By James Gluso
Centralia-Chehalis Television will no longer have financial support from the city of Centralia after May 18, but the public access channel’s board members don’t intend to let that stop them. The board voted unanimously Tuesday to continue producing programs until another entity takes over responsibility for public access TV. Money already in the bank and donations will keep the station alive.
CCTV had a contract with the city under which the channel would receive $7,500 every quarter, in addition to the use of a city-owned house as a production studio. The city exercised it’s escape clause when CCTV refused to accept a budget reduction to $3,000 a quarter. The contract officially ends May 18. The station has enough money in the bank to continue until September, said Carol Bèzy, board treasurer. The most likely successor is LCTV, a project envisioned by Hollywood producer C.Tad Devlin, Chehalis, but the plan hasn’t secured funding yet.
The project would begin airing programing in September at the earliest. Devlin’s plan is unpopular with CCTV producers, who expect their shows will be squeezed out in favor of programs from outside the area. The board also named Karen Hansen spokeswoman for CCTV. Board President Lee Coumbs had been handling that duty, but other board members were uncomfortable with his willingness to work with Devlin. Coumbs said he is more committed to ensuring public access TV in the Twin Cities than making sure CCTV is the group to provide it. “I really don’t care what the entity is, as long as we have (public access),” he said.