franchise

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TruthToTell Monday, April 21- 9AM:BEYOND TREEHUGGING: Green Metrics for Earth Day; April 14- 9AM: COMMUNITY CABLE UNDER SEIGE: Comcast Wants to Strip Your Channels Away - AUDIO PODCAST is UP HERE

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Celebrate Earth Day with TruthToTell this Monday morning.

Hosts Siobhan Kierans and Tom O’Connell with their guests are Ken Pentel and Kel Heyl. Ken will be talking about the Genuine Progress Indicator and Kel will be talking about a price tag for the 21st century. A price tag that includes Initial Price + Life Cycle Cost + Carbon Footprint.

GUESTS:

KEN PENTEL – Founder of the Ecology Democracy Network; former candidate for governor on the Green Party ticket (1994).

 


KEL HEYL –  Principal, Studio Rebus Incorporated (a design/build contractor).

 

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, April 14, 2014

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The so-called cutthroat “Cable Wars” of the early 1980s throughout the Metro Twin Cities as core cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul – along with clusters of groups of suburban cities banded forming joint powers –issued requests from proposals for the essential exclusive franchise to supply municipal huge new systems offering upwards of 60 channels of television programming.

The several cable company competitors for each of these franchise awards begged, hired local power figures and promised the moon to the cities or joint cable commissions – PEGs (public, education and government) channels anywhere from three to seven channels of community and public access programming. Even after all the cable company investment, they actually received a license to print money and to string their cables alongside telephone and power lines throughout the service areas under the jurisdiction.

This came with huge annual funding and capital equipment supplied by the winning cable company – and with at least a guarantee of 15 years of a franchise. With time, channels added to the tiers of cable television and more money came in – and still they want to take back those channels they “gifted” to the cities and communities – except that these cable outfits pass through their costs assessing per-subscriber fee. That tells you how profitable each of those public access channels could be if they brought back into the commercial corral – while the cities and nonprofits and just plain folk would lose their ability to program to supply the meager information and services over the channels. Why must they re-capture those channels?

Now, most cable commissions and cities are in the throes of second and third rounds of re-franchise negotiations – and again they want to reduce the number of channels, stop funding these channels altogether and/or stop supplying the production and transmission equipment to sustain these important community links to the cities throughout the Metro and well beyond.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS talk with some of the Metro cable access organizations ad advocates to highlight the importance and future of community programming channels and nonprofits serving our local cities.

GUESTS:

CORALIE (COR) WILSON, Executive Director, CTV North Suburbs Community Cable Programming, Roseville (based)

CHAD JOHNSTON – Executive Director, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)

 

 

 

 

MARK HUGHES – CTV Staff & “Disability Viewpoints” – Roseville Channel 15


 

 

TruthToTell Monday, April 14- 9AM: COMMUNITY CABLE UNDER SEIGE: Comcast Wants to Strip Your Channels Away - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7; Streaming @ KFAI.org

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The so-called cutthroat “Cable Wars” of the early 1980s throughout the Metro Twin Cities as core cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul – along with clusters of groups of suburban cities banded forming joint powers –issued requests from proposals for the essential exclusive franchise to supply municipal huge new systems offering upwards of 60 channels of television programming.

The several cable company competitors for each of these franchise awards begged, hired local power figures and promised the moon to the cities or joint cable commissions – PEGs (public, education and government) channels anywhere from three to seven channels of community and public access programming. Even after all the cable company investment, they actually received a license to print money and to string their cables alongside telephone and power lines throughout the service areas under the jurisdiction.

This came with huge annual funding and capital equipment supplied by the winning cable company – and with at least a guarantee of 15 years of a franchise. With time, channels added to the tiers of cable television and more money came in – and still they want to take back those channels they “gifted” to the cities and communities – except that these cable outfits pass through their costs assessing per-subscriber fee. That tells you how profitable each of those public access channels could be if they brought back into the commercial corral – while the cities and nonprofits and just plain folk would lose their ability to program to supply the meager information and services over the channels. Why must they re-capture those channels?

Now, most cable commissions and cities are in the throes of second and third rounds of re-franchise negotiations – and again they want to reduce the number of channels, stop funding these channels altogether and/or stop supplying the production and transmission equipment to sustain these important community links to the cities throughout the Metro and well beyond.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS talk with some of the Metro cable access organizations ad advocates to highlight the importance and future of community programming channels and nonprofits serving our local cities.

GUESTS:

CORALIE (COR) WILSON, Executive Director, CTV North Suburbs Community Cable Programming, Roseville (based)

CHAD JOHNSTON – Executive Director, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)

 

 

 


MARK HUGHES – CTV Staff & “Disability Viewpoints” – Roseville Channel 15


 

 

 

 

AND YOU! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

TruthToTell Monday, April 14- 9AM: COMMUNITY CABLE UNDER SEIGE: Comcast Wants to Strip Your Channels Away - AUDIO PODCAST is UP HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 04/14/2014
Listen to or download this episode here: 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The so-called cutthroat “Cable Wars” of the early 1980s throughout the Metro Twin Cities as core cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul – along with clusters of groups of suburban cities banded forming joint powers –issued requests from proposals for the essential exclusive franchise to supply municipal huge new systems offering upwards of 60 channels of television programming.

The several cable company competitors for each of these franchise awards begged, hired local power figures and promised the moon to the cities or joint cable commissions – PEGs (public, education and government) channels anywhere from three to seven channels of community and public access programming. Even after all the cable company investment, they actually received a license to print money and to string their cables alongside telephone and power lines throughout the service areas under the jurisdiction.

This came with huge annual funding and capital equipment supplied by the winning cable company – and with at least a guarantee of 15 years of a franchise. With time, channels added to the tiers of cable television and more money came in – and still they want to take back those channels they “gifted” to the cities and communities – except that these cable outfits pass through their costs assessing per-subscriber fee. That tells you how profitable each of those public access channels could be if they brought back into the commercial corral – while the cities and nonprofits and just plain folk would lose their ability to program to supply the meager information and services over the channels. Why must they re-capture those channels?

Now, most cable commissions and cities are in the throes of second and third rounds of re-franchise negotiations – and again they want to reduce the number of channels, stop funding these channels altogether and/or stop supplying the production and transmission equipment to sustain these important community links to the cities throughout the Metro and well beyond.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS talk with some of the Metro cable access organizations ad advocates to highlight the importance and future of community programming channels and nonprofits serving our local cities.

GUESTS:

CORALIE (COR) WILSON, Executive Director, CTV North Suburbs Community Cable Programming, Roseville (based)

CHAD JOHNSTON – Executive Director, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)

 


MARK HUGHES – CTV Staff & “Disability Viewpoints” – Roseville Channel 15


AND YOU! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

TruthToTell, Monday Aug 27 - 9AM: WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OUR SENIORS?: Costs of aging in Minnesota; TruthToTell August 20: COMMUNITY CABLE & ACCESS: Can We Keep a Grip on It? - PODCAST BELOW

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, August 27, 2012

SAVE THE DATE: Sept. 20th. Become a Friend of TruthToTell and let us put you on RADIO! Come to TTT’s 5thAnniversary Bash and help keep our weekly shows exploring and examining the issue that matter most – and expand our reach into other corners of the community and Greater Minnesota! And we'll record your voice and ideas on mic! DETAILS HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page!

It’s the been the talk of demographers and advocates for many years: Boomers are aging, becoming part of the dominant demographic of our time while the economy continues to tank and conservative political pressures seem hell-bent on keeping it that way – as long as the 1% gets theirs.

Even as the economics of aging are playing against self-sufficiency, especially in a job market committed to younger, if less stable, workers, life expectancy expands for various reasons. It grows more difficult for aging Minnesotans to find work, retain jobs and contribute to the economy well beyond that very arbitrary retirement deadline set by science society a very long time ago – and long since rendered by nature as generally too young to wrap up one’s working life – with the exception of those rare birds who can both afford and wish to live another thirty to fifty years in the lap of luxury and/or leisure.

If 60 if the new 50 and 70 is the new 55, what the hell are all these people going to do for the rest of their much longer lives? While the gap separating men and women’s life expectancy has narrowed, women are still many years longer the men on average.

And what about women, in particular, who remain too far behind men in the wages and salaries earned, but who are and always have lived up to 20% longer than men, in general, and are thus needing even more opportunity for taking home enough money to stay alive, live independently in their own homes or apartments? Women are struggling mightily against economic pressures that multiply as they age.

We have a strange norm at work here. Because age 65 has been for the longest time a benchmark for retirement, Social Security and Medicare, we have developed a society that labels its citizens 65 and over as all but senile when well more than half of us are perfectly suited to productive work. And we vote. And we remember. Why, even 3M – the granddaddy of Minnesota’s largest corporations – still forces its chief executive out at age 65.

Judges must retire by age 70. Some do so earlier, but with the exponential rise in caseloads for every level of the courts, instead of raising the mandatory retirement age to more like 75 or 80 (with caveats for some of the exigencies of aging as a militating factor), they turn most retired judges into “senior judges.” Senior status keeps these men and women on the bench long after officially retiring.

These are just examples. And some of the other issues confronting seniors in direct relation to their aging are the costs of prescription drugs. Part D Medicare still requires that the so-called Medicare gap be filled with out-of-pocket burdens that can break the bank for the next few years - although the Affordable Healthcare Act appears to eliminate the gap and provide continuous drug coverage starting a couple of years from now.

Still, the cost of these drugs, especially some brand name pharmaceuticals not yet lapsing into generics and often suffered by the chronically ill. For example: there is NO generic substitute for the very effective AdVair asthma steroidal inhaler – so, without insurance coverage, the total cost per month can exceed $200 for each diskus. Its worse for the most effective inhalant for chronic pulmonary patients – those with emphysema and other breathing disorders – where, without insurance, the monthly cost is almost $300. There are worse examples, but if a doctor were to say to a patient with COPD that he or she should use both drugs, that’s a $500 bill for just two of the drugs that may be keeping some patients alive and independent.

That’s why US drug companies hate the Canadian connection where the same – and generic – version (tiotropium) – IS available for about $22 per month through RxRights.org. Even the brand, Spiriva, costs less than $68 a month..

Employment and economic security for seniors and, especially women, but for all of our aging population as well as the costs associated with maintaining good health under the United States medical system fairly scream for reform – reform resisted by those who work on behalf corporate interests of one kind or another – are this week’s topics of discussion with advocates from ElderNomics and Mature Voices/RxRights.org.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI carry on this conversation with ourguests:

Bonnie Watkins, Executive Director, Eldernomics Minnesota; former Executive Director, Minnesota Women’s Consortium

Lee Graczyk, Executive Director, Mature Voices Minnesota and RxRights.org

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, August 20, 2012

This program features a SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCE by NIRVANA bassist,  KRIST NOVOSELIC, talking about his work in support of ranked choice voting and his Thursday appearance at aFairVote/Minnesota fundraiser at Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts. We even play a few bars of a Nirvana song made popular by the grunge rock trio - a career cut short by Novoselic's Nirvana partner, Kurt Cobain's untimely death.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you watch your local access channels or community programming productions? Why not? These have always had tremendous potential for connecting people and neighborhoods in our cities or the cities and regions and they may be forever lost to the powerful cable companies that control their physical and financial resources – mostlyComcast Cable around here – never to be seen again, those connections will be lost.

A prominent StarTribune story a few weeks ago detailed the demise of one cable access group in Eden Prairie after the city council there agreed with the near monopoly cable TV service supplier around here, Comcast, that the entity should be shut down.

We know that long-standing promises Cable companies made to all the cities and clusters of suburbs to maintain both channels and equipment for community programming and access production are under siege and being broken all over the place. Unfortunately, unlike the days when City Councils and Joint Cable Commissions (most suburbs) extracted some serious commitments to a long life of funding and equipment supply for local cable access facilities with two or more channels set aside for local communities and organizations to produce public, educational and religious access programs, city councils and cable commissions are now buying into cable company arguments that not enough people are using those channels and equipment to justify continuing the set-asides.

This may be a chicken-egg issue. Is lack of adequate use spawning the movement to take back the channels? Or are cable access groups brining this on because they fail to produce and promote enough programming to justify continued existence?

Some cable access users and facilities are busier than others creating shows of wide-ranging quality and content. That was bound to be true, no matter the city or group of cities where cable access and community programming outfits operate. Many cities have far different arrangements from their sister cities in the Metro, and some cable franchises cover a multitude of communities, perhaps as many as seven cities in a cluster of cable subscribers and these operate under joint powers agreements struck in order to secure the best deal possible from the cable companies who bid on those franchises with extravagant promises, some promising the moon in terms of channel numbers, programs and varieties, carriage of local television stations originally watched free of charge with rabbit ears or rooftop antennas. And cable access cameras, studios, channels and other equipment and facilities to broadcast programs to every nook and cranny of each city.

Aside from periodic complaints about First Amendment abuses by some access producers, most cable access organizations have supplies community information and programming ranging from scrolling community calendars and event announcements to well-produced in-studio discussions or edited digital documentaries. But, as with all available services, such capability must be heavily promoted and facilitated – both in training users on complex equipment and production values and techniques and in the sort of content that might reach wide or narrow audiences with some ease.

With cable companies now lusting after underutilized and potentially profitable access channels in some franchise locations, any city or joint commission agreeing to turn channels back for company use, or curtailing the existence or use of company-supplied space or equipment is setting precedents for future court challenges of franchise promises long ago made by the original cable company owners. Most every original franchise applicant company has been bought out – by one or a series – of the ever-consolidating media industry, thanks to an eroding regulatory climate, something this program has explored in some, if not complete depth over the last couple of years.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL brings on a few advocates for local access, examine the different local franchises that promise such services and channel space and even ask a Comcast rep to come on and explain why out of the hundreds of channels available, they feel the need to scuttle such franchises just to tack on more commercial programming that is far less useful to us than programs created and cablecast by our own people.

GUESTS:

 JEFF STRATE – former Eden Prairie cable access producer and activist; former TPT producer of cultural affairs programming.

 MIKE WASSENAAR – Executive Director, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN); longtime community programmer; former Chair of KFAI’s Board of Directors

 MICHAEL FALLON – Executive Director, Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN)

 ALAN MILLER - Cable Access Producer ("Access to Democracy"), Eagan; Film/Cinema Studies instructor, MCTC; Frequent guest and guest host, AM950. Author, You CanMake a Difference

TruthToTell Monday, August 20-9AM: COMMUNITY CABLE & ACCESS: Can We Keep a Grip on It?; TruthToTell, Aug 13: NONPROFIT CONUNDRUM: To Merge or Not Merge - PODCAST BELOW

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you watch your local access channels or community programming productions? Why not? These have always had tremendous potential for connecting people and neighborhoods in our cities or the cities and regions and they may be forever lost to the powerful cable companies that control their physical and financial resources – mostlyComcast Cable around here – never to be seen again, those connections will be lost.

A prominent StarTribune story a few weeks ago detailed the demise of one cable access group in Eden Prairie after the city council there agreed with the near monopoly cable TV service supplier around here, Comcast, that the entity should be shut down.

We know that long-standing promises Cable companies made to all the cities and clusters of suburbs to maintain both channels and equipment for community programming and access production are under siege and being broken all over the place. Unfortunately, unlike the days when City Councils and Joint Cable Commissions (most suburbs) extracted some serious commitments to a long life of funding and equipment supply for local cable access facilities with two or more channels set aside for local communities and organizations to produce public, educational and religious access programs, city councils and cable commissions are now buying into cable company arguments that not enough people are using those channels and equipment to justify continuing the set-asides.

This may be a chicken-egg issue. Is lack of adequate use spawning the movement to take back the channels? Or are cable access groups brining this on because they fail to produce and promote enough programming to justify continued existence?

Some cable access users and facilities are busier than others creating shows of wide-ranging quality and content. That was bound to be true, no matter the city or group of cities where cable access and community programming outfits operate. Many cities have far different arrangements from their sister cities in the Metro, and some cable franchises cover a multitude of communities, perhaps as many as seven cities in a cluster of cable subscribers and these operate under joint powers agreements struck in order to secure the best deal possible from the cable companies who bid on those franchises with extravagant promises, some promising the moon in terms of channel numbers, programs and varieties, carriage of local television stations originally watched free of charge with rabbit ears or rooftop antennas. And cable access cameras, studios, channels and other equipment and facilities to broadcast programs to every nook and cranny of each city.

Aside from periodic complaints about First Amendment abuses by some access producers, most cable access organizations have supplies community information and programming ranging from scrolling community calendars and event announcements to well-produced in-studio discussions or edited digital documentaries. But, as with all available services, such capability must be heavily promoted and facilitated – both in training users on complex equipment and production values and techniques and in the sort of content that might reach wide or narrow audiences with some ease.

With cable companies now lusting after underutilized and potentially profitable access channels in some franchise locations, any city or joint commission agreeing to turn channels back for company use, or curtailing the existence or use of company-supplied space or equipment is setting precedents for future court challenges of franchise promises long ago made by the original cable company owners. Most every original franchise applicant company has been bought out – by one or a series – of the ever-consolidating media industry, thanks to an eroding regulatory climate, something this program has explored in some, if not complete depth over the last couple of years.

Join the conversation with TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL next Monday here on TruthToTell. We’ll bring on a few advocates for local access, examine the different local franchises that promise such services and channel space and even ask a Comcast rep to come on and explain why out of the hundreds of channels available, they feel the need to scuttle such franchises just to tack on more commercial programming that is far less useful to us than programs created and cablecast by our own people.

GUESTS:

JEFF STRATE – Eden Prairie cable access producer and activist; former TPT producer of cultural affairs programming.

MIKE WASSENAAR – Executive Director, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN); longtime community programmer; former Chair of KFAI’s Board of Directors

MICHAEL FALLON – Executive Director, Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN)

INVITED:  EMMETT COLEMAN, Comcast Government Affairs

AND for the younger set - a possible visit from a major celebrity talking about - oh, yes - ranked choice voting!

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, August 13, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I reckon very few of you have not been involved with sort of nonprofit organization somewhere in your lifetime. Some of us are what many might call nonprofit junkies, although that might be stretching a point, because almost always, it isn’t the nonprofit itself, but what services it performs for the betterment of humankind – usually – that attracts us.

Some nonprofits offer direct services to people in need. Others work with other groups to organize communities or like-minded groups to accomplish a specific mission – often an education effort of some sort or one that delivers services to a specific constituency or funds others doing the same.

Recent years have found many of the thousands of nonprofits re-assessing how they’re funded and governed, perhaps partly because of diminishing pools of dollars available, especially if funders change their priorities in midstream or community and constituent needs change significantly (rare), or even the possibility that expansion is required to fulfill one’s mission (fill the need or abandon it).

Nonprofit boards and staff must often look internally, the most difficult perspective of all – to decide what gut-wrenching changes are needed (aren’t they all?) to either expand their reach or even to survive.

Some of the questions needing to be asked: Can the organization sustain itself as currently configured? Is the governance model working? Who’s in charge and is it an appropriate authority? Is the tail wagging the dog? And, most of all: is the mission being met? Is our constituency being adequately and properly served?

Strategic planning is a normal method for assessing all of these, but one of the most difficult decisions is yet to come for many groups:

To merge or not to merge? And, if yes, with whom? How will that look?

Resistance to change is well-known – classic as a human dynamic. Giving up independence and the authority it brings is another conundrum, especially if a founding mother or father is part of the mix. The questions are unending, which is why we can’t even ask all of them, let alone answer any of them.

But we can create a conversation about the challenges faced by nonprofits as they rush to make hard choices in hard times. Some advocates – especially large social services funders like Greater Twin Cities United Way – clearly believe that mergers portend more success than failure and they offer a study of 41 merged nonprofits conducted over the last several months by MAP for Nonprofits in concert with Wilder Foundation. Titled“Success Factors in Nonprofit Mergers” the study spawned a day-long session last week, held to thrash out the pros and cons of the merger movement. The entire enterprise was funded by Wells Fargo Bank, The Huss Foundation and the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota.

Others in the business of consulting, advising and servicing nonprofits aren’t necessarily so sure. There may be many success factors among nonprofits who’ve merged, but did they really have to and have their individual missions been enhanced by the combined corporations?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with two of the leading organizers of the study and the ensuing conference, along with a couple of leaders of well known organizations that have merged, sometime several times over the years. We’ll also bring in an outside consultant in organizational effectiveness and community empowerment.

GUESTS:

 JUDY ALNES – Executive Director of MAP for Nonprofits


 DINAH SWAIN – Director of Community Forums,Greater Twin Cities United Way; member of the Systems Change and Innovation team

 ARMANDO CAMACHO – President,Neighborhood House, St. Paul



 STEVE CRAMER – President and Executive Director, Project for Pride in Living; former Minneapolis City Councilmember; former executive director of the Minneapolis Community Development Agency


BARBARA RAYE – Executive Director, Center for Policy, Planning, and Performance


TruthToTell August 20: COMMUNITY CABLE & ACCESS: Can We Keep a Grip on It? - PODCAST BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 08/20/2012

This program features a SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCE by NIRVANA bassist,  KRIST NOVOSELIC, talking about his work in support of ranked choice voting and his Thursday appearance at a FairVote/Minnesota fundraiser at Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts. We even play a few bars of a Nirvana song made popular by the grunge rock trio - a career cut short by Novoselic's Nirvana partner, Kurt Cobain's untimely death.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you watch your local access channels or community programming productions? Why not? These have always had tremendous potential for connecting people and neighborhoods in our cities or the cities and regions and they may be forever lost to the powerful cable companies that control their physical and financial resources – mostly Comcast Cable around here – never to be seen again, those connections will be lost.

A prominent StarTribune story a few weeks ago detailed the demise of one cable access group in Eden Prairie after the city council there agreed with the near monopoly cable TV service supplier around here, Comcast, that the entity should be shut down.

We know that long-standing promises Cable companies made to all the cities and clusters of suburbs to maintain both channels and equipment for community programming and access production are under siege and being broken all over the place. Unfortunately, unlike the days when City Councils and Joint Cable Commissions (most suburbs) extracted some serious commitments to a long life of funding and equipment supply for local cable access facilities with two or more channels set aside for local communities and organizations to produce public, educational and religious access programs, city councils and cable commissions are now buying into cable company arguments that not enough people are using those channels and equipment to justify continuing the set-asides.

This may be a chicken-egg issue. Is lack of adequate use spawning the movement to take back the channels? Or are cable access groups brining this on because they fail to produce and promote enough programming to justify continued existence?

Some cable access users and facilities are busier than others creating shows of wide-ranging quality and content. That was bound to be true, no matter the city or group of cities where cable access and community programming outfits operate. Many cities have far different arrangements from their sister cities in the Metro, and some cable franchises cover a multitude of communities, perhaps as many as seven cities in a cluster of cable subscribers and these operate under joint powers agreements struck in order to secure the best deal possible from the cable companies who bid on those franchises with extravagant promises, some promising the moon in terms of channel numbers, programs and varieties, carriage of local television stations originally watched free of charge with rabbit ears or rooftop antennas. And cable access cameras, studios, channels and other equipment and facilities to broadcast programs to every nook and cranny of each city.

Aside from periodic complaints about First Amendment abuses by some access producers, most cable access organizations have supplies community information and programming ranging from scrolling community calendars and event announcements to well-produced in-studio discussions or edited digital documentaries. But, as with all available services, such capability must be heavily promoted and facilitated – both in training users on complex equipment and production values and techniques and in the sort of content that might reach wide or narrow audiences with some ease.

With cable companies now lusting after underutilized and potentially profitable access channels in some franchise locations, any city or joint commission agreeing to turn channels back for company use, or curtailing the existence or use of company-supplied space or equipment is setting precedents for future court challenges of franchise promises long ago made by the original cable company owners. Most every original franchise applicant company has been bought out – by one or a series – of the ever-consolidating media industry, thanks to an eroding regulatory climate, something this program has explored in some, if not complete depth over the last couple of years.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL brings on a few advocates for local access, examine the different local franchises that promise such services and channel space and even ask a Comcast rep to come on and explain why out of the hundreds of channels available, they feel the need to scuttle such franchises just to tack on more commercial programming that is far less useful to us than programs created and cablecast by our own people.

GUESTS:

 JEFF STRATE – former Eden Prairie cable access producer and activist; former TPT producer of cultural affairs programming.

 MIKE WASSENAAR – Executive Director, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN); longtime community programmer; former Chair of KFAI’s Board of Directors

 MICHAEL FALLON – Executive Director, Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN)

 

 ALAN MILLER - Cable Access Producer ("Access to Democracy"), Eagan; Film/Cinema Studies instructor, MCTC; Frequent guest and guest host, AM950. Author, You CanMake a Difference


53:50 minutes (49.28 MB)