Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/21/07

Community Forum Video Series
Media Issues Come To Marin (CA)

Media Action Marin and Be the Media present:
“Media Issues Come To Marin – a panel discussion”

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David Mathison – Moderator
Julie Akins – Executive Director, Petaluma Community Access
Flor Emert – Board of Directors, Community Media Center of Marin
Larry Bragman – Fairfax Mayor, Member MTA
Peter Franck – Chairperson, Media Action Marin

Hillsborough cuts funding for public access
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News Friday (FL)

The Hillsborough County Commission unanimously approved a $4-billion budget last night, their first since the state mandated budget cuts to cities and counties provide property tax relief. The budget eliminates 442 jobs, including 97 positions currently held by full-time employees. Overall, it cuts nearly $56 million from the budget. One of the biggest losers in the battle for fewer taxpayer dollars is the county’s public access channel, Speak up Tampa Bay. —>

Public access loses battle in Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County commissioners voted to cut funding for the public access cable channel on Thursday night.
My Fox Tampa Bay (FL)

An ongoing battle over public access television ended Thursday night at the meeting of the Hillsborough County Commission on balancing the budget. The cable channel lost all its public funding from the county, but those with their own shows are trying to stake a claim on the cable programming. —>

County Approves $4 Billion Budget
by Anthony McCartney
Tampa Tribune (FL)

—> Virtually all the speakers Thursday night lobbied the board to restore spending for certain projects, while a few asked commissioners to make changes that would further lower property tax bills. Some asked for both. Most said they wanted $874,000 restored to two nonprofit television stations, The Education Channel and Tampa Bay Community Network.

Commissioners approved giving The Education Channel $250,000 next year, less than half of the $519,000 it received in this year’s budget. Ann Goldenberg, the station’s executive director, expressed gratitude, saying the money will help her station continue production of numerous local educational programs. “It’ll have to be enough,” Goldenberg said.

TBCN, also known as public access, was not as lucky. A bid to give the station $250,000 next year failed on a 4-3 vote, with Commissioners Jim Norman, Ken Hagan, Al Higginbotham and Brian Blair rejecting the motion. Joe Ramsey, who hosts the Gospel Music Hour on the network, raised his hand and prayed for commissioners to continue funding TBCN during his three-minute speech during public comment. “Continue public access and let freedom ring,” he said. “I’m very, very disappointed,” Louise Thompson, the station’s executive director, said after the vote. She said she would consider suing the county to get funding restored.

Commissioner Mark Sharpe, who made the motion to restore money for The Education Channel, said it may be the last time Hillsborough could help pay for the station’s operations. “I say to the advocates, times are changing,” he said. “The cheese is gone.” —>

Mild relief brings pain
The county budget cuts 442 jobs while only lowering taxes slightly.
by Bill Varian
St. Petersburg Times (FL)

TAMPA – Hillsborough commissioners unanimously approved a $4-billion budget Thursday that eliminates hundreds of county jobs while providing residents with modest property tax relief. Thursday’s losers include the county’s public and education access cable television, its planning agency, its parks maintenance and after-school programs, and employees who review building permit requests.

Commissioners voted 4-3 against giving the public access channel any money, without explanation, and gave the education channel one year on a scaled-down budget to allow time to find other fiscal patrons, that on a 5-2 vote. The final budget vote means dozens of parks, library and permit review jobs get slashed. —>

Regional council wins freedom over local access programming
by Jared Newman
Wilton Villager (CT)

It may not be as popular as ESPN, HBO or NBC, but local access programming was the focus of a recent disagreement between Cablevision and the Area Nine Cable Council, which represents 10 Fairfield County municipalities including Wilton. When renewing a franchise agreement with the council, Cablevision added a stipulation that would prevent local access channels from being broadcast by other cable providers, should they move into the area. Town government coverage, such as board of selectmen and board of education meetings, would be seen on Cablevision only.

The council disputed the new rule with the state Department of Utility Control, which last week released a draft decision in the council’s favor. In other words, videos of town government and board of education meetings can be provided to any cable provider that moves into the area. An official decision is expected in October. —>

City Council approves increased cable franchise fee
by Emily Rusch
Columbia Missourian

COLUMBIA — On the surface, Monday night looked to be a watershed moment for Columbia’s chronically underfunded public access channel. The City Council approved raising the cable television franchise fee, a measure initially recommended to better fund Columbia Access Television. And to boot, the council signed off on $15,000 to keep CAT TV running until the end of the year.

But what could prove more important for CAT TV, and the city’s other access channels, is what the council didn’t decide Monday: Who will benefit from the extra funds, estimated at $260,000 in 2008? “Nothing’s written in stone right now,” CAT treasurer Steve Hudnell said. “We want to be funded properly. We never intended to continue on $30,000 a year. That has been something that we never intended to go on this long.”

Both CAT and Columbia Public Schools, which runs the city’s educational access channel, have expressed interest in the money generated by the franchise fee increase. Video service providers, or cable and telephone companies, will now be charged 5 percent of their gross revenue earned within Columbia city limits to use public right-of-way. The 2 percent increase, according to a report to the council written by City Attorney Fred Boeckmann, would generate an extra $260,000 in 2008 and about $330,000 more in subsequent years.

In a memo to the council, Toni Messina, director of public communications, laid out a couple of options for the extra revenue. Funding city services or supporting some or all of the cable access channels are among the options. –>

CATEC highlights career opportunities with guest lecture series
by lbanner
c-note (VA)

On September 25th & 26th the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) will begin its second season of producing the Guest Lecture Series for high school students and community members. The September lectures focus on Communications and Audio/Video Technology. Featured speakers include Andy Huffmyer and Tom La from CBS 19; Cass Cannon from Charlottesville City Schools; Denny King and Kent Williamson from Paladin Pictures; and Jeffery Hanna from UVA Public Affairs.

CATEC began sponsoring these programs last year as an opportunity to expose students to career opportunities. CATEC students, along with other Albemarle and Charlottesville students who register with their counselors, can attend the sessions which will take place in the Charlottesville Public Access studio from 1:30 – 3:15 p.m. The shows, which are aired on Charlottesville Public Access TV, are filmed, edited and produced by CATEC TV Video Production students. —>

Media Minutes: September 21, 2007
Free Press

Public interest groups want to know why the DOJ submitted a filing to the FCC against Net Neutrality – six weeks after the deadline. And OneWebDay’s founder talks about why we need to take time to appreciate the Web.
More Info | Download (3.6MB) —>


Shownotes for the 114th PhillyFeed, about the long-awaited arrival of public-access television in Philadelphia.

NYC Subway Finally Gets Wireless
Transit Wireless to serve 277 stations within six years (NY)
by Karl
Broadband Reports

The New York Times notes that New York City residents will finally be getting cell and wireless data access in all 277 city subway stations. Transit Wireless will pay New York City Transit $46.8 million over 10 years, on top of the estimated $150 million to $200 million the network will cost to build. Transit Wireless got the deal because they offered so much up-front cash; the report notes that the major industry players didn’t try very hard:

A consortium of the major cellphone providers, including Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, offered a total payment over 10 years of just $40, according to a summary of the deal that will be provided to the authority’s board members. (A transit official said the figure was not a typo.)

Six stations will be online within two years for testing: 23rd Street and 14th Street on the Eighth Avenue line, 14th Street on the Seventh Avenue line, 14th Street on the Sixth Avenue line and Eighth Avenue and Sixth Avenue on the L line. The company has six years to get all 277 stations up and running. —>

Scottsdale company teams with UPS to preserve cherished images
by Donna Hogan
East Valley Tribune (AZ)

A local audio-video processor for consumers is piloting a program with The UPS Store that could have the shipping giant selling the Scottsdale company’s services nationwide. Audio Video Editor, based in Scottsdale with additional stores in Mesa, Chandler and Surprise, provides various audio and video services. But the shop’s primary product is conversion of old, out-of-date visual formats such as 35mm slides, 8mm home movies, VHS, Betamax and the like into DVDs for preservation of cherished images, said company president Ron Stilwell.

The local company signed a national contract with The UPS Store that lets customers bring their image collections in any combination of formats to a UPS Store, which will pack it up and ship it free to Scottsdale for DVD replication. Audio Video editor will process the package and mail it back, Stilwell said. —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: archive, archiving, educational access, municiple wi-fi, net neutrality, PEG access TV, preservation, public access television, video franchising

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