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Published: Wednesday, 10/11/2006

Station wants aid to expand range of broadcasting

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

DELTA - INTV, the public access channel on the Time Warner Cable network available in much of Fulton and Williams counties, wants to broadcast programs shot in more Fulton County communities - but only if those cities and villages help pay for it.

Delta Village Council is considering the station's request for the $15,000 to $20,000 that the village is expected to receive from its 5 percent franchise fees from Time Warner.

And station manager Tami McElrath said she expects the station to ask more local communities for their fees.

The station's budget comes almost entirely from the approximately $40,000 given to it by Wauseon from its franchise fees. Because of that, the station, which works closely with the Wauseon High School broadcast journalism class, focuses on Wauseon events.

Wauseon City Council meetings, Wauseon High School games and concerts, and the city's homecoming festival and chili cook-off are all broadcast. Likewise, city events appear on the station's community calendar, which runs from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. and between other programs in the middle of the day.

Ms. McElrath, however, said she has been saying no to numerous requests for both calendar listings and broadcasts of video from event organizers in other Fulton and Williams county communities. With two staff members at the station, she says it has no time to accommodate those requests. And without more money, it can't afford to hire more staff or buy equipment. Much of the station's equipment is from the early 1990s, when it went on the air.

Until about five years ago, the station could be seen only in the Wauseon area. But then its broadcasting expanded to what is now about 5,500 homes and businesses in Fulton and Williams counties, according to Time Warner spokesman Pat McCauley.

How many people watch INTV is unknown though. The station is not rated, but Ms. McElrath said she believes it is popular based on the number of phone calls and notes she receives from viewers.

Getting Delta's franchise fees - and thus more of its events on the air - would be key, she said, because Delta High School has a broadcast journalism class.

"So those kids could see their work on television," she said.



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