Spring Conference casts a broad net and comes up with success!
It was the biggest WCM/ACM-Midwest conference yet and based on attendee feedback, it was also one of our best.
Prof. Bob McChesney and John Nichols of The Nation kicked-off the conference with an inspiring Opening Keynote on Thursday, April 28 and set the tone for the two-day event. Bob focused on the precarious state of journalism, including local issues coverage since the changed economics of newspaper ownership and television news has led to poorly populated news rooms, fewer news organizations, and increasing media concentration.
John picked it up from there and talked about how essential issues coverage is to the functioning of democracy and exhorted the group to fill the void. "It was a very moving and uplifting speech," said one attendee. "I can't say enough good things about the speakers and the mission they want us to accomplish."
WCM submits comments to the FCC on the need to be carried in the Electronic Program Guide
WCM submitted reply comments in FCC Docket 16-41 yesterday to voice the need for Wisconsin's PEG access channels to be carried on the Electronic Program Guide. Currently only 17% of WCM's 51 member access centers have their programming schedule carried in the guide.
WCM provided the FCC with the results of a survey that asked access centers what the stumbling blocks have been to carriage.
WCM announces the 2016 Best of the Midwest Media Fest award winners
Wisconsin Community Media has announced the 2016 Best of the Midwest Media Fest award-winning shows. Award winners will be honored at the Best of the Midwest Media Fest Banquet and Show at the Madison Sheraton Hotel on Thursday evening, April 28. Tickets.
“It’s the fest’s 18th year and the fourth year we have opened it to a nine-state region. It’s also the first year we have accepted LPFM radio entries. Seven of our 51 member PEG (public, education, and government) access centers also operate LPFM radio stations,” said Mary Cardona, executive director of Wisconsin Community Media, "so we decided to branch out to reflect what media access centers are doing. It's not just cable TV!" This year WCM received 185 entries from 26 Wisconsin and eight Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and North Dakota access centers. “Wisconsin shows still make up the vast majority of the entries,” Cardona said.
Thirteen media access centers assembled judging panels of four to review the entries. Depending on the score, entries receive an “Excellence Award,” an “Achievement Award,” or a “Merit Award.” This year, 75% of the entries won one of these awards. Programs may also win a “Best in Show” in their category as an amateur or professional entry. The fest also recognizes “Significant Community Programs.”
Legislators go on record supporting PEG Television Reforms
In an end of session statement that will serve as a springboard to a renewed effort next session, nineteen legislators have signed on to sponsor legislation called the "Restoring Wisconsin PEG Channels" bill.
The legislation - SB 783 and AB 1007 - would reform current law in various ways, most importantly by requiring video providers to transmit PEG channels with the same quality reception as local broadcast channels, require providers to list PEG program schedules on the Electronic Program Guide so that viewers can find programming and record it for view later, and allow cities to pass an ordinance to collect a dedicated PEG fee for the support of local channels. Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and Rep. Gary Hebl authored the legislation.
Since 2008, the State of Wisconsin is in charge of cable television regulation. Wisconsin cities no longer have any jurisdiction. Oversight of video providers is now split between the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the Department of Financial Institutions. The state is funneling all complaints through DATCP and will forward complaints as appropriate to DFI.
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection 2811 Agriculture Drive, P.O. Box 8911 Madison, Wisconsin 53708-8911, (608) 224-5012
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 04:05 PM
Charter goes all-digital and access channels are now only in the 980s and 990s
In 2014 Charter Communications converted its hybrid analog systems to all-digital encrypted systems. This change has a big impact on cable television subscribers in two ways: 1) All subscribers will now need to lease a box/device to receive any programming from Charter; and 2) Community access channels will no longer be carried in an analog format in the 90s. Subscribers will find them in the 980s or 990s only. In Superior, you'll find the access channels in the 180s.
Time Warner customers to become Charter subscribers; Comcast subscribers in the Twin Cities to become GreatLand customers
As expected, Comcast is leaving the Twin Cities area. A new company involving Charter is being created to take over these properties. When the Comcast-Time Warner merger is complete and Charter buys out the Time Warner properties, the company involving Charter called “SpinCo” or “Midwest Cable LLC” will be known as GreatLand Connections, Inc.