April 7 2010 12:00 AM

Response to cable story

Just read your article on "Cable Crisis" in this week's City Pulse and wanted to offer my opinion on the future local cable access stations, or least one - that being LCC TV (Comcast channels 15 and 31). It has been exactly one year since we started to re-build LCC TV and in that time, we have made great strides. What used to be an unwatchable 24-hour never ending scroll of LCC basketball games and community calendar graphics is now a line-up enriched with innovative and educational programs from a wide variety of sources including national and local producers and independent filmmakers.

The goal is to shape the station into a true public service and bring interest and excitement back into community programming. We've come a long way but we are far from done.

LCC TV has been around since about 1976 and at that time our primary goal was tele-courses. With the rise of the Internet demand for that dropped, and with a lack of resources to maintain a compelling station, content dwindled. In 2009, LCC felt a strong responsibility to revive the channel and engage the public once again. I left a position at WDIV in Detroit (NBC) to work tirelessly in helping them do just that. We have since re-branded the station with a fresh look and line-up that includes international news hours, documentaries, entertainment and children's programming (in English) thanks to our partners at MHz Woldview in Whasington.

We have also transformed our TV set to give it a more professional look for current shows like "Perspectives" and "Every Spin on Sports" (which airs live every Friday at 11 a.m.) and future shows planned on political and social issues in the capital city. We also feature a series (Bitesize Cinema) featuring different short-films made in Michigan to give striving filmmakers some local distribution. We are nearing completion on a music series called "L-Town Studios" set in our recording studio and the state's first local show on gaming titled "Double Jump" produced by an MSU student. We have also filmed the speakers at the past two Ignite Lansing events, so those who could not attend the event could be involved in the discussion sand so we could distribute the talks online. We do not have much money either, and draw on students who want experience to help out and with the assistance of our Media Services Department we make this all happen.

What I am finding is the entire PEG model is stale and out of date and we're trying to build our own model - one that is modern and relevant. This summer, LCC TV will begin live streaming so we can be accessible to not only those with Comcast but also to those with an Internet connection. And as far as I know, our little PEG channel will soon be seen around the world and be the first college/university in Michigan to attempt this . Stay tuned for that.

- Nicole Sclafani

Station Manager

LCC TV The Link

Just to clear the record, if you are looking for cable access "guru's" from the early days of cable television, I still live here.

I was responsible for Lansing's Continental Cablevision public access channel from 1980 to 1987. In 1981, Lansing's community television channels were recognized with a national award for excellence. I built several production facilities and taught many area residents how to produce television programs.

The importance of public access then was that there were no other ways to publicly share video programming. Public access gave voice to community experiences with no other oppurtunity for coverage. It was a great time!

- Paul McConaughy


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