In this era of dangerously diminished local news coverage, NewTV‘s streaming of municipal and school meetings, candidate forums and Jenn Adam’s long running weekly Newton News program have been the only constant, consistent, source of local reporting.
But that could all change pending a possible rule change before the FCC that could dramatically reduce the cable fees NewTV and cable access stations nationwide depend on for the majority of their budgets, the Globe reports.
Globe reporter Andy Rosen actually singles out NewTV as a station that has been planning to decrease dependency on cable revenue for years (disclosure I used to sit on NewTV’s board of directors).
But Rosen notes that those cable fees we all pay (or, more precisely, the fees of us who still have cable TV pay) “still makes up about 75 to 80 percent of the organization’s $1.6 million operating budget.”
Executive director Robert Kelly said he believes the organization will be able to weather the proposed FCC change, but he is rushing to adapt to the change that is coming.
“We still want to be around. Newton residents will want us to be around. Government meetings still need coverage. People still need to express themselves,” he said. “So where do they go?”