Boulant: 'Not a community issue a Time Warner issue'
Glenville officials are warming up to the idea of paying for public access programming through Open Stage Media, but ongoing negotiations with Time Warner could delay the switch for several months.
Phillip Morris, CEO of Proctors, met with the Glenville Town Board during the work session meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 9, to discuss the town joining Open Stage Media and paying an annual fee of $5,000 toward services provided by the public access television group. While town officials deliberated if the signal switch, estimated to cost $12,000, and annual fee are worth the services provided by Open Stage Media, the looming franchise agreement with Time Warner is ultimately holding up any change in the near future for residents to view government meetings on their TVs.
Our goal was to make this a countywide network and have all three channels available to as many citizens in the county as possible, said Morris. "When the Time Warner deal came to a near close I came back and said, 'Guys, you haven't designated us as the public access provider and there is no funding for us to be the public access provider, and we should do something about it because it is not reasonable or fair.'"
Currently, the only municipality contributing to Open Stage Media, which is run through Proctors, is the City of Schenectady, which is also the government body that decided to switch from the previous SACC-TV to provide public access programming for Schenectady County. OSM's annual budget is around $120,000, with $100,000 coming from city subscriber fees and the rest raised primarily through donations. Morris said he believed the City Council had the right to make the switch because it was the only municipality in the county that funded or designated OSM as its public access provider.