Monday, January 27, 2020

FM #195 - Franklin Matters integration update

FM #195

This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 195 in the series, now collaborating with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

I want to take a few minutes of your time to provide some updates on how the integration of Franklin Matters with the Franklin TV and Radio operations are going. In case you missed it, at the end of September I retired from my full time corporate position with John Hancock. I chose the timing carefully to allow for me to conduct the candidate interviews in the run up to the Franklin Biennial election in November.

In that effort, I managed to publish the interviews with 19 of 21 of the candidates for the Town Council and School Committee. Some of the interviews were published as audio files, some as text. Most were conducted in person, although some were conducted via email. While I can rest assured that the voters should have been better prepared than previous years. I still found folks who had no idea what I was doing and the information that I was publishing. I will not rest knowing that we did have a small turnout.

On the plus side, the election day results were broadcast live from the FHS gymnasium. Frank Falvey and I conducted on the spot interviews with candidates and others waiting for the results in the gym. We had queued up some segments that were pre-recorded with the Town Clerks Teresa Burr and Nancy Danello, and Franklin historian James Johnston to work into the live broadcast. Frank also prepared about an hour long program with election music that was broadcast as the lead in to our live show.

While I knew going live was going to be a first, that this was also the first time that the Franklin Radio station had ever been live was a surprise to me. I was very nice to find out we had set two records at the same time. I look forward to more live broadcasts. 2020 will a significant election year. The Presidential Primary is in March with the State Primary (includes the MA state senate and representative seats) in September, followed by the Presidential election in November.

In short, the integrations are going well. I am having a great time. I am continuing to learn and share what I learn. I am able to spend more time leisurely walking about town, mostly going from meeting to meeting, My reporting while walking around will be better for the time spent.

I have been provisioned with recording equipment to create a mobile studio. While my own personal device still functions well, I’ll now use it as a back up to the high quality equipment from the studio. As I learn the tips and tricks in using this new equipment, the recordings I make in the smaller Municipal Building conference rooms and 3rd Floor Training room should all sound much better. You will benefit from better audio quality. Franklin TV and Radio will benefit by having my mobile unit expand the coverage they already provide from the Council Chambers, and the studio on 23 Hutchinson St.

In addition to the meetings that I record, I’ll be adding more interviews with key Franklin individuals. For example, Karen Alves, the Senior Center Director, recently provided an outlook at the programs being offered. I have more in process to help us all understand the variety and quality of the offerings that the senior center provides to the seniors, veterans, and to other members of the Franklin community.

Cathleen Liberty, the new Health Director, met with me recently to record the introductory session of what we believe will be a series on the Health Dept and the work they do. EEE caught a lot of news last year and the coronavirus is all over the news currently so we’ll likely be back sooner than later with an update on how Franklin is preparing.

My primary focus for reporting remains to ‘follow the money.’ You will continue to get timely and accurate reporting from the Town Council, School Committee, and Finance Committee meetings.

Given the additional time I have, I will expand my focus to also include items on the ‘quality of life’ here in Franklin. While the budget is a key priority, we also need to have constructive discussions around what we want Franklin to be. How do we prioritize the budget to achieve this? For example, 2028 is coming closer each day. What is 2028? 2028 will be the 250th anniversary of the creation of Franklin.What will life here be like? How much would Ben Franklin recognize? How much would he approve?

Your input will be looked for as the year progresses. For example, what would a web page with Franklin TV, Franklin Radio, and Franklin Matters look like? What info would you expect to find there? These questions and others will come along as we continue to integrate Franklin Matters and its digital news feed into the video and radio feeds. These are exciting times.

You have heard me say before, this podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can always use your help.

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors.
  • If you don't like this, please let me know.

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements.
Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

FM #195 - Franklin Matters integration update
FM #195 - Franklin Matters integration update

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