Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/11/07

Memorial for Queens Public TV chief
by Nicholas Hirshon
New York Daily News

Nancy Littlefield, who built Queens Public Television into one of the country’s top public access stations during two decades as its director, will be memorialized on Monday. Littlefield, a Bronx native, died at age 77 on Aug. 30. The cause was lung cancer, her son, Joshua, said. The memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Fourth Universalist Society in Manhattan.

Before running Queens Public Television, Littlefield was one of the first women accepted into the Directors Guild of America in the early 1950s and headed New York City’s Office of Film and Broadcast from 1978 to 1983. —>

U-verse avoids Connecticut regulators

The Connecticut regulators in charge of issuing video franchise licenses have turned down a petition from the state’s attorney general to make AT&T get one. The state Department of Public Utility Control told Attorney General Richard Blumenthal it would not require AT&T to get a franchise license pending the outcome of a federal court challenge. The PUC’s decision allows AT&T to continue building out its U-verse system and signing up subscribers… The DPUC’s response to Attorney General Blumenthal is here.

Education Channel Earns County’s Investment
by Ann Goldenberg (FL)

The current county budget eliminates all funding for Tampa Educational Cable Consortium (TECC), the non-profit that operates the Education Channel. The $519,000 that the county contributes to TECC is a modest investment with big dividends in enhanced quality of life and educational opportunities for citizens. These are the attributes that spur economic growth and assure business that a stable, educated workforce is available.

TECC programs directly and positively impact local residents. Hundreds of thousands of students have studied, reviewed, learned and succeeded with programs on the Education Channel.

Over 25,000 students have received one-on-one, free tutoring using Math Homework Hotline. That’s a value of over $1.2 million for one series. The relief in students’ voices when they finally understand? Priceless.

Thousands studied for FCAT and exams watching FCAT Reviews and Algebra I tutorials. Over 100,000 college students have taken over 50 different courses for credit. Over 100,000 children have discovered reading with the Summer Reading Club, Book Talk and Scholastic Classics.

TECC’s programming is consistently watched by over 44 percent of Hillsborough County cable subscribers. Of the more than 300 channels available on cable and satellite TV in Hillsborough County, less than 1 percent are non-commercial, educational channels. The Education Channel is the only one controlled by a local board of directors representing all the major educational institutions.

TECC’s funding also is consolidated and diversified. Funding comes from the city of Tampa, Plant City, the school district, individual memberships, grants, royalties for nationwide program licenses and sponsorships. Without a budget increase in seven years, we have still managed to find new resources and continue to offer excellent service. We recognize a diversified funding base is the model we must follow.

Building a foundation for the future takes years of work and preparation, and we have been steadily putting the building blocks of an endowment in place. However, the work for the future cannot continue and we cannot succeed without adequate funding now. Without the county’s financial contribution in this budget cycle, TECC cannot fulfill its production contracts and will, therefore, lose even more of its funding and its ability to generate income in the long run.

We have devoted the last 20 years to developing educational programming that addresses our community’s needs. This is our sole mission and the reason we are successful. We are accountable not only to the school district, but also to the other 16 educational and cultural organizations that comprise the Tampa Educational Cable Consortium, and to the whole Hillsborough County community of learners. What a waste it would be to throw away the last 20 years of research, relationships and resources that have built an organization nationally recognized as the best of its kind.

City Settles Klan Demo Lawsuit
On Second Thought
Austin Chronicle (TX)
by Michael King

It took nearly two years and a federal lawsuit, but the city of Austin has finally admitted it has no business deciding who is and who is not a reporter or pushing demonstrators far away from City Hall. Last week, the city settled a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas by a group of independent TV and film producers and protesters following a November 2005 Ku Klux Klan rally at City Hall.

Not only had the city established a massive police cordon to keep counterdemonstrators two blocks away from the City Hall Plaza, where a dozen San Angelo Klansmen were rallying in support of the pending state Proposition 2 (re-banning same-sex marriages), but city managers and public-information officials created a “professional journalist” credentials test that effectively excluded noncommercial media – including film documentarians as well as producers from the city’s own Public Access Cable Television network. —>

Street Dreams: The Movement Edition
PCM Studio Class (OR)

Street Dreams: The Movement Edition is a class project created through Portland Community Media’s PBL-Studio Class. This project focuses on participants in an independant hiphop coalition in the Portland, OR Area. Students jointly determine their production topic, plan, shoot, and complete an entire “live-to-tape” studio show throughout the duration this class. Upon completion of the PBL class, students go on to produce their own programming though the facilities of Portland Community Media.

ISP to Launch HD Web Video ‘Cable-like’ Service in South Korea

South Korean Internet service provider UBalance Co. Ltd. and technology supplier MatrixStream Technologies will launch a multichannel, streaming HDTV service over the public Internet early next year, following a beta deployment starting in October. The UBalance service is targeted to consumer televisions and employs MatrixStream’s proprietary encoding, XMS streaming and set-top box technologies to get there.

MatrixStream also has signed a similar agreement with an as yet unidentified, 5-million-subscriber ISP in the U.S. that will launch its own beta service within the next two months, says MatrixStream CEO Jack Chung.

Unlike emerging broadband video download platforms supporting services such as Amazon Unbox, NetFlix, Blockbuster/Movielink, Akimbo or, the MatrixStream platform is designed to support streaming, rather than downloading, of live linear TV programming and video on demand to TV set-top boxes. —>

Warner Bros. Television Announces Production of an Expansive Slate of 23 Original Series Projects, Active Development Lineup
All American Patriots

Studio 2.0, the original programming, digital production arm of the Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG), has begun production on 23 new shortform series projects for broadband and wireless, with additional programming in active development… Studio 2.0 programming will be distributed across a variety of broadband and wireless platforms and sites, often in partnership with advertisers, as WBTVG pursues an aggressive, wide-ranging networked distribution strategy.

Public Excess: Comedy collective The Big Honkin’ debuts the tale of a new employee at a public access television station who harbors aspirations of becoming a small-screen superstar. First, he must get past a boss who has been phoning it in for years, a staff who won’t communicate with the programmers, and the never-ending carousel of torment that is public access programming. The Big Honkin’ – comprised of writer-video producer Austin Bragg, journalist-independent filmmaker Meredith Bragg and actor-musician-motion graphics artist Hunter Christy – has also signed a development deal with Warner Bros. Television. (Comedy)

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, educational access, IPTV, PEG access TV, public access television, U-Verse, video franchising

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