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York College Alumnus Takes Radio/TV Experience to Next Level

Todd Ballantyne with his emmy awards.

For Todd Ballantyne ‘84, a key factor in deciding to come to York College of Pennsylvania was access to the College’s radio station, WVYC. Sitting behind its board of controls, dotted with knobs, dials, and flashing buttons, Ballantyne felt he was continuing the pursuit of a passion that had begun in high school, when a run-in with the school’s radio gave birth to a love for technology, communications, and creativity.

“I was a tech geek,” Ballantyne admits. It is impossible to not detect a subtle sense of pride in his voice.

He would go on to spend hours behind that board of controls in the studio on the third floor of the Life-Sciences building (the studio had yet to move to its current location above the Johnson Dining Hall), often serving as disc jockey, programming tunes for WVYC listeners throughout South Central Pennsylvania. In his sophomore year, Ballantyne broadened his interests by taking his first television production class. He knew almost immediately that he had found what he wanted to do. He would go on to serve as a teacher’s assistant in the television studios and to lead WVYC as a senior.

Ballantyne graduated in 1984 with an associate degree in Radio/Television and earned his bachelor’s in Speech Communication in 1986. He left York College to work in television, filling many roles at TV stations and cable networks in the northeastern United States. While at the local Philadelphia station Philly 57, Ballantyne picked up his first Emmy.

After working at WWOR-TV in NYC as Senior Producer, NBC10 in Philadelphia as Promotion Manager, and CBS3 in Philadelphia as Creative Director, Ballantyne picked up six more Emmys and soon saw an opportunity to start his own business.

That business–Todd Ballantyne Creative Inc., located in West Chester, PA–is where you can find Ballantyne these days. There he creates, among other things, commercials, animations, multimedia videos for businesses throughout the United States. “When I started my own business,” says Ballantyne, “one of the things I wanted to make sure of was that I was operating under the conditions that I wanted.” For Ballantyne, that meant keeping a minimal staff–just him and the occasional freelancer–and always being personally available to his clients.

“When a client calls my number, they get me,” Ballantyne says. “Clients deal directly with me, from concept to completion. I am a corporation of one.”

His current clients include Sekisui America, the state of Delaware, and many regional automotive dealerships. He is unmistakably passionate about his clients, and uses their success as the yardstick with which he measures his own. “I make sure the clients I work with have received something that will be effective for them,” he says. “They always come first.”

Ballantyne recently wrapped up a project with The Hagley Museum and Library, a nonprofit educational institution in Wilmington, DE. “A marvelous place,” according to Ballantyne, the Museum had approached him with the hopes of attracting new demographics to its 235 acres on the banks of the Brandywine River.

Since he created his company in 2010, Ballantyne has continually looked for opportunities to expand and diversify. In 2017, he established a companion business that produces short-form documentary films. His first project, a film produced on behalf of the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, NM, was completed in 2020 and picked up by New Mexico PBS. It garnered four Emmy nominations in the region, winning in two categories, and has spurred collaboration on a second documentary film that focuses on O’Keefe’s two houses in northern New Mexico.

For Ballantyne, the decision to build something of his own has been life-defining. “Running your own business is exceptionally rewarding,” he says. It’s an endeavor that is “much like having your own kid.” The relationships and experiences he’s discovered through entrepreneurship are that strong, he says.

It’s hard work, though, and certainly, if Ballantyne's experience since his YCP days is to serve as an example, more of a journey than a destination. That journey plays out daily. “You can’t rest a day,” says Ballantyne. “The minute you stop putting yourself in front of other people, you can be forgotten.”

Ballantyne is always looking to meet and work with people who own or manage businesses that require visual storytelling and production. He can be reached through his websites, toddballantyne.com and acbfilms.com, or by emailing todd@toddballantyne.com.