Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/04/07

Express yourself at CCTV, Concord and Carlisle’s public access tv station (MA)


If you boo too acidly, we will cut off your TV
by Howard Troxler
St. Petersburg Times (FL)

Hillsborough County has decided to shut down its public-access cable TV channel. In response, the group that operates that channel, Speak Up Tampa Bay Inc., is suing the county in federal court. If that were the total description of the fight, then I’d say that the county deserved to win. After all, nobody has any “right” to force the government – meaning the taxpayers – to provide them with their own TV channel. But the case is about more than that. —>

Judge Won’t Force County To Fund Public Access TV Channel For Now
by Ellen Gedalius
The Tampa Tribune (FL)

TAMPA – With its funding eliminated and a judge’s ruling against it, a public access television network is unable to allow county residents to produce programming, at least for the time being. U.S. District Judge James Moody on Wednesday denied Speak Up Tampa Bay’s request for Hillsborough County to immediately restore funding to the network while the station pursues legal action against the county. —>

Blumenthal celebrating Internet TV ruling (CT)
by John O’Brien

HARTFORD, Conn. – A federal judge decided Tuesday that she will not reconsider her July ruling that requires AT&T’s budding Internet television service be regulated like cable TV. U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton issued the order, much to the delight of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Blumenthal says AT&T must now apply for a cable television franchise.

“AT&T can no longer justify its law breaking. It must immediately get a lawfully required franchise to comply with federal and state law,” Blumenthal said. “The federal court has reconfirmed what AT&T should have acknowledged: AT&T has been operating a cable service illegally without a franchise for almost a year, despite our repeated objections and petitions to the (Department of Public Utility Control).” —>

AT&T won’t halt TV services
by Gregory B. Hladky
New Haven Register (CT)

HARTFORD — AT&T executives insisted Wednesday that an adverse federal court ruling won’t curtail operation of their new television service, saying they will continue to offer alternative TV to more than 100,000 consumers. The federal decision issued this week would require AT&T to obtain a state cable TV franchise for its service. But top company officials say the impact of that ruling has been negated by a state law that took effect Monday.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, however, insisted AT&T’s application for a separate license under the new law is “fatally flawed” and the federal ruling takes precedence over state law. Blumenthal demanded AT&T immediately halt signing up new customers and he called on the state Department of Public Utility Control to act in the case. —>

ATT franchise issue not yet resolved
NewsTimesLive.ocm (CT)

State regulators will continue to review AT&T’s application to provide Internet TV despite a federal court ruling Tuesday saying the service should be regulated as a cable franchise. Beryl Lyons, a Department of Public Utility Control spokeswoman, said the agency is aware of Tuesday’s court ruling but, because of a new state law that governs video service, the issue of licensing AT&T as a cable franchise is moot. —>

Community TV coming to town
by Randy Hanson
Hudson Star-Observer (WI)

Cable television customers in the town of Hudson are finally going to receive community access programming. After going without the local government, education and community programming that residents of the city of Hudson and village of North Hudson have had available for years, town residents will be able get it, too, under deals recently signed by the parties involved.

The Hudson Town Board has agreed to turn over the 2 percent franchise fee it collects from the town’s cable provider, Baldwin Telecom, to the Hudson/North Hudson Community Access Board in exchange for the programs on the board’s government Channel 15 and education Channel 6. Baldwin Telecom also will begin charging customers a PEG (public, education, government) fee of 50 cents per month that will be used to offset the cost of equipment purchases. —>

Community access television more than just ‘Wayne’s World’
by Don Gronning
Daily Record (WA)

ELLENSBURG- “Wayne’s World,” first the Saturday Night Live sketch, then the feature movie, brought the concept of public access television to the forefront. That show featured two guys doing a cable television show from their basement. The show may have made fun of the amateur nature of such shows but public access television provides a service. From city council meetings, to cooking shows to local history, cable television viewers can catch a variety of public access shows in Kittitas County, on channel 2 in the Ellensburg area and on channel 40 in the Upper County.

Some of the shows, such as the various plays and concerts that are televised, have an entertainment value. Others are educational. But perhaps the most-watched shows are the government meetings. “A lot of people have told me they watch the council meetings and school board meetings,” said Ellensburg Mayor Obie O’Brien, who became involved with community access television long before he became mayor. He said televising government meetings can be a double-edged sword for sitting elected officials, some of whom lost elections after the public saw how meetings were conducted. “When there is that close a scrutiny, things can change,” said O’Brien. —>

AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! Unite for Online Media Captioning
by Paula Rosenthal

In an effort to overcome technology and production barriers, the leading providers of Web-based video have joined with media access pioneer WGBH/Boston to develop solutions that will increase the amount of online video accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. AOL, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have asked WGBH and its Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) to establish and manage the Internet Captioning Forum (ICF). The ICF will initially address the technical challenges presented by online video repurposed from broadcast or other previously captioned sources, as well as video created specifically for the Web. —>

Music to Your Ears
by Laura Marrich (NM)

Wayne Campbell, the character created by Mike Myers on “Saturday Night Live”‘s “Wayne’s World” sketches, could have been based on Mike Trujillo. Like his NBC Doppelgänger, Albuquerque’s Mike T. hosts a public access music show, worships hard rock and righteous babes with equal reverence, even sports long hair crowned with an ever-present baseball cap. Mike and Wayne both made their Public Access debuts in 1992.

That’s where the similarities end. “Wayne’s World” is a fictional television program that’s long since disappeared from the SNL roster. Mike’s “Zero Hour 2 ” is very real and still kicking every Friday night at 9 p.m. Besides hosting one of Community Cable Channel 27’s most popular shows, Mike serves as president on the board of directors that runs the public access station (a nonprofit called Quote … Unquote). —>

Public access hosts find celebrity can be a local thing
by Mark Melady
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)

When it comes to public access television, celebrity is in the eye of the beholder. One night, Henry Grampietro, host and writer of “Shrewsbury Yesterday” and former sports talk host on SPAC, Channel 28 in Shrewsbury, was running late to pick up a fax machine cartridge for his wife. He wheeled into Staples five minutes before closing and asked the first clerk he saw where he could find the cartridges.

“The guy looks me over and says, ‘Hey, you’re on TV, aren’t you?’ I told him I do a small show on local access. Could you tell me where to find — by now he’s calling over all the other employees saying, ‘You have to meet this guy.’ At the end he asked me for an autograph. I said, ‘Nooooo. I’m not famous enough to give out autographs.’ ” —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

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

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