Dear Members of the Milton Access TV Community,
Two developments have occurred over the past few weeks that look to have a major impact on the future of public access television and local media.
First, yesterday, the FCC voted 3-2 to adopt its proposed Third Rule and Order in the Section 621 cable franchising, which is the regulatory change we have been telling you about for the past year that threatens the existence of public access television as we know it. The final draft of the order has not been released, but I can give you some information about it and how it may affect Milton.
At the heart of the matter is that the order allows cable providers to count so-called “in-kind” contributions toward their franchise fee payments to a town or city. In-kind contributions are defined as “any non-monetary contributions related to the provision of cable services provided by cable operators as a condition or requirement of a local franchise agreement.” These services include cable drops to town buildings, non-capital costs in support of PEG access and costs attributable to I-NETs.
The most significant of these non-capital costs is “channel capacity” – essentially the value of providing a channel on a cable provider’s broadcast system, figured at fair-market value – as an in-kind contribution toward the company’s franchise fee payment obligation to the town. Up until now, local channels have been provided at no cost in addition to the franchise fee. Now, the fee received by the town could be reduced by the “cost” of providing the channels. Having to pay market price for Milton’s three TV stations out of its franchise fee, which is capped at 5% of a cable provider’s revenue in the municipality, would likely devastate Milton Access TV funding. The (somewhat) good news is that the FCC has, for now, deferred on the issue of deciding exactly what the fair-market value of local access channel capacity is, citing the complexity of making the calculation. While we are “safe” for now, the FCC indicated they would like to rule on channel capacity within the year.
The order also allows the municipal I-NET to be charged against the 5% franchise fee cap. Luckily, Milton has a separate side agreement with Comcast that allows for Milton to pay for the continued use and maintenance of the current I-NET. That agreement is at a small cost to the town and is in effect for five years.
Here in Massachusetts, we have the highest concentration of PEG access centers across the country. Our Commonwealth stands to lose the most from the implementation of the 621 order. FCC Commissioners Rosenworcel and Starks, who both voted against the order, cited the harmful impact this decision will have. As we gather more information we will convey that information to you, including how you can help protect PEG channels. The national Alliance for Community Media has issued a press release, which can be read here.
The second development was the introduction of legislation at the Massachusetts State House to preserve local media centers into the future under quickly shifting regulatory and market conditions.
Today, it is becoming a common practice to “cut the cord,” or cancel cable subscriptions and view content streaming online. This content is still being delivered over cables on the town’s rights of way. Yet, the streaming providers do not have franchise agreements with local authorities, and thus are exempt from paying the 5% franchise fee. Our funding is based solely off of cable subscriptions, which recently have been declining.
To offset the potential dramatic loss in funding for local media centers, MassAccess (the volunteer advocacy group representing 160 PEG centers across the Commonwealth and of which I am a board member) has been working diligently over the past year to find alternate funding mechanisms.
We have recently introduced a bill, “HD.4389: An act relative to digital entertainment on public rights of way.” In short, this bill seeks to ensure that streaming providers are contributing to the town for the use of the public right of way. This bill would provide funding at the state level, local municipalities and PEG centers. MassAccess has issued a press release, which can be read here.
At this time, there isn’t much residents can do, but we wanted to keep you informed. Once the bill has a hearing, we may ask you to reach out to our local state representatives and senators, or submit letters in support of the legislation.
As always, we thank you all for your continued support, and we are proud to be part of such a great community.
Milton Access TV Executive Director
The MATV studio will be closed on Monday, September 2,
in observance of the Labor Day holiday.
New Show Alert!
“Healthy Living: Let’s Get Real” is making its premiere on Tuesday, August 6th, at
7:30 p.m. on the Public channel (Comcast 9/RCN 13)!
MATV’s newest monthly show takes an inside look at how doctors apply the healthy lifestyle prescriptions they give to patients to their own lives. Created and hosted by Dr. Monique Tello, a Mass. General Hospital primary care physician and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, the show talks directly to doctors to see what parts of their own advice they are actually using themselves.
In the first episode, resident and psychologist Dr. Laurie Etre talks about how a serious battle for her own health transformed the way she takes care of herself, sharing her fitness and mental health regimens, along with a special demonstration segment on making fresh vegetable juice at home.
Learn from the health experts by seeing what they do, not just hearing what they say, when this program airs on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m., all on the Public channel (Comcast 9/RCN 13).
It will also go up on our Video OnDemand page for online viewing the same day it premieres on local cable.
Learn TV Production in 2019!!
Take our orientation first, and then try out one of our skill-specific classes.
Best of all, it’s all FREE!!
Upcoming Class Schedule
Want to know how to get started at MATV?
Come learn about all the different opportunities MATV has to offer.
This class is a prerequisite for all MATV classes.
Upcoming Orientation Dates:
Wednesday, August 21st, 6pm – 7pm
Learn about our Newtek Tricaster HD switcher and its functions and features. You will also learn about our studio cameras, teleprompter, lighting, and the basics of our Yamaha sound board.
The next Studio Production Class
will take place on
Wednesday, August 28th, 6pm – 7pm
This class is limited to 6 people. Participants must have taken an orientation class.
This class is open to ages 15+.
This workshop will focus on the Canon XA30, learning how to properly set up a tripod and mount the camera, and different audio recording options. Upon completion of this class, you will be able to check out field equipment and volunteer to help cover events!
The next Field Production Class will take place in September. Stay tuned for dates.
This class is limited to 8 people. Participants must have taken an orientation class.
This class is open to ages 15+.
Learn the basics of Adobe Premiere, including how to open and save projects, use transitions and effects, mix audio, and create basic graphics. Participants will also learn to cut clips together and learn some editing terminology.
The next Post Production Class will take place in October. Stay tuned for dates.
This class is limited to 6 people. Participants must have taken an orientation class.
This class is open to ages 15+.
Train to be an MATV camera operator for the fall
Interested in learning production while earning some money?
We need camera operators to cover MHS sports in the fall.
We’ll teach you everything you need to know!
New Programs in Past 30 Days
A fellow MATV producer is the guest on “Broad Appeal” for August, as Mel Gillespie, creator of “Actin’ Up with Mel and Gigi Giraffe” joins Melissa Fassel Dunn to talk about her career in entertainment as well as her business, the thespian training and child development company known as the Mel O’ Drama School of Acting. This episode is sure to be entertaining, educational and lots of laughs, and it’s currently airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 a.m. on the Public channel.
As the librarians will tell you, the Milton Public Library is one of the best places in town to beat the heat over these hot summer months, and in this month’s library update residents can learn about the many activities happening in August, new ways to take advantage of the library’s resources from the comfort of their own homes, as well as finding some good reads to close out the beach season. This program is currently airing Monday and Wednesday mornings at 7 a.m. as well as Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m., all on the Public channel.
Resident and jazz musician John Kordalewski has been leading the Makanda Project since 2005, and this ensemble group recently played a “Multiple Percussion Edition” concert at the Berklee College of Music. The project performs works from the trove of unrecorded and unperformed compositions by the late prolific composer Makanda Ken McIntyre that were discovered after his untimely death in 2001. Tune in for this concert to hear some of this fascinating project’s efforts when it airs during Music Thursday at 5 p.m. on the Public channel.
Professor Gary Bailey of Simmons College recently visited Fuller Village to deliver a lecture titled “50 Years Since Stonewall: Our Modern History.” In June, 1969, patrons of New York City’s Stonewall Inn, local street kids from the surrounding area and members of the community who came from neighboring gay bars violently fought back against an early morning police raid, refusing to be arrested for simply patronizing a gay bar and being “out” in public. This presentation attempts to place this seminal event in the gay liberation movement in the context of the events of the 20th Century that led up to it, and to look at how we in the modern era ought to think about it. It is currently airing during the Monday Forum at 8 p.m. on the Public channel.
Kids looking to have some fun were dancing and singing all over the library when Matt Heaton came around, delivering his signature “toddlerbilly” brand of original songs. With his trusty guitar in hand, Matt lead the crowd in singalongs, silly dance numbers, and some muppet-esque humor for the parents, and you can join in the fun too, when this concert airs during the Library Children’s Hour at 2:30 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as Tuesdays, all on the Public channel.
The Dave Macklin Band brought a whole lot of funk as well as many popular favorites and oldies from the 20th Century to the Fuller Village gazebo, in the latest concert held at that local venue. From doo-wop to soul, R&B to disco, and even “La Dona e Mobile” thrown in for good measure, this show is all about fun and putting a smile on your face, and it’s airing on Music Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on the Public channel.
Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell was recently on tour in the Northeast promoting her new album, “Wake Up Again,” and MATV was lucky enough to have her stop by the studio to perform some songs from this, her 11th studio album, and sit down for an interview with Jeff Stoodt on “You’ve Got To Have Art.” Hear about her influences, history and tastes, as well as get treated to an intimate performance, when this new episode airs Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at 1 p.m. as well as Thursdays at 4 p.m., all on the Public channel.
Viewers will learn to make stunning and extremely healthy edible works of art by watching a recent demonstration delivered by Lisa Tavakoli at the Milton Public Library, where this frequent library presenter and certified tea and herb expert teaches an audience to make colorful arrangements using nothing but raw vegetables. This program, titled “Decorative Edibles: Use What You Have and Have What You Use,” gives instruction on preparation, technique, nutrition and ecology, and it’s currently airing during the Monday Forum at 5 p.m. on the Public channel.
After taking an extended hiatus, “Super Tuesday with Ron Bell” has returned to MATV airwaves, with an insider’s take on politics and activism, new guests and an eye toward the pivotal 2020 elections. Two recent guests were the founder and director of Voter Choice Massachusetts, which is spearheading the effort to bring ranked choice voting to our state, and that episode is currently online on our Video OnDemand page. To find out who this week’s guest is and to watch the show, tune in to the Public channel on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m., or on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m.
At the podium on the lawn of the Forbes House Museum, over fifty people read in succession Frederick Douglass’ famous 1852 speech “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” as part of the annual statewide Reading Frederick Douglass Together program. Hear this speech read from the mouths of many Miltonians, as well as an introduction by 2017 state History Teacher of the Year Kevin Dua, when this event airs during the Monday Forum at 5 p.m. on the Public channel.
Fitness entrepreneur Alli Barnes is latest guest on “Talk of the Town with Brian Kelley,” sitting down in the MATV studio to talk about R3bilt Fitness, a facility she recently opened on Granite Avenue that takes a unique, holistic approach to health and fitness. She shares the details on the “Rebuild. Recover. Reverse.” philosophy that she espouses through her entreprise, and also describes how her life took a sharp turn from her training in traditional Western medicine following a major health scare during her first pregnancy. Tune for this program at 9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights on the Public channel.
Celebrate the centennial of Nat King Cole with Jeff Stoodt on “The Great American Songbook.” This first installment of a two-part series focuses on the prolific singer’s work with his famous trio, doing most of their production in the years after WWII and into the early 1950s. Delve into his upbringing and musical training, and learn about what launched him into stardom, when this episode airs at 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday evenings, all on the Public channel.
The Dedham Choral Society “Pops” Chorus recently performed a concert titled “Unforgettable: The Great Stars” at Fuller Village. This performance featured a number of classics from the mid-Twentieth Century and before that are sure to be familiar. It’s currently airing on Video OnDemand.
Anyone who has spent any time at local restaurants Ashmont Grille and Tavolo probably knows their colorful manager Tara O’Riordan. But what they may not know is the winding road she took to wind up there, including starting a career in higher education as a director of student life, or her current second career as a realtor for Gibson Sotheby’s. Spend a half-hour with her and host Melissa Fassel Dunn on a new episode of “Broad Appeal” that is now airing on Video OnDemand.