Monday, May 15, 2000

More cable programs due for Union Twp.

Trustees help pay for new studio

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION TOWNSHIP — Residents of this Butler County community soon will be a TV remote click away from viewing more local cable programming.

        Union Township trustees recently approved the final funding that will finish construction of a cable TV studio for West Chester Community TV (WCCTV) at 8878 Beckett Road. The studio is scheduled to begin producing local programming by the end of summer, freeing the township TV studio from having to share programming time with other communities under Greater Cincinnati's Intercommunity Cable Regulatory Commission. For cable viewers in Union Township, which will officially change its name June 28 to West Chester Township, it will mean more of their cable channels will contain township news, high school sports, community announcements, rebroadcasts of public and governmental meetings, and locally produced TV programming.

        “It'll be a state-of-the-art studio that will allow us an other way for residents to communicate with each other,” township Administrator David Gully said.

        Every year, about $3 million is spent on public-access programming in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

        This money comes from fees paid by cable customers.

        Channel space is provided by cable companies in exchange for their use of public rights of way.

        Tim Jester, director of WCCTV, said the local TV production company's annual budget is about $400,000.

        “Now we won't have to share cable space,” said Mr. Jester in reference to the six Time Warner Cable TV channels in the township that will be devoted to WCCTV.

        Once the studio begins program production, Warner cable channels in the community that will carry the local shows will be: 4, 8, 15, 17, 18 and 24, he said.

        Five years ago, WCCTV produced about 60 local cable access shows a year, but with the new studio about 250 such programs will be broadcast to cable viewers throughout Union Township.

        “We will really become the information service for West Chester residents,” Mr. Jester said.


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