Tag Archives: cable access

Comcast is coming to Worcester! And it’s all about $$$$$$$$$

By Edith Morgan

There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming merger between Charter and Comcast, and the general feeling is that it is a “done deal.”

How is it that we the viewing public have been sold , apparently without previous input, to what several Worcester city councilors at the October 14th city council meeting described as “the worst company in the U.S.”?  And in a couple of months, the local and public access stations will be moved to the back of the bus – the educational channel (now #11) will become 191; the government channel, where we watch council and school committee and subcommittee meetings, and receive news about things of interest to residents in Worcester (now #12), will become #192 …

Our public access channel, WCCA TV 13, now # 13, will become #194.

Why??? you ask.

Because the lower numbers will become lucrative commercial channels, selling things.

Because, of course, it is all about the bottom line. And service to the public is not what this is all about.  (Disclosure: I am especially concerned, as I host a TV program called “SeniorSpeak” on the present WCCA TV 13.)

How did we get to this point?

When I came to America in 1941, the airwaves belonged to the public.

The communications act of 1934  was quite clear about how our air was to be used: stations had to be licensed, and had to renew their licenses every three years, and they were required to offer proof (testimony, letters, etc..) that they were serving the public interest. There were lots of stations, offering a variety of programs, serving varied populations all over the U.S.

But a set of trends was slowly let loose, which increasingly took away what used to be services for us, the people, and put them into the hands of the “bottom-line crowd”. Service became an incidental sideline, and all that mattered was the bottom line – enriching the investors and providing just enough to keep the company alive and growing. And so, much of what I remember as “services” became “businesses”. Banks, health care, schools, postal service – local newspapers, your corner drugstore, your grocery, your butcher, your hardware dealer –  all were our friends and neighbors, and were not totally consumed by the pursuit of the almighty dollar.  Of course, the monopolists were busy trying to consolidate, eliminate the competition, drive down wages and benefits, but antitrust laws were in effect and by and large were not allowed to grow “too big to fail.” (Where is Teddy Roosevelt when we need him?)

I was really proud of our City Council on Tuesday, October 14th: even though it was already pretty much out of their power, they discussed the ramifications of this merger, the track record of Comcast, and the whole history of our service here, and voted to oppose this merger. They took a moral stand on behalf of us, the public, whom they are pledged to serve.

Comcast has deep pockets, and has spread money around in Washington, but for some strange reason I am beginning to feel hopeful that from moves like this will grow a groundswell of opposition to these takeovers. Now, let’s really get on the media and force the FCC , FTC and Justice Department to do their jobs on our behalf.

Worcester has a long history of revolting – and starting something …

Gov. Patrick on WCCA TV 13’s SOAPBOX with Mauro DePasquale

Today, Gov. Deval Patrick visited the set of WCCA TV 13’s SOAPBOX, meeting with Mauro DePasquale, Executive Director of WCCA TV and host of the program, to share good news impacting Central Mass and Worcester in particular.

During the taping of the program the Governor made 2 announcements creating opportunity and growth for residents in central Massachusetts. This announcement included $15.9 million dollars funding to benefit the building of a new Academic Center at Quinsamond Community College, which will support the campus’ growing enrollment and also he announced $14 million dollars of funding to support the Worcester Regional Transit Authority maintenance facility. a new state-of-the-art WRTA maintenance facility will support the region’s public transportation needs.

The WCCA TV’s “SOAPBOX” episode which features Governor Deval Patrick will air on WCCA TV 13:

Monday, Oct 28 at 10 pm

Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 12 pm

Wed., Oct. 30 at 11:30 am and 8 pm

Friday, Nov. 1 at 2 pm

Sat. Nov. 2 at 6:30 pm

Sun. Nov. 3 at 1:30 pm

WCCA’s “SOAPBOX”, hosted by Mauro DePasquale, is one out of numerous presentations produced at TV 13. This Monday, “SOAPBOX” has shot 8 episodes today. In this one morning and afternoon, this one program alone will provide 11 people with valuable outreach and the opportunity to share their story, views, discussion, talent, events, to the benefit of ALL of Worcester’s cable and Internet viewing audience. Tune into WCCA TV 13 for upcoming listings of each of these episodes. Over 910 episodes have been produced to date.

A sampling of the diversity at WCCA TV 13 – “The People’s Channel”‏

By Mauro DePasquale, Executive Director WCCA TV 13

Just think, there are dozens of shows produced by the community at WCCA TV that are just as robust as the following one. The WCCA-produced show Beacon Hill Chat is hosted by Massachusetts State Senator Harriette Chandler. She has been hosting the show for more than a year. Beacon Hill Chat is a program that brings interesting people talking about interesting subjects to you.

Here are just a few of the more than 30 interesting people Senator Chandler has interviewed: District Attorney Joseph Early- James B. Leary the Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs for the University of Massachusetts Medical School- Dr Melinda Boone, the Superintendent of the Worcester School System- Erin Williams, the Cultural Development Officer at the Worcester Cultural Coalition- Mary DeFeudis, the recipient of the 2010 Isaiah Thomas Award of the Worcester Telegram’s Visions Community Awards. You can watch Beacon Hill chat Sunday at 4:30pm, Wednesday at 10:30pm, Thursday at 11:00am and 8:30pm on WCCA channel 13.

No other other TV station anywhere produces as much non-repeated, first-run LOCAL programming about Worcester as WCCA TV 13. More than a TV station, WCCA TV is a community resources.

WCCA TV produces more local programming than any of the basic tier cable channels combined. Channeling Worcester’s Community since 1986!

Thanks for your support.

AT & T raises U-Verse TV rates. So much for those franchise reform laws!

By Mauro DePasquale, Executive Director, WCCA TV-13

Not long ago, and it seems every now and then, the telecoms and cable companies lobby government to manipulate legislators to enhance their own ability to corner the market. For instance: Using misinformation by suggesting local cable franchise regulations curtail competition, when it doesn’t. Competition itself does not guarantee lower rates either (e.g. why is the cost of gas for your car going up when there is a gas station on nearly every block in some areas for example?). It is also simply a lie to say that public access TV or PEG centers cause rate hikes or that they depend on city tax money.

Companies like Verizon, l AT & T and others lobbied hard to eliminate “locally controlled” (City) franchise authority and locally determined regulations. Luckily for all of us, they were not successful in Massachusetts. For a few other states it’s an unfortunate, different story. By moving local franchise authority to state controlled, where they can perhaps take the local community input further away from the process. Claiming it would reduce rates when, over the long term, it would not. The only thing we would end up with, if such a case were successful, would be higher rates and no public access. I see no win there – unless you’re a CEO for one of those companies. Continue reading AT & T raises U-Verse TV rates. So much for those franchise reform laws!

Attention, all political candidates! WCCA TV 13 will host a Candidates Open Mic Night this Wednesday! Free! Sign up today!

Dear Political Candidates:

WCCA TV 13, “The People’s Channel” at 415 Main Street, Worcester, is hosting a Candidates Open Mic Night. Wednesday OCT 13, starting at 6 PM ending at 8 PM.

Each candidate will be given five minutes to inform the viewers about their agenda/platform and qualities and criteria worthy of voters consideration. Time slots are available on a walk in, first come, first serve basis.

Upon your arrival you will fill out a release form printing your name clearly. Each candidate will begin by stating their name, party affiliation, and office they are running for and proceed accordingly from there to fill the remaining five minute block.

Each recorded block will be produced for cable and web casting on WCCA TV 13 channels. And will be played numerous times throughout the month until the November election.

For further questions, contact Mauro DePasquale, Executive Director, at 508-755-1880.

Looking forward to seeing you on WCCA TV 13, The People’s Channel – “Channeling Community since 1986”!

Guest panelists wanted

Have a viewpoint you want to share? Please join us – the InCity Times gang – at WCCA TV 13, Main Street, Wormtown. We film our current events show, “Straight Talk,” there and would like to see more guest panelists talk up their pet peeves, pet causes, etc, etc.

It’s not too hard – and kinda fun.

Call me at 508.963.8386 so we can have you on our next show!

Thanks!

– Rosalie T., founding editor/publisher, InCity Times