The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 7, 2006


Carlisle TV premieres from Town Hall studio

If you are a Comcast cable subscriber, you have probably surfed around the channels — 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Wait, what's that on Channel 8? A Selectmen's meeting? Oh, but it's Concord Selectmen, so you move on in search of news, sports or an old movie. But now, channels 8 and 9 are becoming destinations for Carlisle residents because programs of town-wide interest are on the air.

A new era of local programming has begun under the leadership of Concord-Carlisle Access Television (CCTV), a non-profit public access cable TV station at Concord-Carlisle High School. The station was previously operated by Comcast until December 2004, when CCTV was formed to provide PEG (public, education, government) access television. After a year of organization, studio upgrades and new hires, CCTV and Carlisle's Board of Selectmen signed a three-year contract in December 2005. According to Selectman Bill Tice, "CCTV coverage of Selectmen's meetings and of other town boards and committees will bring town government closer to the people." Tice is one of two Carlisleans on the board of CCTV, along with Gleason Library Director Angela Mollet who looks forward to "great programs by community groups." She adds, "By simply airing local government meetings such as the Board of Selectmen, CCTV has taken a giant step toward providing unedited information of value to the community."

TV studio in Town Hall

In mid-March, the Clark Room in Town Hall was outfitted with remote cameras and state-of-the-art production equipment. When the March 28 Selectmen's meeting was ready for its TV premiere, video gremlins were at work and the meeting could not be broadcast. CCTV personnel have resolved the problem, and the Tuesday, April 11 meeting will air at 7 p.m. on Channel 9 as scheduled. The League of Women Voters Candidates Forum in Town Hall on Sunday, April 2, was broadcast without a hitch.

Federal legislation mandates that cable companies set aside channels for local programming, including town government meetings, community events, distance learning, school sports and church services, to name a few. Initially cable companies supported the public access programming, but increasingly private organizations, such as CCTV, have assumed responsibility for programming and daily operation. Under the terms of the license agreements with Concord and Carlisle, Comcast provided funds for equipment upgrades to the TV studio in Concord, and gave Carlisle $25,000 to outfit the Clark Room. Another payment of $15,000 for equipment is due the town in October 2006. In addition, Comcast pays 3% of its revenues to Carlisle annually for its part in the operation of the CCTV station.

Volunteers produce new programs

James Joyce, executive director of CCTV, is one of two full-time staff members hired in the past year. He heads a group of volunteers from Concord and Carlisle who have begun to create and produce new programming. Book talks by local authors at the Gleason Library have been recorded and broadcast on Channel 8, and a group of Concord-Carlisle students produced and aired a program on the Concord Police Department.

As with so many activities in Carlisle, volunteers are the backbone of the operation of CCTV. "We are reaching out to residents of both towns to encourage their participation in creating new programming," said Joyce. All volunteers are trained in TV production and digital editing (see class schedule at right for details). Selectman Bill Tice said, "CCTV provides people the opportunity to learn about television production. CCTV is run by a great bunch of volunteers who have been trained by CCTV and can direct and produce shows. This could provide an opportunity for both young and old to explore a new career or interest."

An innovative approach to outreach starts in May, when Carlisle and Concord residents are invited to bring their programming ideas to a meeting at the studio. "The group will select one or two ideas for an on-air project," said Joyce, "and those who want to participate in the project will receive the necessary production training from CCTV." Further information about the May meeting will be published in the Mosquito, or interested producers-to-be can call CCTV at 1-978-369-5038 or e-mail Joyce at

Joyce explained the difference between Channels 8 and 9. "We would like Channel 8 to become a really vibrant, dynamic, creative local channel used by many town groups and individuals. Programming will be 100% produced by the local community. Any program on any subject will be aired, as long as it doesn't violate any federal, state or local laws." Channel 9, the government channel, will carry primarily municipal meetings, programs about the police or fire departments, and information about government services.

As more programming originates in Carlisle and residents learn that they can view board meetings in their living rooms, CCTV will play a larger role in town. "CCTV will become what the residents of Concord and Carlisle want it to be," predicted Joyce. "Our hope is that their enthusiasm and creative involvement will make CCTV the vibrant community service we know it can be."

Thanks to Bert Williams for providing much of the material for this article.


Selectman Bill Tice checks out the equipment in the Clark Room. (Photo by Maya Liteplo)

CCTV Class Schedule
Field Production
Section A: April 5, 12, 19, May 3
Wednesdays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Section B: May 11, 18, 25, June 1
Thursdays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Section C: April 3, 10, 17, May 8
Mondays 1 to 3 p.m.
Studio Production
Section A: April 4, 11, 18, May 9, 16
Tuesdays 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Section B: May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14
Wednesdays 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Digital Editing
Section A: April 5, 12, 19, May 3, 10
Wednesdays 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Section B: April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4
Thursdays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Section C: May 23, 30, June 6, 13, 20
Tuesdays 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Section D: May 10, 17, 24, 31, June 7
Wednesdays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
To sign up for one of these classes, call
1-978-369-5038 or e-mail

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito