Friday, April 4, 2008
CCTV reviews year’s successes
On March 25, Charlie Paige, executive director, and Paul Dewey, president of Concord-Carlisle Community Television (CCTV), visited the Selectmen and spoke with enthusiasm of the organization that is bringing local information and entertainment into Carlisle living rooms. Over 300 television programs were produced on CCTV last year, and the two presenters came armed with an overview DVD of snippets that featured sports, music, authors, school events, and political forums. In addition, 1,200 government meetings were covered on Channel 9, including those of the Selectmen and School Committees of both towns.
Paige noted that CCTV revenues are up, new equipment is being purchased, and staff and hours of operation are being added. Community television is financed by Comcast as part of Carlisle’s contract with that cable provider. As Comcast rates rise and more services are added, CCTV revenues rise as well.
Dewey noted that Carlisle has “very devoted members” of both the CCTV board, including Selectman Bill Tice and Librarian Angela Mollet, as well as several operational volunteers. He points to Dave Ives as an example of a “gold standard” volunteer who started taking a few classes, and ended up buying his own camera and equipment. “Without volunteers, not much happens,” he adds. There are only three paid staff people, but training and access to equipment is provided for anyone who is interested. There are over 20 courses offered, including shooting, production, editing and summer camps for students. Paige noted that many would cost hundreds of dollars at local colleges but are very inexpensive through CCTV.
Selectman Doug Stevenson pronounced himself a CCTV “junkie” who finds it “fun to watch our Concord [Selectmen] colleagues struggle with the same issues.” He wondered about the involvement of students at CCHS, where the TV studio is located. Paige noted that teacher Andy Sapp organizes “Patriot Productions” and that Principal Peter Bandalment has made himself available for shows. “It has yet to reach the floodgate level” and he hopes someday to be able to duplicate the “wonderful culture” surrounding the CCHS radio station. The focus has begun to turn to involving middle school students, as those in high school “have agendas that are so filled.”
A new education channel, Channel 10, is currently available in Concord and will be added soon in Carlisle. Selectmen Chair Tim Hult wondered why Channel 10 is without sound. Paige later explained that the Carlisle contract with Comcast does not include Channel 10, and “there’s no revenue for them” in adding it. However, plans call for it to be added in a matter of weeks. The Carlisle channel line-up now includes only Channels 8 (general) and 9 (government). “So Comcast is holding the sound hostage,” concluded Hult. Selectman Bill Tice explained that the paperwork is “sitting on some VP’s desk at Comcast.”
Hult also provided feedback from viewers: “I have been actually shocked at the number of people who tell me ‘I was watching you on TV last night.’” He added, “The community really appreciates you,” particularly seniors unable to easily attend meetings and events.
A programming schedule is available on-line at www.carlisletv.org and on the Mosquito web site, www.carlislemosquito.org. Adding captions to programs so people tuning in in the middle know what they are watching is a common suggestion and currently on the wish list.
Paige noted that often organizations wish to have an event covered, but unless they can provide their own volunteers, there is no ready staff to send. He encouraged the community to come up with ideas and make them happen. The studio is available, and new portable camera equipment makes it easier than ever to cover events. He even suggested an idea for a show entitled “The Carlisle Swap Shed.” “I was awestruck when I visited,” he said. “There are so many stories there.” ∆
© 2008 The