Cape Ann TV has a big, beautiful and bold goal: to be one of the premiere community media stations in the country

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How? Executive Director Erich Archer states it plainly:  “The team at Cape Ann TV and this community make that goal possible. There’s something special and local: the characters, stories and the beauty of Cape Ann. People actively participate in this community, which is incredibly important.  Plus, there’s high caliber and diverse talent.”

CATV AND COMCAST

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Cape Ann TV is located at 38 Blackburn Center in Gloucester, MA, and it’s community television, local, social, and non-commercial. Unlike PBS –which produces shows for a national audience and broadcasts broadly via satellites– community television stations create, produce, and distribute content locally, via a cable provider. There are 350+ active community television stations across the country that operate with a variety of funding sources depending upon how they’re set up. *Since an FCC mandate in 1972, cable providers receive access to rights of way in exchange for funding local cable TV channels by and for the public. The cable television franchise contract fees pay for equipment, training, facilities, studio time and channels (air time). Currently the fiscal model for Cape Ann TV covers operation and capital needs.  Comcast is the local Cape Ann TV cable provider. Archer said that Cape Ann TV has spent more than a year working together with local governments, area schools, partners and citizens to outline and identify what the communities wanted to include in renegotiation terms for the next 10 year contract with Comcast. It was a massive document and effort, and is currently under negotiation.

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The original purpose of cable access continues to be providing TV studios and support for community members so they can make their own content. Our station, CATV, has much to offer that’s relevant. If you need video, CATV can make it for you whether you are an individual, non-profit, for profit or municipality. Make it a point to visit the station and use this invaluable resource. While you’re at it, why not

START YOUR OWN TV SHOW AT CATV

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Here’s your chance. Members can use the cameras, production, and the studio to make their own TV show. You can sign up for film maker and editing classes, lunch workshops, state of the art equipment, cameras, the conference room for community meetings, editing banks, and studio time. Do it. Have fun.

CREATE YOUR OWN PODCAST AT CATV

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There have been upgrades to CATV headquarters: new wall color, original art, and re-design including transposing an under-utilized lobby into a beautiful podcast studio. Podcasts are on an uptick everywhere thanks to easy on demand listening. Since the podcast studio was put in at Cape Ann TV there have been hundreds of downloads–beyond clicking and listening. Invested audiences are saving the shows to listen at their convenience. Archer notes, “We have podcasts about high school sports, one from NOAA about fishery-related issues, arts and variety, and more.” CATV encourages people to start one if they’re interested. “We’ll help them every step of the way.”

WHAT’S ON CATV?

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Cape Ann TV broadcasts original programs and local coverage: area high school sports, city council and municipal meetings, community meetings, Cape Ann Museum programs, library events, local artists and art groups, Cape Ann scenics, and school productions to name just a few. Award winning programs include: The Portrait Series; Awesome Gloucester; GMG podcastsWriters Block with John RonanAll Things Victorian; and the Emmy-winning On the Waterfront, a series about how local seafood gets to your plate.

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN HIRE CATV FOR COMMERCIAL CONTENT?

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Does your business or organization need any professional video shot? Cape Ann TV funding sources also include for profit productions for commercial content. So, if you want to make a video for commercial purposes that will not air on Cape Ann TV, you can contract Cape Ann TV to make it. CATV can work at a high quality and any budget. Do you have an exciting event you’d like to capture? Do you need to film a board room meeting? One example- CATV produced film for a permanent display at Cape Ann Museum.

DID YOU KNOW GRANT FUNDERS AND COMMUNITY GET DOUBLE VALUE?

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CATV has strategically partnered with organizations seeking grant funding. If an organization is writing a grant proposal that includes a video element, they can write CATV into the grant, and CATV will match the grant funds with in kind services. So for example Cape Ann Seafood Exchange wrote a big grant, and they won $5000 as part of this big grant to make a video. CATV matched that award which meant Seafood Exchange could make a $10,000 value video. Next time you’re writing a grant, think about ramping up the application with a video component, and plan ahead so it can happen!

A NOTE FROM MAYOR ROMEO-THEKEN

“Cape Ann Television is an invaluable asset to Gloucester and the Cape Ann community. The city turns to CATV for important local news, information and media education opportunities. The dedicated staff members and volunteers at Cape Ann Television through the leadership of Erich Archer work tirelessly to improve and broaden their coverage of public, education, and government events, keeping our citizens informed and entertained. I have been involved with Cape Ann Television for many years, sharing my views as a city councilor, mayoral candidate and finally, today as Mayor. From this personal experience, I have always recognized the value that CATV provides, allowing local citizens the opportunity to share opinions and information. It is a critical piece of our city’s democracy.” Mayor Romeo Theken, City of Gloucester, MA

DIRECTOR CATV

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Erich Archer has been at the helm of Cape Ann TV for three years. He is a filmmaker and editor by profession. “I try to produce at least one original project a year that I’m proud of. The two On the Waterfront episodes are definitely in that category, as are the two Portrait Series pieces.”

Prior to running the station he worked in Los Angeles in TV and advertising. He moved back from LA for…love.  His wife, Tara, is a wardrobe stylist who grew up on the North Shore. They have two children and reside in Beverly. As a boy, Archer spent summers on Wingaersheek beach with his family. His parents recently moved to Rocky Neck; his mother, Kathleen Gerdon Archer, had a gallery on Rocky Neck. That’s her original art on the walls.

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Helpful links:

Mass.gov Massachusetts Community Access Television 

National Alliance for Community Media 

MassAccess (Massachusetts Community Media, INC) state advocacy membership organization and network. Cape Ann TV is a member and Archer is serving as an officer.

*For more information see Cable Communications Act of 1984 

2014 Boston Globe good article by Steven Rosenberg

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