Among other things, AB2987 authored by Levine and Nunez will essentially allow cable operators to shut down public access television channels and instead pay a significant fee to the City. Then, theoretically, it would be up to the City to allow time for public access programming on it's community affairs Channel 36, if it wanted.
On Wednesday, the Clowncil approved a mostly meangingless measure by Members Tony Cardenas and Jan Perry instructing the City's Information Technology Agency to review what impact this law will have and what options there are. However, the City's resident expert on cable television, Councilman Bill Rosendahl, himself a former cable television executive and on-air personality, lamented the Nunez-Levine act will mean the death of public access. In the clip below, both Rosendahl and Council Member Dennis Zine make passioned pleas of support for public access followed by Tom LeBong who makes some sort of non-sequitir reference to the old 1950s cop drama, Highway Patrol starring Broderick Crawford.
We remember that City Councilman Bernard Parks ordered the public affairs program Full Disclosure from it's airwaves. Who at City Hall will decide which program air and which don't?
On the other hand, with YouTube, blogs and other forms of technology is public access even necessary? I am certain more people read this blog than watch most of the shows on Channel 25 here in the East Valley (truthfully most of them are awful). That's a question that should be considered over time however it's ultimately a decision that should be up to the cable operators as private businesses and not have to be shaken down by politicians who will only waste the money.