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Wilmington City Council discusses public access TV channel

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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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