by Jim Nintzel
Access Tucson has avoided cancellation and is back in business, but not without fewer resources. Details from the latest bulletin from the non-profit public-access TV station:
Last Tuesday 3/9 the Mayor and Council took an important step toward the survival of community media in Tucson. By a vote of 6-1 (with Councilmember Rodney Glassman voting no - he moved to eliminate all funding for Access Tucson next year but that motion died for lack of a second) they directed Tucson 12 to move in with Access Tucson at 124 E. Broadway. They also said that there will be parity* of funding and support for Tucson 12 and Access Tucson. While the details of Tucson 12's move have yet to be worked out, there was clear support for both Access Tucson and Tucson 12 to continue to provide their award-winning services into the future.
*According to Webster's New World Dictionary, parity means equality in power, value, etc.
Access Tucson will re-open next Wednesday
Last Thursday 3/11 the Access Tucson Board met and approved
a work-plan and budget from the time we re-open next Wednesday, March 24th until the next planned closure - the month of June. With zero funding for January to June some very tough choices have been made.
There will be changes
Things will be different. Almost half of the Access Tucson staff has been laid off due to the elimination of funding that started January. The staff that remains will be coming off of a six week furlough and will be furloughed again the month of June.
Production services will be on a different schedule. Our hours of operation through May will be Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. each day. Check-ins and check-outs of equipment and limited classes will occur only on these days. Some producers who had times reserved other than these hours will need to re-schedule.
No studio production or anchor desk classes will be offered through May.
All services to non-profit groups and organizations have been cut through May.
The cablecast schedule remains as is through May however, programs will now need to be turned in five days in advance of any scheduled playback. Details of how the June closure will effect programming will be forthcoming soon and expect a revamped cablecast lottery in July for a new season starting in September.
There may be other interruptions in services the next two months as the building is changed to make room for Tucson 12.
All of these things are being done with the least possible impact on members and producers, yet the impact will still be felt by all.