November 15, 2013

CMA Members Testify at Cable Compliance Hearing

CMA Members Grady Davis and Carole Herhold testified on November 13 at the Cable Compliance Review held by Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Rosemary Krimbel and Deputy Commissioner Jim McVane.  Representatives of Comcast, RCN, and CAN TV were also present.

Chicago City Hall
Grady testified that his involvement with CAN TV began in 2007, when Tuskegee Airmen’s Chicago Chapter produced a mini-series.  He continued his involvement after that because he found he really liked working in the medium.

He said, “I’m not speaking for Tuskegee Airmen.  I’m not speaking for CAN TV.  I’m speaking for Grady Davis.  I’m an independent producer committed to doing my best to promote things in my community through my program, ‘Grady’s Notebook.’”  Grady’s show features positive stories from his community, such as an interview he did with Quentin Edwards, a Rhodes Scholar headed for four years of study in Europe. Grady also does a 34th Ward report to record town hall meetings held by Alderman Carrie Austin.  He said, “I’m not on the Alderman’s staff.  I do this because of my concern for the 34th ward.  I live there.”

Grady said that he is concerned about parity and funding for the public’s channels.  He wants to see the training at CAN TV expand and noted the creativity of the local residents that produce programs through CAN TV.  He closed by saying, “I thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.  I wanted to come and do that in my own words as a proud member of the Committee for Media Access and an independent producer.”

Carole Herhold also testified and noted that Grady had been an inspiration to her as is his program.  As an avid viewer of community programming, Carole noted that she is in the 30% of the populace that are not online at home.  And she is very aware of the importance of reaching people where they are.  Regarding the Comcast renewal she said, “Funding is needed for people and training.  Parity is important.”


November 13, 2013

Aldermen State Expectations for Comcast Renewal

CMA members want to commend those Aldermen who voiced their support of CAN TV during the budget hearing for the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) on November 7. 

A number of Aldermen spoke up about the Comcast franchise renewal, and said they expect Comcast to match the public benefits agreement provided in the RCN franchise.  BACP Commissioner, Rosemary Krimbel, agreed that is her goal. 

We are also pleased that the Commissioner acknowledged having met with CMA members and said, “All together, we are trying to strengthen and promote community access to local cable television.”

CAN TV has posted this update with more detail about the hearing. 


September 7, 2013

CMA Members Gordon Quinn and Jake Austen meet with Commissioner Krimbel

On Thursday CMA members Gordon Quinn and Jake Austen met privately with BACP Commissioner Rosemary Krimbel to discuss their August 28 meeting with Comcast and concerns about the future of CAN TV. 

The meeting was very positive and Commissioner Krimbel stated her support for the three critical concerns that CMA members shared with Comcast. She stated that she had no intention of getting in the way of CAN TV continuing to receive direct funding from Comcast.

CMA is very glad that the Commissioner supports this critical concern which must be a fundamental requirement of the franchise renewal with Comcast. Direct and unrestricted funding has been essential to the growth of CAN TV as a successful public operation. Furthermore, direct funding supports CAN TV's independence, which is crucial for its long-term security as well as its effectiveness as a community media outlet for all Chicagoans. We look forward to working more with Commissioner Krimbel to ensure that Chicago gets the best community benefits agreement possible in Comcast's franchise renewal.