Wilmington City Council discusses public access TV channel
 

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council members continue to discuss bringing back a public access channel to our area.

Both the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County provide local programming, but neither of them include a public access channel.

At the request of some advocacy groups, city staff researched the possibility of a public access channel. Council members discussed the proposed channel during their agenda briefing this morning.

North Carolina currently has more than 100 public access channels.

Mayor Bill Saffo says he would like to see a public access channel return to the Port City, but the big issues are cost and who would run the channel.

"From my perspective I feel like if it is going to be run, we should run it, because ultimately the city is liable for it as far as some of the content that would be in there or any liability," Saffo said. "So I think the city should ought to run it, and I think we have a department that is very capable of doing it and would do a good job with it."

Saffo says a public access channel would allow people to express their First Amendment rights.

The new channel would cost about $65,000, however half of that would be reimbursed by the state. That would leave the city footing a $30,000 bill.

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First, about 20 people watch public access stations - they are not exactly hot beds of good local TV programming.
Second I believe there are some legal issues the city has to overcome according to some news reports I've read. This will add to start up costs.
Now think about this for a second.
Would any of you guys want to see Scot Harry and the anti ballpark crowd buying up air time to disparage the ballpark?
Would any of you want to see Chuck Kuebler or Terry Spencer promoting the ballpark?
The answer to both of course is no - but thats what you'd get.
I'm all for first amendment rights, but I am against spending monies for the TV watching enjoyment of so few people. And for those who would argue it's a first amendment issue I ask "Where was TV when the Constitution was drafted?"
Sterling brought up a good point about other venues - and we will have those venues whether we go with an access channel or not.
I say no. If Saffo does this with city employees we have technical costs associated with this and payroll, medical and pension costs associated with employees as well.
I clearly did not miss channel 4 when it went away...so why bring it back?

Vog

you overlooked the Taxpayer Story Hour hosted by Puff Saffo. Would be held one hour prior to any City Council meeting in which taxes, spending, hotel contract extensions, or ballpark funding are to be on the Council meeting agenda.

Gauranteed to put the voters to sleep.

Really?

Will Bill dress up in a purple dinosaur outfit?
Or maybe he'll dress as a tele tubbie
OGrady as Tikki tubbie !!!
Oh the possibilities are endless

Vog

I remember channel surfing and stopping on that channel once. They were showing a church service with the choir singing. A former coworker of mine was on there so I stopped and watched it for a few minutes. But that's definitely not worth the money.