Melissa Burnett
Melissa Burnett

Melissa Burnett has graphic blood…she’s hoping to add new commercials to it.

“I came from Mayo…that was my most recent job. I was there for 12 and a half years, in medical support services,” she said. “I was a designer at Mayo, and I went to college for multimedia and graphics. My husband, Rocky, and I own two graphics companies, too, so graphic design is kind of in my blood.”

Burnett is the new administrator of Chatfield Cable Television (CCTV), following the retirement of longtime administrator Craig Manahan on Dec. 31.

Burnett, who officially took the position on Jan. 2, described herself, saying she’s always conjuring up new ideas to take on, and being at CCTV’s streaming “on-off” switch will be yet another of her passions.

“I’m kind of an entrepreneur at heart, and if I were doing something else, I’d probably be doing something creative with hot glue and glitter,” she said. “I’m loud, very social, not a perfectionist. I probably will develop my own quirks in this job.”

Burnett elaborated that she pursued the position – being the girl behind the camera – because it met her adventurous nature and also fit her family’s present need for flexibility…where her children will be, she’ll likely be in the stands, filming their sporting activities to show off how well Chatfield’s teams compete.

“Probably the most important parts are the flexibility and being involved in the community, staying close to home and being within town for our kids, because our life right now is sports,” she said. “Our daughter is in ninth grade and we have twin boys in sixth grade, and my husband Rocky is on the ambulance crew, so the flexibility offers me the chance to be around, it pairs well with his very unpredictable job, and I can be on the fire department, too.”

She feels she’s been entrusted with a treasure, and she wants to be certain that she perpetuates CCTV’s and Manahan’s commitment to the community and beyond.

“CCTV is very special, very unique. I don’t think people in Chatfield understand how unique it is, how lucky they are,” Burnett said. “Other towns don’t have this. I’m very excited and nervous because Craig has made a lot of great relationships with a lot of people who know him, and I’m confident that while this will be a lot of work, I’ll develop those relationships as well.”

Burnett acknowledged, “There’s only one Craig Manahan, and there’s so much in his head that he knows that I have to learn…it’s hard to train someone on all that after 17 years of gathering people and relationships. We have so many volunteers and other people who are part of CCTV. My hope is to expand CCTV and make it become even more than it already is.”

Chatfield native Burnett outlined what she might do once she’s mastered most of the technology that’s used to tape an event and broadcast it.

“I’m very okay with learning new technology, new things. I’m just going to be on a learning curve — we’re looking at going digital, so that’s going to be challenging, looking at our budget and what’s going to be the best product for CCTV,” Burnett said. “I’m learning all this as we’re working on changing over, and I’ll be looking most forward to being involved in the community.”

She elaborated, “I’d like to update some of our commercials and to start a Facebook account for CCTV and find different avenues to bring people in to see what we’re about, and we need to take advantage of, and learn how people connect to us as a way of bringing us a bigger audience.”

Burnett also explained how she would like to get students involved with the cable company to start building a relationship with younger volunteers.

“I’d like to use the community link (newsletter) and Facebook to see what our audience wants us to do,” she continued. “Do they want us to do some updating? We want to hear what they want to see, and we want to appeal to them with what we have going out on the channel. I want to work with Kay Coe and Joel Young to figure out who’s watching and how to expand that, figure out what we have to do to widen our audience. But we have to know what people are watching first. My goal is consistency.”

Manahan is still traveling to Chatfield when there are meetings, as Burnett’s training is not complete, and she’s glad to have his experience at hand while she’s making the transition to being what many in Chatfield will call “the New Craig.”

Burnett admitted that even though she’s got these plans made, there is a small feeling of trepidation niggling her. “I have a lot of excitement…it’s unnerving, exciting, terrifying…I have a lot of excitement, ideas and enthusiasm, and I’m also scared because I’ve got an audience of 2,500 people who live in town and all the people outside, and everyone has their own opinion of what we should be doing,” she said. “So, I have a lot of emotions right now…but I’m really looking forward to being more involved with the community and really getting to know some of the volunteers, building on what Craig has built this far.”

Burnett invited anyone who might be interested in volunteering with CCTV to email her at, and hopes to meet everyone at ballgames and hear what they’ve got to say about Chatfield’s most unique television channel.