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Niskayuna signs with Open Stage Media

Proposed town equipment upgrades expected to enhance recordings

While the direction other Schenectady County municipalities will go in regarding public access programming remains unclear, there is at least one town stepping up to financially support Open Stage Media, the Proctors operation that provides the service to the county.

Niskayuna is first town to sign on to Open Stage Media's vision for an enhanced countywide public access system, joining the City of Schenectady, which will continue to fund a majority of the operation. The Niskayuna Town Board unanimously voted during the Tuesday, March 1, Town Board meeting to allow Supervisor Joe Landry to enter negotiations with Open Stage Media for public television access at the proposed annual fee of $5,000. Council members Jonathan McKinney and Liz Orzel Kasper were absent from the meeting.

Proctors CEO Philip Morris gave a presentation during the Town Board's special meeting on Feb. 17 about the proposed service.

They [Open Stage Media] provided some opportunities for us that I think are going to be worthwhile, said Landry. "I think this is a really good opportunity for Niskayuna to enhance public access television and I see a lot of positives coming out of it."

Ann Parillo, a town resident and producer and host of the "Schenectady Today" show, applauded the town's decision to financially support OSM and give residents the opportunity to participate in and view the programming. She said she has been involved in the county's public access programming since 1996, before it switched from SACC-TV to OSM.

"It is really a freedom of speech that I am really concerned about," said Parillo. "I don't want Niskayuna to lose the governmental channel or the public access channel, so I am in favor of supporting this. I'd be happy to pay that little bit extra."

Nick Barber, past president of SACC-TV, also commended the board for supporting Open Stage Media and ensuring that community broadcast programming can remain active.

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