June 13, 2019 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Brattleboro Municipal Center, Room 306
230 Main Street, Brattleboro VT
Many of you have asked for news about the FCC’s decision regarding our funding. Though the ruling has not yet been voted on, we know it will happen, possibly as soon as June. While this has been an unexpected and alarming turn of events, it has forced us to take action, because we know that cord-cutting by customers and funding threats at the federal level mean that we need to plan ahead if BCTV is to remain viable. We can no longer rely solely on cable revenues to cover the coast of providing our services to the community.
BCTV’s board of directors gathered in January for a retreat to proactively address the need for a new business model and to increase the sustainability of our operations. The purpose of the Special Members Meeting is to discuss the three initiatives that came out of that retreat, as follows:
– Membership fees that reflect the value of services provided: Our current membership fee structure is very simple – payment of $20 (or $10 for students/seniors) gives members unlimited equipment and staff resources for a year, no matter the level of use. We have been able to offer this because the cost of maintaining our equipment and staffing has been fully subsidized by local cable revenues. The new membership rates recognize that different types of shows and equipment/facility use require different amounts of resources. So a person who joins BCTV to submit a show that merely needs uploading will now pay less than a person producing a weekly show in the studio. The new fees will be announced at the meeting and will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
– Production services rates that reflect the full cost of services provided: About seven years ago, BCTV started offering our services for hire for productions such as meeting coverage, studio interviews, and nonprofit PSAs. We were able to keep these rates minimal, based on what it cost to send a field staff producer to do the work. BCTV’s board has adjusted the rates so that more of our operational costs will be covered.
– Fundraising appeals like other nonprofits: Up to this point, BCTV has been in the fortunate position of not competing with other nonprofits for local fundraising dollars, and has relied on a handful of loyal underwriters to close annual budgetary gaps. Now we will dedicate staff time to asking viewers, supporters, members, local residents, and businesses for donations of all levels, as well as researching grants and seeking foundations to support our community media mission.
The meeting is open to the public and will be on Facebook Live on our Page. There will be time for Q & A, and if you wish to submit a question in advance, please email it to email@example.com. We will be monitoring the comments on Facebook Live in case questions are posted there.
If you wish to discuss the changes in person, please feel free to stop by the office. We hope that many of you can attend the meeting so we can have a full discussion of the issues, understand what’s at stake, and move forward with our plan to preserve BCTV as a vital community resource.
President, BCTV Board of Directors