FCAT woes from the inside out | TheUnion.com

FCAT woes from the inside out

As a local producer and former board member, I directed the first “Grass Valley Sitcom” four years ago and can confirm that some producers expect everyone to work for free.

I had a hard time coaxing even a soda pop out of him on a hot day, “get the whole six pack, think of the actors and crew.” Though mine recognized that it’s difficult to be a professional producer in this town, his solution was to make it impossible. He must consider being a paid producer a sin if it is a “temptation” to make a profession of it on public access.

In their zeal to envision a strictly amateur public access, they still trade in the visibility and perks that attend access programming. This one did a lot of high-quality work setting up the station; I’m glad he was a pro.

As far as the “potential of the station,” I feel this is a matter of perspective. It is fulfilling its mandate and needs more support, not less. That local government takes 98 percent of the income from the cable franchise shows that they share this desire for media people to work for free. This is greedy and should be corrected in renegotiation. This money comes from less than 10 percent of the populace and should all go to the station to serve the public in an era of media secrecy and fraud.

More enlightened cities actually have a grant system for local shows. Grass Valley won’t even pay to cover themselves, and it seems the mayor wants to play politics with the meager $5,000 a year they dole out. Shame on them and for all the wasted time spent arguing this issue.

Timothy Tigerman

North San Juan

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