Franklin Matters – A Critical Collaboration
Some background is pertinent here. Well before the pandemic, a priority for Franklin was to improve the means of communications and information access. This initiative was spearheaded by Jamie Hellen and Council member Glenn Jones. We participated in that effort with Steve Sherlock and Franklin Matters.
Prior to the pandemic we were already working with Steve to expand our collaboration efforts – publishing timely information in easily accessible form wherever possible by all media means: Video, Audio and Text. As stated clearly in our Franklin●TV bylaws, we are charged with, “providing access to existing and future communications media, ... and for the innovative use of … other forms of communications media.”
This directive motivated the launch of our community radio station wfpr●fm, on 102.9. Our collaboration extended Franklin Matters to the airwaves, providing timely information about the pandemic and related matters through Steve’s weekly radio discussions with Franklin officials. Through his hundreds of radio hours, Steve kept information flowing throughout the many months of the pandemic.
As we move beyond the pandemic, we are looking forward to expanding our ongoing collaboration as part of our ‘new normal’ – to “Build Back Better”. Steve’s Franklin Matters, Franklin●TV and wfpr●fm will continue our shared efforts to bring information that citizens can readily Watch, Listen and Read.
A Broadcasting Opportunity, wfpr●fm
WFPR is the public broadcasting extension of F●TV’s media services to Franklin and surrounding towns. Franklin Public Radio went on the air at 10:29 AM on February 2nd 2017.
Like F●TV’s Community Bulletin Board, our wfpr●fm public service announcements inform our listeners about local civic groups and their upcoming events. We promote the good works of civic and pro bono groups. Our mission is to Amplify the Public Good. In 2019 wfpr●fm broadcast more than 30,000 free public service messages, each 20 to 30 seconds long. If your group wishes to expand its outreach on local community radio, call 508-528-9377 to learn more. There is no cost.
WFPR also provides opportunities for local citizens to have a voice by producing their own radio programs or participating as volunteers to make our radio station successful as a local community resource. Volunteers currently produce several regular weekly programs for broadcast over WFPR. These programs also can be heard online at wfpr●fm and as podcasts on their respective websites. In 2020 our volunteers produced over 400 original weekly radio programs.
As part of our continuing commitment to students at Franklin and Tri-County High Schools, Franklin●TV awarded two $1,500 scholarships to 2020 graduates Kathleen O’Neal and James Bullis. They are pursuing media and communications careers. Congratulations and best wishes go out to them as they begin their academic endeavors.
The 10-year contract between Franklin as the LFA (Local Franchise Authority) and Comcast as cable carrier concluded in December of 2019. A new 10- year contract was finalized in the fall of 2020. The agreement sets the local access fee paid by Comcast subscribers at 5%. It also changes Comcast’s capital expense contribution for equipment from a fixed fee at $30,000/year to an amount determined in part by subscriber revenues.
This change by Comcast addresses an anticipated loss of subscribers over their contract period as more residents engage in cord-cutting; replacing their cable services with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other internet sources as well as free over-the-air HDTV.
Comcast also agreed to provide Franklin with one HDTV channel where we initially requested three; one for each existing PEG channel. We currently produce all of our programs in high definition. The Comcast HDTV transmission equipment is not yet installed. Their planned installation date is end of 2022.
Our Charter Operations
We support requests from various town agencies and civic organizations for coverage of community events. We cover events that are cultural or institutional in nature and of general interest to the public.
Residents who produce their own access programs are the owners of these programs. As such, these producers hold their own copyright and may copy and distribute these programs freely, provided that the programs are cablecast on the Franklin system. Per our Public Access charter, we do not provide free equipment for covering private or personal events or for purposes other than generating access programs to be shown over the Franklin cable system We are always interested in training volunteers who would like to learn the craft of video production. Trained volunteers and interns work alongside our roster of free-lance and staff professionals to shoot and edit the institutional programs that we cover.
While visiting our website, also read our informative
F.A.Q. on P/E/G TV studios, their operation, history and charter. We also recommend browsing our past newsletter archives to learn more about Franklin●TV, our growth and development, and the civic events that we cover throughout the year. You can also watch past programs via YouTube video on demand, at www.Franklin●TV, or listen to Franklin Public Radio on 102.9 FM. You can also listen live online or find podcasts of past programs at www.wfpr●fm.
Finally, in closing, “Thanks for watching!”
- and thanks for listening to wfpr●fm.
Respectfully submitted by F●TV’s Board of Directors: Ken Norman, Jay Horrigan, Wesley Rea, John Milot, Anne Bergen, Pandora Carlucci, Rose Turco, Jim Derick and Steve Sherlock
Peter Fasciano, Executive Director, Franklin●TV & wfpr●fm
|The vision is one site to "Watch, Listen, Read" all that matters in Franklin, MA.|
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