodes which aired over the summer.
Host Jim Madigan
In addition to hosting WGBY’s nightly Connecting Point, he is the producer and host of “The State We’re In,” a weekly, half-hour segment that airs each Friday and focuses on local, state and national politics and government.
Madigan has produced and/or moderated numerous major political debates, including a January 2010 program with the Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidates in the special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Kennedy.
He has moderated a total of six gubernatorial debates in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010; a 1996 debate in the U.S. Senate race between Senator John Kerry and Governor William Weld; a January 2010 debate with U.S. Senate candidates Scott Brown, Martha Coakley and Joseph Kennedy; the Springfield U.S. Senate Debate between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren in October 2012.
Prior to his work with WGBY, Jim was News Director for WLDM Radio in Westfield/Springfield, MA and a reporter and back-up anchor for WGGB-TV/ABC 40 in Springfield, MA, where he specialized in political reporting and Massachusetts State House coverage. This included the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans and the presidential campaign of Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.
In 1992, Jim was honored with both a New England Regional Emmy® and National Public Service Emmy® as a co-producer of the documentary Out of Work, a co-production by WGBH-Boston, WHYY-Philadelphia and WGBY-Springfield.
Correspondent/Host Carolee McGrath
Reporter and correspondent Carolee McGrath is a lifelong resident of western Massachusetts, and is a respected figure in local media. Carolee brings her extensive years of experience as a journalist to chronicle the people, places and ideas of the region for Connecting Point.
Jeff Belanger is an author, adventurer, and one of the most visible paranormal researchers today. He is also the Emmy-nominated host, writer, and producer of the New England Legends series which debuted on WGBY in October of 2013. Jeff is the author of over a dozen books on the paranormal including the best sellers: Weird Massachusetts, The World’s Most Haunted Places, Our Haunted Lives, and Who’s Haunting the White House? (for children). He’s the founder of Ghostvillage.com, the Web’s most popular paranormal destination according to Google, and a noted speaker and media personality.
Christopher ‘Monte’ Belmonte is a monthly contributor to WGBY’s Connecting Point. He is also the morning show host at 93.9 The River and the co-host of The Bill Newman Show on WHMP radio in Northampton. He’s lived in the Valley for over a decade and loves to bring to television and radio all the quirky, creative, delicious and different things that make our area great. When he’s not on the media and when his ego allows, he is the husband of a Smith College Professor of Spanish and father to 3 quirky and creative boys. He is also the President of the non-profit Shea Theater Arts Center in Turners Falls.
Ron Chimelis is the Republican’s general columnist and opinion writer, and also covers sports.
A lifelong resident of western Massachusetts, Ron is interested in community input and both local and national events.
Philip Korman is Executive Director of Community Involved In Sustaining Agriculture (CISA). Phil leads the organization in its mission to strengthen local agriculture by building connections between farmers and the community. During his tenure, CSIA has launched the Emergency Farm Fund, expanded its work in Hampden County and impacted state policy. He has over 25 years’ experience in management and raising resources at nonprofits.