Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/13/08

New Stuff Tuesday – April 8
by kyle
The University Library Blog

[ comments invited ]

Pancake Mountain:
Episodes 1-8; DVDs 1-4
Center PN1992.77 .P3 P34; New Book Island, 2nd floor

I know, you’ve been anxiously waiting for New Stuff Tuesday…  When I browse the shelves each week looking for titles to feature, I always take notice of the DVDs. Last week, I saw Pancake Mountain – since it was not shelved with our other popular movies in the PN1997s, I wondered, “What’s that?”

After some investigative research on the interwebs, it turns out that Pancake Mountain is a TV show for children – but it’s not your regular children’s programming. The show originated on public access television in the Washington, DC metro area and has grown in popularity. The show not only appeals to kids, but also to the parents, because of the musical performances by bands like Thievery Corporation, Henry Rollins and the Scissor Sisters, plus many more. If you love big-name alternative bands, then you just might enjoy this show. We have the DVDs here at the Library.  —>

Cable franchise bill is a reasonable compromise
Jackson Sun (TN)


The key word in the compromise statewide cable TV franchise bill working its way through the General Assembly is “compromise.” Gov. Phil Bredesen pegged it right when he referred to the legislation as “equally distasteful to all parties.” We still believe local communities should be able to negotiate franchise agreements that best suit their needs.

But new provisions in the bill address some of our concerns. A franchisee would be prohibited from cherry-picking only the most lucrative customers while ignoring everyone else. They also would be required to submit system buildout plans that provide services to poorer areas where they want to do business. The bill provides for significant fines if the guidelines are not met. Given these safeguards, the goal of bringing cable TV competition to more areas of the state is a good thing.

This is complicated legislation, and we fail to see the need for it. It adds a new layer of bureaucracy by placing the franchising system under the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, while giving it no oversight powers. It also creates a new 15-member Tennessee Cable and Video Service Authority to manage the details.

A peculiarity of the legislation allows statewide franchisees to still make special deals with local municipalities. The procedure for ensuring public access programming to new systems also appears to be convoluted.  The legislation does honor and protect current local franchise arrangements already in existence. It also sets a reasonable franchise fee of 5 percent of gross revenue that should satisfy most municipalities.

We refer again to the word compromise. It is clear that this legislation will be brought back year after year until the big cable providers such as AT&T get something done. Last year’s approach was wholly unacceptable. This year’s bill is something we can live with, if not warmly embrace.

His must-see TV: A dentist’s infomercial on cable access
by Mike Gruss
Virginian-Pilot VA)

[ 1 comment ]

The writers strike is over. Television programming’s returning to normal, and I’m hoping that, with just a few new episodes, I’ll break a disturbing habit I’ve developed in recent months.  I keep stopping on Cox Channel 11.    Despite the mind-numbing kaleidoscope of images on cable, I can’t turn away from one infomercial the public-access channel shows.  I haven’t been taken in by hair-braiding tools, stomach-crunching equipment, acne medicine or investment schemes. No, I’m absolutely transfixed by an infomercial for cosmetic dentistry.  Most befuddling, I’m already happy with my dentist. (See you in a few weeks, Dr. Konikoff!) I don’t need a new one.

Still, I’m a sucker for this commercial: a 30-minute day-in-the-life documentary of Norfolk dentist Adam Foleck that describes his dental philosophy (excited), his chairside manner (excited) and his attitude toward technology (excited). It started airing two to three years ago.  If you haven’t seen it, heed my warning: It’s oddly hypnotizing.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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