Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/03/07

Collier wants to pull plug on cable TV franchise bills
Bills moving in the state Legislature would remove local authority over cable TV franchises
by Larry Hannan
Naples Daily News (FL)

Collier County commissioners have come out against several bills in the state Legislature that would remove all local authority over cable television franchises. The bills also would eliminate the authority to grant or renew any cable television franchise certificates. —>

Dubuque Concerned About Proposed Cable Bill

A bill moving through the statehouse has city leaders in Dubuque on the edge of their seats. The bill would give the state control over negotiating deals with cable television providers.

Every other Monday night the City of Dubuque broadcasts its council meetings live on the city’s public access channel. Dubuque Council Member, Ric Jones said, “Our channel 8 is a pretty big deal. I am amazed at how many people watch council meetings. ” But city leaders say if the bill passes the city channel programming could be at risk. —>

New television program on urban design to debut
by Lee Ann O’Neal
The Tennessean

A new public-access television show highlighting local urban design issues will premiere Thursday. The half-hour show CityVisions will debut at 7 p.m. Thursday on Metropolitan Educational Access Corporation’s cable Channel 10, according to a release from the Nashville Civic Design Center. This month’s discussion will focus on the new Public Square park in front of the Historic Courthouse off James Robertson Parkway.

Next month’s show will focus on the Music City Star commuter rail and development that’s incorporated with public transit, said co-host T.K. Davis. Future episodes will focus on environmental standards for construction and riverfront development, he said. —>

Cable Franchise Bill Debate Continues
by Joe Powell
Cup of Joe Powell (TN)

—> I was happy to hear back from Senator Steve Southerland on this, who reported he doubted he could support this bill, that he was “still listening” to the debate. State Representative Litz has yet to respond to emails on this issue

AT&T Astroturfs for State Franchise
by Adam Groves
Tennessee Politics Blog

AT&T is funding a group called TV4us Tennessee that brought 14,000 “postcards from constituents” to the State Capitol to lobby for a state-wide cable franchise. The state-wide franchise would allow AT&T to provide cable services throughout the entire state, by-passing local governments for cable rights approval. AT&T says competition will cause cable companies to lower their rates, to the benefit of constituents, but the cable industry has said AT&T’s product will not be cheaper.

Common Cause, a non-partisan watchdog group called out TV4us: “The group claims to be laboring on behalf of ‘working Americans’ who want ‘lower costs’ and ‘more choices … But when you look behind the smoke and mirrors, you find not citizen power, but corporate money.” —>

Editorial: Legislature must strike balance with cable TV bill
The Northwestern (WI)

A bill lobbyists are pushing through the state legislature at fiberoptic speed would give the state’s Department of Financial Institutions the power to sign one cable TV provider for Wisconsin. It would take away the revenue-generating franchising power given municipalities like the city of Oshkosh. Many fear it could also pull the plug on cable-access TV for citizens.

Oshkosh is currently getting more than $100,000 a year via a citywide cable TV agreement with Time Warner. In exchange for the cash and Time Warner’s allotment of three public access and local-government TV channels, the city gives the company access to city right of way to string cable TV infrastructure from home to home. It’s been that way for quite a while. But other cable providers pushing “convergence” of phone and TV tech and promising cheaper bills are gunning to get rid of the old ways. —>

Bill would give state permitting power
Viewing War Brewing
by Donna Boynton
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)

—> “This is a special interest bill,” said Geoffrey Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. “This is not a bill to foster competition.” Municipal leaders, according to Mr. Beckwith, fear it limits cable companies’ accountability and hamstrings municipalities’ rights to negotiate the best deal possible for their residents…

“This legislation is anti-consumer, anti-community and anti-accountability,” said Mass. Municipal’s Mr. Beckwith. “The MMA stands firmly against this bill, and with both feet firmly in support of the cities and towns and their ability to negotiate.” Cities and towns have been acting as consumer watchdogs, and the bill would remove that level of protection and specific agreements with communities, Mr. Beckwith said. The bill contains no guarantees on fee protection and build out, he added. —>

Proposed laws could boost competition in pay-TV (NV)
by Ian Mylchreest
Business Press

A legislative deal that would open up the cable TV business to phone companies was unveiled in the Legislature last week and it came with the backing of major players on both sides. AB 526 would establish a statewide video-franchise process that would end the practice of municipalities granting long-term franchises to a single cable TV provider. —>

San Antonio Election 2007 District 8 Candidates Forum
411 Productions (TX)

San Antonio City Council Election Forum held March 26, 2007 for District 8 City Council Seat. Candidates answered questions from the community concerning various issues such as how to protect the Edwards Aquifer (the only fresh water source for San Antonio), the $500 million bond proposal, and how to protect San Antonio trees (many land developers ignore the tree ordinance to protect trees and clear the land completely). This video is also running on Public Access Television in San Antonio Texas during April 2007…

411 Productions produces The 411 Show and assists in the production of additional shows on Public Access Television in San Antonio Texas and produces independent videos for various uses. They also teach how to create video for various media. To view sample shows, check

Three Screens And Counting
Posted April 3rd, 2007 by Steve Smith
Media Post’s Mobile Insider

I am a total podcast slut. From the time I bought my video iPod I quickly veered away from the enticing $1.99 TV episodes and embraced the video podcasts that were dripping onto the iTunes podcast library. “Lost” and “The Daily Show” were nice to have at hand, but Tiki Bar TV, RocketBoom, GeekBriefTV, and Diggnation were the kind of compelling public access programming that drew me to oddities like the “Uncle Floyd Show” in the ’70s (about three of you raised in the NY TV market probably remember this).

For a refugee from the high school AV Club like me, this was so much more interesting to watch than prime-time content. Vodcasting now has become a robust channel that mixes table scraps of mainstream media with great and meatier alternative programming. When vodcasting comes to my TV, the networks and cable can automatically deduct an hour from my nightly mind share. —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

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

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