April 6, 2011 Minutes

MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – April 6, 2011

Joyce Listro, NH

Johnes Ruta, NH

Peaches Quinn, NH

George Alexander, H treasurer

Tad Weinstein, WH chair

Jen Sacco, H secretary

Shalita Sanford, H

Sharon Codeanne, Comcast representative

Meeting called to order 6:05 p.m. by Tad Weinstein.    CTV representative not present. 

Minutes from March meeting accepted.

Comcast report submitted.  Sharon reported about the meeting that occurred the previous Monday between representatives from One World, CTV, and Comcast regarding the ongoing dispute between One World and CTV regarding the decreased airing of 21st century conversations.  CTV board did vote to enforce their rule of one hour of airtime per week per producer.  Ms. Shani is not pleased because this means her one hour program will now only be aired once, whereas it used to air twice a week.

Alternative scheduling rules were considered; George expressed concern that if there will be empty slots on CTV, then this seems arbitrary.  He suggested CTAC write to DPUC that we disagreed with CTV’s rules.  Johnes and others questioned if disagreement was appropriate, without further explanation.  Joyce also expressed concern that we don’t have enough info.   All agreed we needed to see a log so airings could be reviewed.

Sharon said CTV board agreed the rule would be in effect from May (enforced).  Sharon didn’t have the language of the resolution but had requested it from CTV.

Peaches suggested our role could be to request/recommend a quantitative analysis  of what actually is aired/how often.  It appears that such a log is available on CTV’s website.

Sharon will send a report to the DPUC, the we can send a note, copy the DPUC about arbitrary seeming nature of the rule.  They need a fair process for assigning extra time (either a lottery, or one based on public interest), particularly when CTV airs purchased nationally available programming, time slots which could be allocated to locally produced shows, instead.  However, Johnes indicated that he agreed with CTV’s ruling in so far as these stated satellite transmissions are daily news productions, such 
as “Democracy Now!”, “Grit TV,”  (and others originating world-wide, and from all parts of the political spectrum.)  He argued that there is a clear public demand for these “alternative news programs.” 

Walter, of CTV, came in to the meeting briefly to answer question about the server, and said we are not receiving programming reports because their server is not capable of supporting the generation of the program report.  We were instructed to ask the CTV board how many locally produced shows/hours come in to CTV each week.

A customer wrote to us complaining that for the price they pay for Comcast, there is nothing of value to watch on tv.  We forwarded that complaint to Sharon, and asked if someone would reach out to the customer to make her aware of lower priced basic packages.

Report from Treasurer:  George brought up AT&T issue and fees collected for CTV and role of CTAC in monitoring funds to CTV from DPUC report.  Tad and Sharon explained that it does not apply to our area because CTV is independent from Comcast.  North Haven is objecting to the DPUC ruling, and so it appears not to be consistent.

Meeting adjourned  7:05 p.m.