hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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March 13, 2014

Dedication brings TV station 25 years of growth

After 25 years of dedicated community service, the future is still today at Haverhill Community Television.

It’s the way any successful media venture travels its course — one good day at a time. Same with newspapers, radio or television.

When Matt Belfiore walked through the door 18 years ago, he sought a new adventure in his life, much like others who got their start here. He felt that maybe if he volunteered, the golden door of opportunity might open a crack.

The site was the Bradford College campus, just across from Denworth Hall. He did an internship with the TV station, then became a production assistant, program director and now operations manager. You can call it a job. More realistically, it’s become his passion.

“When they moved that Lafayette statue from the rotary, I showed up with a camera on my shoulder,” Belfiore recalled. “There was Barney Gallagher with his camera. I looked at the man and shook my head in amazement. After all these years, there was a guy known by his profession. I’d like to think of myself some day as the Barney Gallagher of Haverhill Community Television. I’ve pretty much done it all around here.”

The late Gallagher, of course, was the longtime reporter, editor and columnist with The Haverhill Gazette and The Eagle-Tribune.

Belfiore took his baby steps delivering Gazettes door-to-door when Gallagher was bestowed with the name “Mr. Haverhill.” Right away, Belfiore was smitten with a devoted sense of community spirit. The TV studio where he works now holds firm at 60 Elm St., the site of an auto dealership where his grandfather Vincent Belfiore once sold cars.

Over his time with community TV, Matt has never missed filming a VFW Santa Parade or a Christmas Stroll, much less an inauguration.

He does get away from the job — when he teaches his media classes at Northern Essex Community College, bringing others into the fold.

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