MCTV lacks in programming, oversight, and public input

Michael Day of MCTV

A report released today by the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury makes official what coastsiders have long known: Midcoast Television (MCTV, channel 6), our so-called community access channel, runs almost no new programming, seems to care little about viewer satisfaction, and is run with little oversight and no public input.

Here’s the report for you to read in its entirety: Grand Jury Report (pdf)

Highlights include:

The majority of the content that is broadcast on MCTV is taken from archival and externally
produced sources. On average, only 10% of what MCTV broadcasts during the week is recently
produced programming, and the majority of that total is video of public governmental meetings.

Regarding MCTV’s recent elimination of members (and member elections of Board members):

The MCTV Board proposed these bylaw changes unilaterally, without advance consultation or
approval of its membership and chartering organizations. Informally, an MCTV representative
told a member of the County Board of Supervisors of the proposed bylaw change shortly before
the vote, which was scheduled for April 30, 2009. The Supervisor recommended that MCTV not
pursue the bylaw change. The other chartering organization, the City, was not informed or
consulted of the proposed bylaw change.

All membership rights were, henceforth, reserved exclusively to MCTV’s Board. With this
change, the MCTV Board became a self-perpetuating body empowered to select replacements
for retiring Board Members, the President, and the Station Manager….

Montara Fog reported earlier on MCTV’s management’s successful bid to eliminate membership in order to eliminate opposition. Click here for the earlier report.

In addition, MCTV has failed to carry out the customer satisfaction that they promised to perform.

Not happy with MCTV and how your tax money is being spent? Write your County Supervisor: Supervisor Rich Gordon

UPDATE: Coastsider is covering this story as well. Check out this extraordinary post in their comment section–a rare inside view of how MCTV operates.

Photo illustration by Darin Boville. Original Photograph by Cheri Parr.

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