Public-access factions will create a compromise plan

Compromise receives a unanimous vote.
Friday, March 5, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:13 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

A compromise is to be drafted for public-access programming in Columbia.

That was the unanimous decision of the Columbia Cable Television Task Force at its meeting Thursday night.

For the first time, the Columbia Media Resource Alliance, KMIZ-TV/KQFX-TV and Stephens College met to craft a plan that would create a foundation for public access in Columbia. The cable companies, which are working with KMIZ, did not attend the meeting.

Task force member Marty Riback said it was “amazing” that by talking together the groups accomplished more in the last three weeks than they had in the previous two years.

The task force asked the three groups to meet together over the next month to compose a plan for how public access could be run under the current franchise agreement with the cable companies. The plan will include location, timing, budget and a recommendation for a new not-for-profit board to run the public access channel.

Mediacom recently posted “Coming Soon! CTV” on public-access channel 8 and promised public access availability in April. That date would be pushed back to allow the three groups to implement a better plan.

“I’m irritated they can’t comply,” said Kent Collins, a task force member, of the cable companies’ failure to attend the meeting.

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