Nevada County TV to host telethon (video) |

Nevada County TV to host telethon (video)

Photo for The Union by John Hart
John Hart | The Union

Now that Nevada County Television (NCTV) has moved into its new facilities and with fresh faces on its board of directors, the community access television station is starting a new chapter in its nearly 20-year history. And another new feature for the organization will be its first live telethon broadcast Oct. 13 from the Grass Valley City Hall parking lot.

Touted as “Power Up NCTV,” the goal of the telethon is to raise $10,000 to fund the building of a new studio and control room at NCTV’s new home at Nevada County Digital Media Center, a location subleased from Grass Valley USA, LLC (formerly known as Grass Valley Group).

“There will be a lot of improvements. It just took a lot of work to get here,” said Terri Hicklin, NCTV’s access coordinator.

The station has provided community access television for western Nevada County for nearly two full decades — most recently from facilities at the old armory building off Zion Street in Nevada City.

Over the years, community producers have created programs chronicling a multitude of Sierra foothill happenings from local elections, community events and local sports, as well as cultural programming.

NCTV’s government channel has broadcast Grass Valley’s and Nevada City’s city council and planning commission meetings, as well as county government meetings.

“It’s only limited by the imagination of the community at large, about what they want to see and what they want to produce,” said Gilbert Dominguez, a NCTV producer and the executive producer of TouchDown Productions, of the upcoming telethon.

“Everyone is entitled to bring a program into NCTV,” he said.

In the beginning, NCTV’s committed volunteers broadcast using three VHS decks, which could run two hours each before cycling to the next deck. After the six hours, the whole thing would automatically restart.

“It was pretty primitive by
today’s standards, but we still did it,” Hicklin said.

Today, the station runs two channels with a sophisticated rack of programing equipment hooked into direct feeds from local government centers and monitored by computers.

Getting the rack up and running was the Media Center’s top priority during the transition to the location, Dominguez said, so that programming could resume.

Jay Kuca, the media center’s interim chief engineer constructed the rack, said board member Susan Rogers.

“We are very grateful to Jay and his expertise,” Rogers
said. “We owe him a lot for
his hard work keeping us on the air.”

Boxes and equipment are still stacked about Media Center’s new facilities. Its editing bay is nearly up and running, as is its one-man studio. Only the main studio itself still needs to be assembled.

“It will be nice,” Hicklin said. “It will give us a lot more room. We won’t be bumping into each other, literally.”

A combination of utilities delays and mixed messages from Grass Valley LLC’s new ownership — on top of a shake up of Media Center leadership — prolonged the move-in process.

One of the integral steps along the way was bringing new members on board, Rogers said.

Five new members ­— Doug Bertran, Chuck Coovert, Craig Porter, Sharon Rose and Steve Ross ­— joined Rogers and Paul Shampay on the board over the last few months.

“We’re coming along,” Rogers said. “We have enthusiastic and qualified board members. We’re making good progress.”

The telethon will include performances by Rio Mojo, The Jamal Walker Band, Ivan Najera, Gary Heinz and the OK Chorale, April Miranda and Gianni Rome.

It will also include check presentations from local businesses.

Grass Valley Mayor Jan Arbuckle will open the program and read a proclamation declaring Oct. 13 as Power Up NCTV Day in the town.

“This is an opportunity for nonprofit organizations to give to another nonprofit — a worthy one — that has helped them in the past and will help them in the future,” Dominguez said.

For information about NCTV, how to donate or to
arrange for your business or nonprofit group to be on TV du
ring the telethon, call Dominguez at (530) 263-2482 or email him at

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236.

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