Looming over everything from funding to programming is a recent decision by the FCC to allow cable companies to, in effect, significantly reduce funding for public, educational and governmental channels.
Those who run the county’s three access channels say the new rules, which would severely impact their revenue streams, would likely put them out of business and deprive the public of valuable programming available nowhere else.
North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard noted the irony that WWLP, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, sent a camera crew to the news conference but coverage of it would not be available to Charter’s Berkshire County subscribers.
Community Television for the Southern Berkshires will produce the show initially, with the goal of having entirely student-run programs in the near future. The hope is to air at least one show per month.
There was also considerable grumbling about Berkshire County being included in the Albany, New York, television market, resulting in very few stations from Springfield or Boston in the channel line-up and, therefore, a dearth of news coverage concerning Massachusetts.