PSO’s Community Partners Concert – PCTV PROMO

March 3, 2010

[ ?posts_id=3314710&dest=57589]

The Community Partners Program is an annual collaboration with 50 Pittsburgh area nonprofit organizations. In 2010, the PSO Community Partners Program will celebrate its seventh year of this innovative approach to fund-raising and community partnership. Through the Community Partners Program, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: Builds mutually supportive relationships with fellow nonprofits in the Pittsburgh area Provides a low-cost fundraising event for multiple organizations/helps participating diverse Partner nonprofits raise money Expands visibility of Partner nonprofit organizations Brings new and diverse constituencies to Heinz Hall for a performance Offers a performance that features the PSO in concert with a diverse set of artists

Join Us for an Evening at Heinz Hall

March 1, 2010

We’re pleased to announce that Pittsburgh Community Television has become a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Community Partner! In the past, the Community Partners’ concert has showcased names such as Isaac Hayes and Chaka Khan.


We ask you to join PCTV for this special event. This June, disco icon Gloria Gaynor (“I Will Survive”, “Never Can Say Goodbye”) will grace the stage with her presence and performance for the Community Partners’ concert. When you use our code to purchase tickets, all of the proceeds go directly to PCTV! What a great way to support community television and enjoy a night out at the same time!

Here are the important details:

Check out more information about this year’s PSO Community Partners event. For more information about the PSO Community Partners program, click here. Hope to see you there!

PJ’s for Haiti

February 4, 2010

In light of the recent tragic earthquake, it’s been amazing to see so many people from all different walks of life come together to help the people of Haiti as best they could. Community Producer Shirley Douglas and the girls from PJ Talk are also doing their part, and they ask you to join them in their endeavor.

( / CC BY 2.0)

Shirley is asking for donations of baby and children’s sized pajamas (new or in good condition) to be given to Haitian kids who were victims of the earthquake. In the lobby of the Pittsburgh Community Television station there is a big green bin in which the pajamas may be dropped off. If you have any pajamas that you can donate, please come by to our building at 1300 Western Avenue in Pittsburgh.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 412-322-7570 or send an email ( Thank you in advance for your donation!

Changes in 2010

February 3, 2010

Our Executive Director John Patterson sent an important e-mail to Pittsburgh Community Television producers about the changes to the station and the way the programming will be handled in the next couple of months. Click here to read the entirety of the e-mail. Here are some important excerpts:

1. The Seven Major Changes
2. Programming Diversity
3. Financial Resources
4. Open Meeting

1. The Seven Major Changes

Programming: PCTV will develop and nurture a greater diversity of community oriented programming representative of the diverse needs and interests of Pittsburgh residents.

Facilities and Equipment: PCTV will address vital equipment and facility needs in the areas of field production, editing, and program playback.

Training: PCTV will expand its training programs to encompass new media such as social networking, blogging, and vlogging.

Youth Media: PCTV will develop collaborations that expand opportunities for youth at PCTV.

Financial Resources: PCTV will diversify revenue streams to include sources beyond funds received through the cable franchise.

Organization: PCTV will strengthen organizational accountability and governance through targeted changes and the completion of a strategic plan.

Website: PCTV will complete the phase one conversion of its website to Web 2.0.

2. Programming Diversity

Perhaps the most important goal for the year, and the one that will involve the most change for you as a producer, will be our effort to increase programming diversity. In our talks with the City, this came up again and again as an area of concern. The strength of the traditional public access model is its emphasis on first-come first-served access. In and of itself, however, this approach does not ensure a range of different kinds of programming. In our discussions with the City, it became clear that a new approach is needed.

For many years, PCTV has programmed its channel via series lottery. Producers indicate their time preference and names are drawn at random. Beginning in the second half of the year, this practice will change. Instead, we will divide the programming week into blocks of different types of programming. For example, Monday Nights might be community events and neighborhoods, Tuesdays Youth, Wednesdays Sports and Recreation, Thursday Music and Entertainment, etc. Your programs will be scheduled based on the block that they fit in, rather than a random drawing.

This is a radical change for PCTV and you may wonder why we are taking this step. There are several reasons. Number one, we feel this is the best way to stimulate a diversity of programming. Setting aside a block of hours each week for certain types of programming allows us to identify areas we are weak in and take steps to develop new programs. Second, it helps build viewership by breaking down the schedule into blocks that make it easier for people to find the programs they want to see. Finally, it provides a way for PCTV to generate income through business underwriting (more on this below).

A key part of my vision at PCTV is the development of new programming through partnerships with other organizations and through collaboration with community producers. For example, I’d like to have a block of programming on PCTV that focuses on job training and help for those seeking work. In order to develop that programming, we may partner with an organization that has expertise in that area, or work with a community producer that has an interest in creating that type of programming. Working together in this way, we will begin to diversify programming on PCTV.

3. Financial Resources

To be frank, the funds available via the cable franchise are not going to be sufficient in the long-term. As an organization, PCTV needs to become more entrepreneurial and develop other ways of generating income. Two of the key ways we are going to begin doing that this year are through the launching of an underwriting program for businesses, and the development of a studio rental and production-for-hire program.

4. Open Meeting

In the coming months we will be sharing more information about these and other changes. In order to provide a forum to discuss these changes and address other issues related to community producing, I would like to invite all of you to an open meeting at PCTV on March 29th at 6 pm.

Click here for the entire e-mail.

And as always, if you have any questions, please call 412-322-7570 or send us an e-mail at Let us know your thoughts regarding all of this in the comments section. Thanks!!

Count Me In

February 2, 2010

[ ?posts_id=3184141&dest=57589]

How local communities are vital to the success of the 2010 Census.

Annual Open Meeting and New Programming

January 19, 2010

If you plan to come to our Annual Open Meeting this Friday at 6:30pm, today is the last day to RSVP. If you’re interested in knowing PCTV’s goals for the year and beyond, asking questions, or meeting the board and fellow producers, then this is the meeting you should sign up for! It’s free, and refreshments are included. Let us know TODAY via phone (412-322-7570) or e-mail ( if you are going to come.

Just last week Monica, our Special Projects Director, taped the Spirit of King Awards at the Kingsley Association to air on PCTV. Here’s a preview of the ceremony:

This premieres on January 28th at 7:00pm and the replay dates are:
Saturday 1/30/2010, 10:00 PM
Monday 2/1/2010, 12:00 PM
Friday 2/5/2010, 6:00 PM
Tuesday 2/9/2010, 1:00 PM
Friday 2/12/2010, 3:00 PM

And of course, if you don’t get Pittsburgh Community TV on your television, you can watch the Spirit of King Awards via our live stream on .

Finally, we are excited to announce PCTV’s new partnership with Saturday Light Brigade, a family radio show. Along with participating radio stations in the area, PCTV channel 21 will now broadcast SLB’s radio feed accompanied by a photo montage. You can catch the program on Saturdays at 6am-9am. For more information about the Saturday Light Brigade, visit their website:

Happy 2010!

December 31, 2009

It’s amazing to think about how fast this year–and this decade(!)–has gone by, and how much PCTV has experienced throughout 2009. We had the Cable Advisory Group Meetings, acquired a new Executive Director, mobilized our supporters and went to city council meetings during the final stages of the Verizon cable franchise process, attended outreach events, produced various special projects (including our G-20 show), and conducted our annual fundraising campaign. We accomplished many tasks that will enable us to make positive changes for 2010.

My personal goal for PCTV in the new year is to expand and enhance our presence on the web through community social media tools. For example, our location is now added on the geolocation (and game!) site Foursquare! We’ll have to think of some fun incentives for people to “check in” during their visits to our building. You can locate us on Foursquare by searching for “Pittsburgh Community Television”. We have a couple other social media ideas up our sleeve as well, but what other social network platforms would you like PCTV to implement? If you work for a non-profit, what tools have worked well for your business or charity?

Thank you for the help you have given PCTV throughout the year. Happy New Year from everyone here at Pittsburgh Community Television!

From our December E-Newsletter

December 10, 2009

We sent out the newest edition of our e-newsletter earlier today. To receive our updates in your inbox, click here.

  1. Introduction
  2. Put PCTV on Your Gift List
  3. Annual Open Meeting
  4. PCTV Wishlist
  5. An update on PCTV funding
  6. Producer Spotlight
  7. PCTV Hangs Out with the Pirates at PNC Park
  8. SciTech a Great Success

1. Introduction
Season’s Greetings! As this year draws to a close and we prepare for a new one, I want to wish everyone in the PCTV family a safe and happy holiday.  2009 has been quite a year for PCTV and we’re looking forward to making 2010 even better.  We have great plans in store and we look forward to unveiling those in the new year.  If you haven’t done so already, please make your end of the year donation to PCTV. See below for details.  Thanks again for all your support.

2. Put PCTV on Your Gift List
When thinking about your end of the year giving, please consider PCTV.

PCTV performs a vital service in the City of Pittsburgh and we need your support to continue our efforts.  Making a donation is as easy as visiting our home page at

You can also send a check to us at:
Pittsburgh Community Television
1300 Western Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Thanks for your support!

3. Annual Open Meeting
January 22nd, 6:30pm

Please join us for our Annual Open Meeting on January 22nd at PCTV. This is your chance to meet with the board and learn more about PCTV and where it’s headed.  Refreshments will be provided.

4. PCTV Wishlist
PCTV has been growing in a number of ways in 2009, and a vital part of that is due to your overwhelming support!  We will be experiencing more of this positive change in the upcoming year. One way in which we need to be building up a better, more efficient television station in 2010 is by updating our video production and office equipment. Our producers can testify to this. Right now, however, this crucial equipment is not covered by PCTV’s budget; therefore, we are asking for your help.

The PCTV staff has been putting together a station “wishlist.” If you have or know someone who has one of the items on our list and would be willing to donate it, let us know. We are willing to take equipment that is a couple of years old and in good working condition. All gifts in-kind will be tax-deductible. Please take a moment to scan our wishlist. Thank you!

Station Needs
-New flooring for the facility and studio
-Ceiling tiles & lighting
-Skilled painters and paint to paint the rest of the facility
-Software-web apps, office’s apps, editing apps, etc

Video Production Needs
-Apple G5 Dual Core Desktop Machines or newer
-Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo Laptops or newer
-Ram for MAC
-Apple mice & keyboards
-External FireWire hard drives
-15″ or better LCD Computer Monitors
-DVCam VTR’s (DSR 11, 25, 45)
-Pro-sumer DV/DVCam Camcorders (Sony PD 150, PD 170, VX2000, V2100. Canon XL1, XL2, etc.)
-Small folding risers (bleachers for audiences or large discussion groups)
-Good props that have flexible uses
-Set Designs
-Seamless cyc
-DVD recorders

Office Needs
-Computers (specifications:  Windows XP OS (no Vista), 1.5 – 2 GHz processor speed or better, at least 1GB RAM with 4+ GB optimal)
-Ram for PC

If you have an item that you wish to donate, please contact Kurt Haverstock at 412-322-7570.

Where do We Go From Here?
An update on PCTV funding

Since we updated you in our last issue, some progress has been made in resolving the issue offunding for PCTV but at this point there is no definitive news to report.  The Pittsburgh Cable Communications Advisory Committee (PCCAC) and the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Information Systems (CIS) are continuing to work on a strategic plan that will determine what funding is available for public access.  We have been actively participating in this process.  Although their are no guarantees, we hope that the process will be concluded at the end of January.  We hope to have some news for you then.

Please check our website at for periodic updates.

6. Producer Spotlight
Niles Smith

Each month with our e-newsletter we want to highlight one of our producers. This month’s producer is Niles Smith, producer of the program Pittsburgh Gospel Showcase.

Niles Smith graduated from California State College and went on to study at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. After attending school, he became an intern at Pittsburgh Community TV. Niles was hired by WPXI after his internship was over and worked there as an editor for five years. He came back to PCTV as a community producer, and now he and his wife Stephanie are celebrating the 5 year anniversary of their PCTV show Pittsburgh Gospel Showcase. The show is a team effort with Stephanie hosting the program and Niles working as the director, producer, and editor. In addition to Pittsburgh Gospel Showcase, Niles produces the show Hood Spot.

You can watch the Pittsburgh Gospel Showcase at 9pm on Sundays and check out videos from the program on YouTube:

7. PCTV Hangs Out with the Pirates at PNC Park

On Wednesday November 11, 2009, PCTV Executive Director John Patterson and Outreach Director Darlene Terry spent the evening at PNC Park. That night, the Pittsburgh Pirates hosted their Minority Business Advisory Board’s Professional Diversity Networking Reception. At this invitation only event, professionals from diverse backgrounds had the opportunity to connect with organizations, Pirate Players and celebrities.  PCTV shared resources with nonprofits, for-profits, and corporate guests in attendance.

Through the Community Development Department, the Pittsburgh Pirates seek to expand current and develop new community relationships with members of the minority communities and with others that share the same commitment to those communities.

We are looking forward to the next one.  This event improves each time.  According to Chaz Kellem, Pirates Diversity Initiative Manager  “We are very excited about the future with regards to our community initiatives, educational programs and events for the entire region.  We look to make the event better for years to come”.  Everyone had a great time networking while getting autographs from Pirates players in attendance.

8. SciTech a Great Success
Kids Learn about Science and PCTV

In early November PCTV spent an exciting week at SciTech Days in the Carnegie Science Center.  SciTech Days is a twice-yearly smorgasbord of hands on demonstrations, presentations and workshops led by corporate and professional leaders whose passion is science and technology.  The special week long program links classroom learing with real-world applications, allowing students and visitors to explore industries and careers in robotics, technology and science.

PCTV’s exhibit gave students the opportunity to learn about public access TV production and careers in the field. Students also have the opportunity to get some hands on experience with professional electronic field production equipment.  Long lines of students waited for their turn in front of the camera. With a microphone in their hand and fellow students operating the camera, each student took on the role of news reporter, scientist or medical researcher and told the story of their experience at SciTech Days.   “I’m glad my class came”, “Can’t wait to tell my parents that kids can produce their own TV show”, “How come this is not in our area?”, and “There is so much to see and touch at SciTech,” were just some of the things students said.  On hand were some of PCTV’s volunteers to answer student questions and to assist them with PCTV’s exhibit.

“This was my third time helping out at SciTech,” said Christie Rapsas, PCTV Outreach Assistant.  “It’s so much fun teaching kids how to use our equipment, hearing what they have to say on the camera and seeing the excitement when we tell them that they too can have their own show.  I look forward to SciTech throughout the year!”

Special thanks to our dedicated community producers Bruce AveryAmber Paige BerryKaren Gainey, June King and Regina Ragin, who took time out of their busy days to volunteer.

All students and families should attend this worthwhile event, the only one of its kind in the United States.   If you missed this one, the next SciTech Days will be March 2010 and will showcase exhibits and career opportunities in Green Technologies.


Whether you are a PCTV producer, a viewer, or just someone interested in keeping community media alive and thriving, we thank you for your support.


John Patterson
Executive Director

Pittsburgh Community Television

End of the Year Campaign

December 1, 2009

In an effort to raise funds for the station, we have just recently sent out an end-of-the-year letter to all of our potential donors. It also contains information about PCTV, our executive director’s contact information for questions, and a list of donation incentives. Your contribution is vital to the molding of PCTV into a first-rate media center! Please take a few moments to read our letter:

November 3, 2009

I am writing to you today because I know that PCTV is important to you.  Whether you are a producer, a viewer, a performer, a local businessperson, a non-profit worker, or just someone who believes in local media, your life has been touched in some way by the vital local resource we call PCTV.

If you’ve been following the news lately, you know that PCTV is currently in a period of change.  In August I was hired as the organization’s new Executive Director and in September the City of Pittsburgh approved a new cable franchise for Verizon.  As 2009 comes to a close, we are poised to begin the process of envisioning a new and brighter future for PCTV and the community we serve.

As we take a big step into the future, I want to ask you to support the cause by making an end of the year contribution to PCTV.  While PCTV has been grateful to have the financial support of the City through the cable franchise, these funds do not cover the full cost of what it takes to provide a first-class media center to the residents of Pittsburgh.  As we look toward the future, your ongoing support is vital to keeping PCTV vibrant and healthy in 2010 and beyond.

Please take the time to send your contribution in today. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 412-322-7570 or  I look forward to working with you as we begin transforming PCTV into the world-class community media center that Pittsburgh needs and deserves.


John H. Patterson
Executive Director

Becoming a financial supporter of PCTV has benefits! Choose the level that’s right for you.

Friend: Up to $99

  • Acknowledgement as a PCTV donor in all publications and on the PCTV website.

Supporter:  $100+

    All of the benefits listed above, plus:
  • PCTV T-shirt

Team PCTV: $250+

    All of the benefits listed above plus:
  • PCTV Polo Shirt

Ally: $500+

    All of the benefits listed above plus:
  • PCTV Duffel Bag

Advocate: $1,000+

    All of the benefits listed above plus:
  • Lunch with Executive Director John Patterson

Leader: $2,500+

    All of the benefits listed above plus:
  • Production of a public service announcement for the non-profit of your choice.

Benefactor:  $3,000+

    All of the benefits listed above, plus:
  • Acknowledgement of your contribution on a donor plaque in the PCTV Lobby.

Patron: $5,000+

    All of the benefits listed above, plus:
  • Your contribution acknowledged on a new field camera purchased for community use.

Script to Screen Contest

November 17, 2009

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in a week–that 2010 is right around the corner? If you have received our last couple e-newsletters in your inbox, you know that PCTV has been through a lot of positive changes and is about to embark on new challenges and opportunities, including funding and hosting 2010’s ACM Conference.

There is a new film contest that will be held mostly through December hosted by Script to Screen (PCTV producer A. Paige Berry’s program) open to residents of Pennsylvania. The challenge is to make a 5-7 minute film about love, and you can find all the details here: (click on “Contest”). Entries will be accepted between December 1st and January 6th; the grand prize winner receives $500 and an interview on Script to Screen. This sounds like fun, and hopefully you’ll have a chance to take part! (Did I mention that there is no entry fee??)

We had this month’s Producer Prep workshop last week, so to all new producers: welcome to Pittsburgh Community Television! The next Orientation and Producer Prep workshops are December 4th and December 10th, respectively.