NEWBURY – It just got a little easier for Newbury residents to stay informed about their local government. Thanks to a year and half long effort by the Media Committee, the town’s first cable access TV channel began broadcasting this month. The Newbury Channel – or TNC-TV channel 9 – will initially cover all Board of Selectmen’s meetings live and then rebroadcast them periodically during the weeks afterward.
“For now, our channel Director, Caleb Noble, is videoing the meetings, scheduling the broadcasts, and downloading other programming available to local community cable operations,” said Media Committee chair Paul Daubitz.
As more residents volunteer to help with the broadcasts other municipal departments and boards can also be covered. Motivated volunteers will be trained to operate state-of-the-art broadcast equipment, how to run the video cameras, and how to select the shots to be broadcast.
“Eventually we hope that this resource will grow to provide more locally produced TV programs available both on TV and over the Internet,” said Daubitz. The cameras, microphones, and other broadcast equipment, were purchased through franchising fees funded through the town’s agreement with Comcast.
Formed with leadership from Selectman David Mountain in the fall of 2011, the 5-member volunteer Media Committee spent its early months contacting local vendors of TV broadcast equipment; talking with community TV directors in Salisbury, Rowley and Newburyport; and drafting a set of prioritized goals.
By last summer, they had identified a vendor on the Massachusetts State Bidders List, which streamlined the purchasing process and guaranteed best pricing. Last November the equipment was delivered and the system was wired up, tested and debugged. The volunteers then trained on the new gear, and prepared for round-the-clock broadcasting.
“The final step was for Comcast to connect to our station which happened on April 16,” said Daubitz.