Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/02/07

Political Chowder with Arnie Arnesen – yummy food for the mind
by ntobi
Democracy for New Hampshire

Political Chowder, New Hampshire’s newest political television show, will air on Sunday, March 4, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST on MyTV (WZMY – the old Channel 50). Political Chowder reairs on 29 public access stations across NH. >>> The show can also be viewed through Google Video or listened to via Podcast by logging on to

What’s on (city) TV?
Producers get new studios for shows that go beyond the meetings
by Jay Kirschenmann
Argus Leader (SD)

>>> The city’s two producers, Richard Murphy and Brad Dumke, recently moved from their cramped quarters at city fire headquarters, Minnesota Avenue and 37th Street, to renovated, spacious, multiroom studios on the second floor of the Orpheum Theater complex.

“We did a survey of people who watch, and one thing they want to see is more historical programming, so we’re trying to do more of that,” Dumke says. “Right now we’re working on a special in the old Cathedral District, the first of a series of what we hope will be long-form pieces on every historic district in Sioux Falls.” A show called “Neighborhood News” explores areas of town, featuring interviews with developers or neighbors. The piece currently running tells about plans for River’s Bend, on the east side. Acres of land there are being transformed into new developments.

Gracious Living with Brini Maxwell
by Sister Diane
Crafty Pod

Brini Maxwell absolutely rocks. She’s a domestic goddess, and a champion thrifter, and one great podcaster. I am a huge fan. Brini is the creation of actor Ben Sanders, although the Brini Maxwell show is a strictly-in-character affair, so we’ll be referring only to Brini here. The whole thing began on NYC public access TV back in 1998, when Brini filmed cooking, home-care, and crafting segments in her own apartment. The show built a cult following, and five years later, was picked up by The Style Network. Brini now produces audio podcasts for NPR, and a video podcast using footage from that original cable access show.

Selectmen ponder 5% cable surcharge
By Jason Graziadei
Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror

>>> The funds could be used to create up to three separate channels, including one that would televise local government meetings, another that would be reserved for use by the school system, and a third that would be used for public access. “(The public access station) would work by having a studio someplace in town with professional equipment and if someone makes a proposal to do a show, the person running the studio would review the proposal,” CTAC chairman Gene Mahon said last week. “It would teach them how to do (their own show).”

The island’s current PEG station, channel 18 on the Comcast system, has an extremely limited budget, and has broadcast School Committee meetings, community events and announcements in the past. Although the town already has two local television stations – Plum TV on channel 22 and Geno Geng’s channel 17 – several islanders said they supported a cable-television bill surcharge to create the PEG stations during a public hearing before the Selectmen last week. >>>

“It seems like minimal amount of money to have this type of access,” Leslie Johnson said. “I don’t think we’re asking for a lot of money for this and I definitely endorse it.” Others, including real estate broker Moncure Chatfield-Taylor, engineer Art Gasbarro and Selectman Catherine Flanagan Stover, also voiced their support for a 5 percent surcharge to fund the PEG channels. “This is probably one of most important pieces of public infrastructure there can be,” Chatfield-Taylor said. “We’re already behind and we need to catch up. More happens in this town than just this board. The ConCom needs to be covered, the HDC needs to be covered, and the Planning Board needs to be covered.”   >>>

Verizon’s FiOS TV Approved in Wilmington, Mass.
Media Newswire

The Board of Selectmen in Wilmington granted a cable franchise to Verizon Monday (Feb. 26), paving the way for video choice for approximately 6,500 more Massachusetts households. The board’s unanimous vote brings to 42 the total number of Massachusetts communities where Verizon’s FiOS TV is or will soon be available. >>> The Wilmington franchise agreement contains provisions for the network’s future growth; financial support and capacity for educational and government access channels; cable service to government buildings; and other important benefits to the town, including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections. >>>

Channeling Competition: Changing Tennessee’s Cable Law

Knoxville – A business group claims you could be paying a lot less for cable, if Tennessee would change the law to allow more competition. But Volunteer TV’s Gordon Boyd is here to tell you what’s setting off this battle about what constitutes fair competition. Eleven states have passed such laws, including Virginia and the Carolinas. Cable competitors are asking for statewide franchises, rather than cut deals county-by-county or city-by-city, but could that cut your town or county, out of the deal? >>>

“You’re gonna be using rights of way that are assets to a community, we should have a return on those,” Oak Ridge’s City Manager James O’Conners says the current proposals don’t require the competition play by the same rules. Right now, he says, Comcast makes every channel available to every neighborhood. Giving Oak Ridge a government channel, schools channel and about $400,000 a year for rights-of-way and utility poles. “That offsets about 8 percent in property tax. Also purchases about 5 police officers,” says O’Conner. Besides, O’Conner says, what’s to stop competitors from wiring only the more affluent folks more likely to buy more channels? >>>

Posted by: Chris – Knoxville 1:25 PM Mar 3, 2007
During the last election,one of the news station had the Democrat candidate on and neglected to make sure the Republican candidate was there. Since basic cable does not include Fox News, all we get is MSM liberal take on everything. We rely on local channels to be fair and balanced. Without balance the conservative cable watchers are disinfranchised.

Cable Killer?
by Jim Ridley
Nasville Scene

The Competitive Cable and Video Services Act—a.k.a. “the AT&T Bill,” so called for the entity that stands to profit most—deserves serious public scrutiny. The Knoxville News Sentinel outlines the potential problems here: >>>

Among the problems is the issue of public, educational and government access channels—PEG for short. These include Channel 3, which broadcasts Metro Council meetings; Music Arts Channel 9, the local arts channel; and iQ tv 10, the city’s educational channel. Under the terms of the proposed legislation, these would have to broadcast eight contiguous hours of “non-repeating content” a day, seven days a week, or the cable provider could take back the channels.

“This is not a requirement placed on any other channel currently available on cable, and is beyond the capability of small not-for-profit, educational or government agencies,” writes Elliot Mitchell, a MEAC board member and longtime advocate of Nashville public-access television. “Indeed, it is beyond the capability of any independent broadcaster without a network affiliation, it is beyond the capability of many cable movie channels including Lifetime, Showtime, Turner Classic Movies and HBO. All this section will do is allow the cable operator to shut down PEG channels almost immediately and reclaim the channel space.”

Mitchell and CATV Executive Director Jim Gilchrist will address the issue 2 p.m. Monday before the local legislative delegation in Room 16 of Legislative Plaza. In the meantime, if you feel lucky, visit for a friendly game of poker. No points for subtlety—but then, the stakes are kinda high.

[Council Opposes State Video Franchising]
by David Davis
Cleveland Daily Banner (TN)

>>> The Council approved a resolution expressing its opposition to proposed legislation in the 105th General Assembly by AT&T titled the “Competitive Cable and Video Service Act.” According to the resolution, passage of the bill would prohibit state and local governments from imposing quality and service standards. It would also eliminate the regulation and enforcement of public rights-of-way at the local government level. >>>

Keep TV affordable
Time Warner and programmers should keep families in mind.
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (NY)

>>> Time Warner holds local franchises for cable service, and the state Public Service Commission is requiring Verizon to seek similar approvals. That’s appropriate. Time Warner’s franchise deal provides enough funds to support a strong public-access station. Anything Verizon presents should equal or improve on that arrangement. >>>

Comcast tells cable TV board: Don’t give Verizon an ‘advantage’
Company wants ‘level playing field’ in franchise agreement as cities mull new pact
Beaverton Valley Times (OR)

>>> If all 11 cities represented by the communications commission approve the agreement, it would be the first time in Oregon that two major telecommunications companies competed head-to-head for cable TV customers. In his letter, Inouye said a brief review of Verizon’s proposal could have “some significant differences regarding obligations and requirements” from Comcast’s franchise agreement.

Inouye cited as examples requirements that Comcast provide cable service to almost all parts of the county, while Verizon’s proposal had no such requirement. He also said the agreement could let Verizon “cherry pick” profitable areas to serve, while not expanding in other less-affluent areas. Inouye also said Verizon’s proposal allowed it to terminate the franchise after four years, something not available to Comcast. Comcast also complained that it was required to pay $800,000 as part of its franchise agreement, but Verizon could be required to pay only about $149,600 in four years under its proposal. >>>

The City of Naperville: AT&T Requests Preferential Treatment in Illinois
City Battling Proposed Mandate for Statewide Franchising
Business Wire

NAPERVILLE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The City of Naperville, a progressive, high-growth community located 28 miles west of Chicago, is opposing an Illinois State law proposed by AT&T that would provide preferential treatment to the telecom giant and strip local municipalities of franchising power. AT&T is urging State Legislature to pass a law that the city feels would infringe upon its ability to ensure fair competition and preside over the locations of the company’s facilities, possibly creating a negative impact on home values and the safety of residents. >>>

Cable Franchise Options

You may soon be able to have more cable television options. An Iowa Senate Committe approved a plan that would put the state in charge of granting cable franchises. Current law puts that power in the hands of local government. The bill goes to the Senate. Mediacom, the state’s largest cable provider, has opposed previous versions of the plan, but has dropped many of its objections. The proposal says that if multiple cable vendors enter a local market, then the incumbent cable provider can modify its terms of service to deal with the new competition.

BATV marks 20th year
by Brendan Lewis
Billerica Minuteman (MA)

Speakers of a millennia-old language. The latest news and views from the world of politics. And the quest for fame, which for many teens starts in their hometown. As different as these topics are, they and many others have a common home – Billerica Access Television, Inc., which has been providing a wide array of programming for 20 years. In growing technology demands and the constant acceptance of new members, BATV has evolved in its two decades, in which it has served as a base for residents to learn about television production and to use this medium to share what matters to them. >>>

Trophy Club’s local access TV is no longer on Charter channel 7
Pegasus Newswire (TX)

Trophy Club’s local access channel 7 has moved to channel 27. Residents can now tune to Charter channel 27 for local information and to watch video replays of Town Council and Municipal Utility District meetings.

IPTV and Asynchrony in the Consumer Era of Computing? The Apple/Microsoft/Sony War Kicks Off
by Roger Ehrenberg
Information Arbitrage

Apple. Microsoft. Sony. “The Big Three.” Google. Netflix. BitTorrent. Tivo. Etc., etc., etc. Who doesn’t have a strategy for participating in the bright new world of IPTV? It’s real, it’s inevitable, and it’s happening, and it’s sure to be one of those technologies that disrupts industries where only the quick, savvy and visionary survive. This discussion is currently taking places across two key dimensions: What is the potential impact of IPTV on traditional media and distribution? There are almost too many questions to answer when you think about the potential impact of IPTV on industries like cable, satellite, network TV, movies, sports and gaming. Who is best positioned to win in an IPTV-enabled world? >>>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, citizen journalism, community media, Internet TV, media reform, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, redlining, user-generated content, video franchising

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