Chehalis resident Tad Devlin has stepped forward with a sound proposal to essentially replace the area’s foundering cable-access station, CCTV.
Devlin proposes forming an enterprise dubbed Lewis County Television (LCTV), which would feature a mix of public access, educational and government programming_ The eventual goal would be to make the station self-sufficient, rather than having to depend on government subsidies.
The latter system didn’t work for CCTV With the city of Centralia as the lone sponsor, CCTV has not been able to make a go of it financially.
Details of Devlin’s proposal, of course, have yet to be worked out. Efforts are underway to start the process by appointing a executive director and a citizens’ board of director to steer the enterprise. He is seeking grants to help underwrite station costs and is working to secure free educational programming, which he contends will help improve literacy among county residents and possibly address chronic problems with unemployment and under employment.
But some naysayers have stepped forward to grump. Last Tuesday, some producers and guests of CCTV talk shows grumped that Devlin’s LCTV would take away their ability to do what they want on such shows.
Let’s face it: What they want is for the government to foot the bill for their antigovernment diatribes.
The problem – as Devlin and Centralia City Manager Tom Reber have pointed out – is CCTV has gained a reputation of being dominated by such content, which has driven away public support and interest, plus other potential programmers who don’t want to be associated with that reputation.
Yes, there’s a place for such talk, and nothing says that LCTV can’t be such a place – while also providing quality, diverse and educational programming designed to appeal to a broader spectrum of viewers and potential financial supporters. LCTV is no more guaranteed of success than was CCTV. But it deserves a chance to work, and now is not the time to derail it before it even has such an opportunity.