Los Angeles, CA On Tuesday, May 5, 2009 the powerful Budget and Finance Committee took a serious look at a proposal to restore four of the fourteen public cable channels that were shut down by Time Warner Cable in January 2009. The proposal was put forth by a newly formed public benefit corporation formed specifically to operate and manage the public television studios and channels. The Public Television Industry Corporationwas formed by a coalition of prominent citizens, independent television producers, members of the screen actors guild and former elected and appointed officials.
Watch this Full Disclosure Network® 11 minute video news report featuring clips from the Budget & Finance Committee meetings where members Bill Rosendahl and Chairman Bernard Parks took a favorable look at the need to bring back public cable TV channels and studios to L.A. Also featured is Mark Wolf, Assistant General Manager of the Information Technology Agency who initial review of a proposal submitted by the Public Television Industry Corporation (P-TIC).
Featured in this video update are some of the sixty plus people and the officials who testified at the April 29th and May 5th City Hall hearings before the Budget and Finance Committee on ITA funding for public cable channels. A few of the P-TIC Board of Advisors who testified and or sent letters of endorsement for the proposal are:
When Time Warner Cable opted out of providing public access facilities in January, they were required, under the new DIVCA legislation, to pay the city approximately $5 million per year to be used exclusively for capital costs for replacing the public studios. This 1% cable franchise fee cannot be used for any other purpose according to the legislation and city officials told the Council committee they expect to receive the first payment of this money in just a couple of weeks.
HELP PUBLIC VOICE BE HEARD
The concept of public access cable channels, as intended by the FCC mandate, was to provide opportunity and facilities whereby independent producers could record their shows in sound proof studios with editing rooms, professional assistance and training. The FCC concept was to encourage citizen involvement and coverage of issues and events by enabling the public’s voice to be heard in contrast to the main stream media and government perspective.
MORE CHANNELS COMING?
With the telecoms now providing Internet access and video delivery under the DIVCA legislation, A-T-T and Verizon are also required to provide public channels in the same manner as are the cable companies. Currently A-T-T has proposed a plan to place all Southern California Cities public programming on one channel in an “On Demand” fashion so that they will be downloaded rather than cablecast. The City of Los Angeles is opposing the A-T-T plan known as U-Verse and insisting they provide separate public channels.