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Council places public access TV move on pause

Councilmembers will discuss management with speakers

Posted: October 29, 2008 9:01 p.m.
Updated: December 31, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to direct city staff to meet with the more than 10 speakers who voiced their concerns about how the local public access television channel would be managed.

“The city was very heartened to see the amount of support in the community for public access television,” said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz. “What that tells us is that having a public access station and providing that service in Santa Clarita is important, and we heard it loud and clear.”

Ortiz anticipates the item will return to the council Dec. 9.

A new state law that goes into effect Jan. 2 eliminates Time Warner Cable’s requirement to provide production support for Channel 20, also known as the Public, Educational and Governmental Access channel.

Initially, city staff recommended the council vote to bring Channel 20 production in-house after taking into account the slow economy and an evaluation of a proposal from Santa Clarita Valley Television (SCVTV) to manage Channel 20.

During the meeting, about 15 speakers representing local media outlets, education institutions, nonprofit organizations and SCVTV addressed the five council members about their concerns with the city moving Channel 20 production in-house.

“There would be no public and there would be no education,” said Bruce Fortine, a member of the College of the Canyons Board of Trustees. “There would only be government.”

Council members received one written comment card in support of the city’s recommendation.

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