Farrell's own television studio, WFBN-TV, celebrates 25 years of broadcasting
Pictured Above: WFBN-TV anchors get in place as a show gets ready to start up. The studios of WFBN are located on the ground floor of the East Wing.
"Spontaneity is everything to me, working without a net." This was stated by the late, great Regis Philibin, a legendary television personality who had plenty of connections to WFBN.
This year marks WFBN's 25th season. For a quarter of a century now, Farrell's own television studio has given students the opportunity to get first-hand experiences in broadcasting, television production, and television writing.
Overseen by Brother Paul Hannon, WFBN's founder and executive producer, the students who are part of WFBN take responsibility of producing a daily show each morning, broadcasted from the studio on the bottom floor of the East Wing, to all the different home rooms across Farrell for students to enjoy.
These daily shows include updates in news and sports, interviews with Farrell athletes, and a variety of comical segments and skits.
Additionally, WFBN students get the opportunity to interview various celebrities, politicians, and athletes, as well as chances to take trips out to different professional broadcast studios and television show productions.
Pictured above: WFBN anchors Sean Nieprzecki, '23, (center) and Rob Russo, '23, (right) interview Mr. Vincent Minichello, '04, (left) an assistant varsity football coach and senior Government/Economics teacher, during WFBN-TV's broadcast of Senior Decision Day 2023.
In 1997, Brother Hannon was asked by then-Principal Monsignor Emmet Nevin to create a studio showcase television studio at Farrell. However, with the promise of funding the studio, the rest is history. This studio was to be a first for any school on Staten Island.
The studio, however, didn’t start as it did today. The studio used to be smaller, with only two rooms that currently make up the main studio.
As a window was inserted separating the studio from the control room to the original set being constructed, the WFBN studio evolved. Today, the WFBN studios contain editing suites, studios A and B, a control room, a green room, and more!
Fun fact: if the WFBN main desk wall were removed, you would see the original set that was once there.
Pictured above: The late Regis Philbin (second from right) is visited by Brother Hannon (far left) and three members of the WFBN-TV crew from the Class of 2012 -- (left to right) Adam Bavaro, Steven Mezzecappa, and Mr. Peter Kennedy -- during a 2011 taping of Live with Regis & Kelly that celebrated Philbin's 80th birthday.
And over the course of the 25 years, celebrity presence has made its way to the studio. Philbin -- best known for his time on the morning show Regis and Kathy Lee and the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire -- was WFBN's first celebrity interview. Pictures of Philbin with WFBN students can be seen throughout the studio.
Just at the entrance, a colossal number of pictures of prestigious interviewees can be seen, from Pope Francis and Cardinal Timothy Dolan to President George W. Bush.
Having overseen a great deal of live shows, he has a list of memorable ones that have stuck with him -- perhaps none more so than the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
WFBN created a video to acknowledge and remember 9/11. They filmed a video on the USS Intrepid ship, where they got permission to film for over 4 hours. The year after, they also taped again, but in Washington, D.C.!
The video didn’t go unseen. Not only did WFBN air the tape for the school to see, but they got picked up by Staten Island Cable Television, which aired the film.
Pictured above: Brother Hannon and WFBN-TV members pose for a group shot on an ABC News set.
What is next for WFBN? Who else will visit? And what surprises await as WFBN celebrates 25 years on the air?
You’ll just have to keep watching to find out!