New public media corporation formed in Southborough
Southborough – Southborough Media Access, Inc. (SAM) announced Dec. 19 that the Southborough Board of Selectmen has approved a long-term funding plan to begin developing a public media program for Southborough residents.
Until recently, the Town of Southborough did not have a public access corporation. As a result, the availability of training for residents and students was lacking, as was modern equipment and a facility to produce programming. To remedy this, the Board of Selectmen approved the creation of Southborough Media Access in April.
As part of their franchise agreements with the Town of Southborough, the town's three cable providers, Verizon, Charter Communications, and Comcast, pay the town subscription fees that are earmarked for the production of local programming. Public, educational, and government programming, known as PEG programming, is funded from these fees. On Dec. 17, the Board of Selectmen, after a review of the corporation's structure and objectives, approved the transfer of the subscription fees to SAM to enable it to develop a first-class PEG production program for Southborough.
“We are very excited about what Southborough Media Access is going to do,” said Town Administrator Mark Purple. “For too long, the townspeople have not seen much of any return on the PEG subscription fees on their cable bills. By creating and funding a nonprofit PEG corporation, the Board of Selectmen has created a structure dedicated to delivering a return on this investment. I would encourage everyone who wishes to do so to get involved and help build a showcase of education, entertainment, and debate for all of Southborough.”
SAM's vision for Southborough will now begin to take shape during 2014. SAM's board members – Warren Palley, Neil Rossen, Katelyn Willis, and Alex Neihaus – will use the funding to hire an executive director, build a studio, and develop training programs for the schools and the community at large.
Instead of calling the organization “Southborough Cable Access,” as is common for PEG corporations, the board named it “Southborough Access Media” because PEG programming needs to be available on more than just the cable system. SAM intends to provide access to all distribution capabilities, as well as the equipment and facilities to produce content.
“As a public, nonprofit programming organization, our role is to facilitate the creation of content that the town itself wants to see and hear,” said Warren Palley, president of SAM. “We invite anyone in the town of Southborough who has an idea and an interest in communicating it to contact us to learn what we can offer. Our charter is to be open to all programming ideas and to make our facilities available to all who wish to use them. Even with our rather limited capabilities today, we encourage people to be pioneers with us and participate with us as we build a high quality programming center.”
Interested members of the community may visit www.sboromedia.org to learn more or send email to email@example.com. Town residents may watch televised meetings of the Southborough Board of Selectmen on channel 37 on Verizon's system and on channel 12 on Charter's system. At SAM's website, visitors can also stream recordings of these meetings and other programs.
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