BY ANTHONY J. BAZZO
OF YORKTOWN NEWS
TITLE: Losing Your Favorite Cable Public Access Shows
Madison Square Garden has taken over Local Programming as well as Cablevision’s Public Access. On Wednesday Feb 13th 2013 a meeting of employees was called and after a conference call, employees consisting of program coordinators and technicians were immediately terminated from their positions.
So why does this concern you? First a little history. We use to have a studio that local cable access shows were produced in Yorktown. The Yorktown Studio in December of 2011 which had been in existence for over 35 years was closed as a result of poor judgement by the Yorktown Supervisor (Don Peters) and all but one of the Town Councilmen, on legal but in my opinion, dumb advice from the Town Attorney. It was decided the studio would not be included in the last contract. That left The City Of Peekskill with the only remaining public access studio in Northern Westchester available for the public use.
Currently, the Peekskill studio is included in the franchise agreement through the remaining of 2013. Yet, in light of a skeleton crew remaining at this studio, I believe this studio is in danger of being shut down as well.
You should know by law, Cablevision is mandated to AIR shows done by the public, but are NOT required to provide a facility for the public users unless it is included in the contract. Peekskill,s studio has a good many of public access users from Yorktown that will be adversely effected should this last remaining studio be closed. I have been informed, should the studio be closed and programming equipment moved to (most likely Yonkers), anyone of the already airing public access shows or people interested in airing their own show, where and how at their own expense (there is no studio in Yonkers other than channel 12), will have to mail subsequent shows or drive to probably Yonkers for drop off.
Here is a partial list of some of your favorite shows airing in Yorktown that will be affected:
Cars & Us (Dennis Tate) which has been aired over 16 years
The Guitar Show (Mike Byrnes) also aired over 12 years
The Seniors Forum (Nick DiTomaso)
The Watchdog Report (Ed Ciffone)
Scramble (Ifay Chang)
The George Ondeck Show
The Legislator’s Report (Yorktown Councilmen Nick Bianco and David Paganelli)
Your Town (James Martorano)
Frank Talks with Bruce The Blog
and your favorite
The Volpe/Bazzo Report
I also have been informed some elected officials of Peekskill are not that concerned over losing the studio. Could it be because the studio does not generate any revenue to the city?, Also politicos have their own private studio along with a contract over $90k a year to have all their videotaping done including taping for their own shows aired on the government channel.
Dennis Tate, along with Mike Byrnes and Frank McVetty all members of Yorktown’s Cable Advisory Board have offered their expertise and are willing to meet with Peekskills Mayor and elected City Council members to review the current contract and advise them on what avenues to pursue to protect the public from the loss of the studio in Peekskill. As of yet, there has been no response from any elected Peekskill official or the City Manager. In case these officials see this Dennis may be reached at 914 – 245 – 6290.
If you want to save your favorite shows, I urge you to get in touch with your Yorktown officials and have them contact their brethren in Peekskill. You may also want to contact the Mayor of Peekskill, Mary Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your voice can make sure the studio is included in any new contract. This is what I say, what say you?