Posts Tagged ‘verizon’

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 info@pctv21.org. Let us know your thoughts regarding all of this in the comments section. Thanks!!

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!

The Viewfinder

October 7, 2009

We just sent out a new issue of The Viewfinder—Pittsburgh Community Television’s e-newsletter. This current issue includes information about the Verizon Franchise Agreement“Inside the Outside of G-20”, a Producer Spotlight, and an introduction from John Patterson, our Executive Director. Are you signed up for The Viewfinder? If not, just send an e-mail requesting to be on the PCTV to info@pctv21.org.

It’s that time once again to apply for a series time slot for the January 2010-June 2010 season! The deadline for applying is October 31st at 5pm, and you can download the application form from our website.

Were you able to catch our live call-in program “Inside the Outside of G-20”? If so, what did you think? Do you think we should produce programs that are similar in their format to this in the future? Go ahead and leave us a message in the comments. If you haven’t gotten the chance to watch it on PCTV, you can view clips from the program on our YouTube page.

Final Vote Sept 15th

September 10, 2009

Quick update about the Verizon Cable Franchise Agreement:

Yesterday during their Standing Committees Meeting, City Council gave tentative approval to the current Verizon franchise agreement (3 for the agreement, 4 abstentions, 2 not present). Pittsburgh Community Television is asking for your help in this process one last time.

Before City Council approves this contract, it needs to take PCTV concerns into consideration and work to resolve them. In order to do this, we need to make sure PCTV remains on the top of their priority list. You can help by contacting your city council representative by phone or e-mail (even if you’ve done so already) and giving them the same message we have been relaying to them for weeks: Pittsburgh Community Television is important to me and the community; give Pittsburgh and PCTV the best deal possible in this franchise agreement.

We are almost at the end of this Verizon process, and we thank you for all of your support.

District 1 Darlene M. Harris
darlene.harris@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
412-255-2135

District 2 Theresa Kail-Smith
theresa.kail-smith@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
412-255-8963

District 3 Bruce Kraus
bruce.kraus@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
412-255-2130

District 4 James Motznik
jim.motznik@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
412-255-2131

District 5 Doug Shields
doug.shields@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
412-255-8965

District 6 Tonya Payne
tonya.payne@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
412-255-2134

District 7 Patrick Dowd
patrick.dowd@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
412-255-2140

District 8 William Peduto
william.peduto@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
412-255-2133

District 9 Pastor Ricky Burgess
ricky.burgess@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
412-255-2137

It’s Not Over Yet

September 1, 2009

A HUGE thank you to all of our supporters who were able to make it to the City-County Building for the public hearing!!

Over 90 people registered to speak in front of city council for the hearing that lasted about 4 1/2 hours. Even though a lot of those people had to leave before their names were called, PCTV had a strong presence in the room–about 70 of the registered speakers were PCTV supporters who shared stories about the impact of the station on the community, demanded more funding and resources, and stressed the importance of their 1st Amendment rights and a level playing field to express themselves. The battle, as they say, was certainly a victory for Pittsburgh Community Television but we have not yet won the war. City Council still has to vote yea or nay on the agreement within 30 days, though due to the city government’s preoccupation with the G-20, the vote could be cast as early as next week.

We still need your help in order to influence city council to vote AGAINST the current Verizon Franchise Agreement. We urge you to contact your city council representative and let them know that the provisions in the current agreement are inadequate to meet the needs of Pittsburgh Community Television for the next 10 years.

The turn-out and eloquence of yesterday certainly made an impact on some council members’ thoughts toward our station, but some will need more persuasion to even consider voting against this agreement. Click here (or here) for a list of the city council members and their contact information, and, as always, if you have any questions for PCTV you can reach us at 412-322-7570. The future of Pittsburgh Community Television is in your hands!

Related news articles:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Verizon tells City Council it will open center for FiOS customers
WDUQ: Public Hearing held in City on Verizon Cable Agreement

Pardon the Interruption

August 25, 2009

Your Support is Needed TODAY!

August 20, 2009

On August 31st, a public hearing regarding the Verizon Franchise Agreement will be taking place at the City of Pittsburgh’s City-County Building. That’s only about a week and a half away, and we need to let city council know how much support Pittsburgh Community Television has in this city. In the tentative franchise agreement with Verizon there are provisions for public access television that are INADEQUATE to serve the needs of PCTV for the next 10 years. I set up a page on the blog called “Verizon Franchise Agreement Guide” that includes comparison charts, talking points, and ways you can impact the outcome of the upcoming franchise agreement. If you have any other questions about aspects of the franchise not included on that page, give us a call at 412-322-7570 or send me an e-mail (christie@pctv21.org).

Want to let city council know that the current franchise agreement is unsatisfactory? Give your city council member a call or send them an e-mail TODAY. Let them know how important Pittsburgh Community Television is to you and your community. Also, attend and register to speak at the August 31st (1:00pm) public hearing. We need your support! The future of Pittsburgh Community Television depends on it.

Public Hearing Update

July 23, 2009

Quick update:

The Public Hearing for the Verizon Franchise Agreement is now on Monday, August 31st at 1:00pm in the Council Chambers of the City-County Building (5th floor). If you would like to speak at this meeting, call the city clerk’s office before August 31st and give them your name.

The City Clerk’s Office phone number is (412) 255-2138.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on August 31st!

CANCELED: July 29th Public Hearing

July 21, 2009

We just found out that next week’s Public Hearing regarding the Verizon Franchise Agreement has been canceled. I will immediately post the new date when it is rescheduled.

Tomorrow the city will be hosting a Post Agenda Hearing about the franchise agreement, during which speakers who are experts in the subject will discuss the topic at hand. We would like to establish a presence at the hearing, so we invite friends of PCTV to join us in attendance. Please keep in mind that only the guests invited by the city council will be permitted to speak at this hearing. The details include the following:

Wed. July 22, 2009; 1:00 pm
Council Chambers
 (5th floor of the City-County Building in Pittsburgh [414 Grant Street])

We hope you can make it downtown tomorrow. Thank you for your support!

Public Hearing and a New Exec Director

July 20, 2009

July has certainly been a busy month so far, and PCTV has two more important items to share with you:

  1. A Public Hearing has been scheduled regarding the Verizon Franchise Agreement. We URGE you to come and show your support for Pittsburgh Community TV. Your attendance is very important! It will take place on Wednesday, July 29th at 1:30pm in the Council Chambers on the 5th floor of the City-County Building in Pittsburgh (414 Grant Street). We’ll keep you updated on any more information we receive about the hearing, including how people may register to speak.
  2. Some very exciting news: PCTV is pleased to announce the hiring of a new executive director! His name is John Patterson, and he comes to Pittsburgh from California with experience in running a public access station and in arts and media management. Click here for the full press release.

Thank you for your support!

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