Do you have a hobby, expertise or interest you’d like to share? Do you have a point of view you’d like to pontificate? Or maybe you think you could be the next Oprah.
Whatever your interest, Southborough Access Media could provide the perfect opportunity.
Southborough has access to three public channels: Education, Public access, and Government channels. They recently incorporated and are seeking non-profit status. At last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, SAM’s board updated selectmen on their efforts and goals.
The main reason for their update to selectmen last night was to request access to their earmarked funds. The town has collected the cable access franchise fees over the years. As of March 31st, the town was holding approximately $736,000.
Current programming is slim, mostly syndicated, and highly repetitive. (The BOS meeting I taped on the government channel last night is one of the few “original programs” played.)
Last night, board members pitched their plan to recruit students and volunteers to help “make our local cable channels a Must See TV experience.”
According to committee representatives, they will offer the opportunity for volunteers to stream video from phones or mobile devices.
Students interested in streaming video of school sports or events could arrange that. But there are still opportunities to practice more professional production techniques. For instance, students could work together in a two or more person crew to film games with color commentary.
Some of their future goals include changing to high definition programming and moving out of their Fayville space. Selectman John Rooney pressed the committee to report back soon on their space requirements.
He explained that the BOS will have a goal setting meeting in the near future. It is likely to include a discussion of the town’s infrastructure needs.
Right now they are lacking an Executive Director. They are just beginning the work to fill the spot. The vacancy is holding up the process on decisions like facility requirements.
Board member Alex Neilhaus expressed his urgency to move forward. He pointed out that Southborough residents have been paying the franchise fees in their cable bills and not getting what they deserve in return. “The $700K is a measure of what we haven’t done.”
Neilhaus is eager to hire the Executive Director and start putting the money to use. He hopes to make use of new director and an “activist board” to get a lot done.
Selectmen asked Southborough Treasurer, Brian Ballentine, to work with SAM. Selectmen hope to approve the release of funds at their next meeting.
If you are interested in getting involved with the committee or programing ideas, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For a look at the channel line up and schedule, go to sborotv.org.