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Posted: November 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.

City, Charter partner for PEG channels

Covington Community Television to air in 2009

After many months of work the city of Covington has finalized its polices and procedures for the operation of three Public Education and Government cable channels provided by Charter Communications.

At the Covington City Council's work session Monday City Manager Steve Horton told the council he expected the city would receive the cable channels 8 and 20 in January and channel 22 in February.
Covington Community Television is the result of a franchise agreement between the city and Charter and is a new department within the city's administration.

"Everybody had an opportunity to look at these negotiations and make comment on them," Horton told the council of the deliberations that went on between members of the council, Charter and interested members of the community.

According to CCTV's policies and procedures, the premise of the PEG channels is "to give individuals who otherwise might not have access to the media an opportunity to display and showcase their talent, knowledge, interests and any other information with the rest of their community."

The city already plans to begin airing its regularly scheduled twice-monthly meetings on one of the PEG channels. Horton said the Newton County Board of Education will also likely be using the channels for some programming.

According to the CCTV policies and procedures, CCTV will provide and maintain video production and post production equipment, playback and cable-casting equipment, training and channel time. Its offices and facilities are presently located at the Covington City Hall on Emory Street.
Horton said no price structure is currently in place for the buying of cable time but that it would likely be in line with what Charter currently charges. CCTV's funding comes primarily from franchise fees paid to the city by Charter.

The city will also seek donations from individuals and corporations. Nominal fees and charges for some services and air time charges for certain programming will also go to CCTV's operating budget.
The goal of CCTV is not to make a profit for the city but to break-even Horton said.

CCTV's equipment and facilities are available to be used by any of the following: residents of Newton County, employees of a company doing business permanently in Newton County, employees of the county or any municipality or school in Newton County and students attending educational institutions full-time in Newton County.

"The whole intent is to make sure that the county and school are represented," Horton said, adding that other municipalities in the county are free to buy air-time from Covington as well.

Series slots for regularly scheduled programming will be allocated by the director of CCTV if enough time remains for other programs. To receive a series slot, a producer must have at least two complete episodes already produced and have pre-production plans for the third and fourth episodes. All time slots are available on a first-come, first served basis.

If a PEG program has mature content or themes which can included nudity, adult language, violence and graphic medical procedures, the producer of the program is expected to notify CCTV of the nature of the content prior to scheduling. CCTV will then schedule the cablecast between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. The programming must also carry a disclaimer with it.

CCTV also encourages political candidates and other citizens to use the public access channels to communicate their political views.

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