Matt Sullivan, Executive Director of LMCTV (left) and Assistant Director Dena Schumacher. Photo by Malcolm Froumer.
LMCTV Expands Role Beyond Traditional Local Television Coverage
By Helen Rafferty
Matt Sullivan, Executive Director of LMCTV and Assistant Director Dena Schumacher shared their plans for programming as well as the need for private funding at the February 11th meeting of the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Local Summit. LMCTV will continue to cover local events and to provide residents with opportunities to create, share and enjoy high quality, locally focused media content in a variety of formats. However, a reduction in funds from the cable franchise fees that are paid through the local governments will require an increase in private fundraising.
Mr. Sullivan pointed out that LMCTV benefits a wide variety of community stakeholders. LMCTV aired 1,192 programs in 2019. They covered on location all government and school board meetings, athletic events, and community events such as parades, galas and ceremonies.
LMCTV has also made over 240 productions within its studio space. Many are made by community members. LMCTV’s podcasting studio offers an opportunity to create audio only programs. The staff can guide aspiring podcasters on the creative and technical aspects of producing high quality podcasts. LMCTV is based on the 3rd floor of Mamaroneck Town Center, with studio facilities for live broadcasting, a podcast room and a Green Room. An LMCTV van will debut this March at Mamaroneck’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Residents can go to the LMCTV studios to create high quality video content for their own personal and commercial purposes. They can also shoot videos outside with LMCTV equipment. Given the astonishing amount of media that is being produced it is vitally important that everyone – especially young people – become media literate. LMCTV offers that opportunity to all.
LMCTV Assistant Director Dena Schumacher spoke about educational opportunities at LMCTV. Many graduates of their internship program have gone on to professional careers in media production.
LMCTV is highly cost-effective. For $278K, LMCTV produces programming that would cost $1.7 million at other media facilities. And that calculation leaves out the value of the education and marketable skills they can empower community members to develop. Mr. Sullivan pointed out that creating high quality, impactful media content takes more than a mobile phone. It takes the training and technology available at LMCTV.
Reflecting its changing and growing role in the Larchmont and Mamaroneck communities, LMCTV will soon be re-branding to LMC Media in the immediate future. The name change more accurately describes the diverse interactions and offerings that the media center will offer the community.
Currently about 90% of LMCTV’s funding comes from a percentage of the subscriber-based franchise fees generated by the 2 cable companies– Verizon and Optimum - that operate in Larchmont and Mamaroneck. These companies are facing decreasing subscribers as people look to other media viewing platforms. In addition, the FCC now allows cable companies to deduct the value of their public access offerings from the contribution they’ve always made to the communities in which they operate. The result: a reduction in revenue to LMCTV.
In addition, citing the need to fund the re-negotiation of contracts with their cable providers, the tri-municipal board of control that oversees LMCTV has deducted $50K from LMCTV’s budget, further reducing its 2019 funds allotment of $713,244 to $663,244 for 2020. LMCTV must make up for this decrease and other lost income. They plan to do this with private fund raising.
LMCTV content is available on channels 75,76 and 77 for Optimum subscribers; on channels 34, 35 and 36 for Verizon subscribers; as well as on Apple and ROKU tv, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
This breakfast forum was hosted by the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Local Summit, an informal community council that seeks to make life better for all in the tri-municipal area. Its monthly meetings are held at the Nautilus Diner in Mamaroneck at 7:45 a.m., generally on the second Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 10 on the subject of domestic violence.
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