Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/09/07

Bill would level playing field for TV programming providers
Only cable companies now held to franchise requirements
by Doris Hajewski
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A bill that would eliminate municipal cable franchises and shift the approval process to the state was unveiled Thursday in Madison. The legislation comes just as AT&T has rolled out its U-Verse Internet-based television service, which competes with cable. The bill aims to address technology that didn’t exist when the cable franchise process was set up in the 1970s, said Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubenon), who introduced the legislation with state Sen. Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee). —>

Council opposes AT&T proposal
by Brian Mosely
Shelbyville Times Gazette (TN)

Shelbyville’s city council passed a resolution stating its opposition to an upcoming state bill concerning cable television franchising rights and possible competition in the area. —>

Schenectady Public Access

Unlike many of their neighbors, the city of Schenectady has a comparably long history of public access TV that dates back to 1974, when the Schenectady Access Cable Council (SACC-TV) was founded. SACC-TV has an around-the-clock programming line-up that includes broadcasts of city council meetings. During the Schenectady city council’s committee meeting this past Monday, councilmember Barbara Blanchard launched a discussion about expanding SACC-TV’s city council programming by including broadcasts of the council’s committee meetings, which take place on the first and third Monday of each month. Blanchard, as well as councilmember Gary McCarthy, serves on the board of SACC-TV and indicated the station is willing to air a pilot of eight committee meetings between May and August to test out the idea. —>

Westborough TV shows more, more often
by Patrick Anderson
Westborough News (MA)

Westborough TV is expanding its schedule and giving more airtime to local public service announcements now that a new playback system has come online. The new system allows the town’s cable access network to program all its video by computer. In the past, each tape needed to be played manually on its own video deck, making repeated playbacks and short clips impractical for staff and volunteers to manage, especially on weekends. Since the installation of the new system, broadcasts of town meetings have doubled, both channels 11 and 12 are running on Sundays, town bulletin boards are being updated more regularly and the station is actively looking for groups interested in doing Public Service Announcements. —>

Farewell to MMTV’s ‘Our City, Our Schools’
Letter to Editor: Melrose Free Press (MA)

On behalf of the production crew of MMTV’s “Our City, Our Schools,” I want to thank the Melrose community for allowing us into your homes the past 14 years as the longest-running program in local cable-access television. Given evolving retirements and lifestyle adjustments, we decided — after long deliberation — to make the recently taped March and April programs our final segments. Over the years, we have taken much pride in producing impartial programs with community-based topics, especially the “Special Kids” segments, to recognize as many kids as possible across all of our public, private, parochial, charter and vocational schools. —>

Released FCC Video Franchise Rules Favor Telcos
TV Technology

Municipalities have resisted state and national franchise reform because they lose a measure of control in their own communities. In December, when the order was approved, the LFA lobby vowed to fight it. Libby Beaty, executive director of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, said the FCC scrooged local governments “when they changed the agency from a regulatory to a legislative body.” NATOA held a policy seminar March 8 and 9 in Alexandria, Va., where FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein delivered the keynote. He and his fellow Democrat on the commission, Michael Copps, voted against the order. Adelstein said it exceeded FCC authority. “I cannot support this order because the FCC is a regulatory agency, not a legislative body,” he said after the vote. “In my years working on Capitol Hill, I learned enough to know that this is legislation disguised as regulation.” —>

Legislature lags in broadcast exposure
by Jake Stump
Charlestown Daily Mail (WV)

As the Legislature enters its final hours this year, West Virginians will be able to catch a glimpse of the action, or inaction, on public television. But residents should have more open access to the happenings on the House and Senate floors throughout the entire 60-day session, some believe. West Virginia is just one of five states that does not offer constant audio or video broadcasts of its Legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The other four states are Mississippi, Delaware, New Mexico and Vermont. Most states offer free streaming video or audio over the Internet while some have television channels entirely dedicated to state government.

Verizon seeks FiOS TV franchise
for 12 R.I. cities and towns
Providence Business News

PROVIDENCE – Verizon Communications today filed an application with the R.I. Division of Public Utilities and Carriers seeking a franchise to provide its fiber-optic-based FiOS TV service to 12 cities and towns across the state. —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable public affairs networks, cable vs telco, community media, FCC, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, redlining, video franchising

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