Grand Jury blames lack of oversight for MCTV’s poor quality programming

By on Fri, July 10, 2009

The county’s Civil Grand Jury says that because the county, which charters MCTV, has not exercised its oversight of the public channel the result has been poor quality programming, a failure to communicate with the community, restriction of reuse of programs it produces with public money, and the elimination of a public voice in the station’s management.

The Grand Jury recommends that the county and Half Moon Bay (which provides the station with cable fees) "initiate engaged oversight in the areas of station revenue, quality of programs, and relevance to the community." From the findings:

The majority of MCTV broadcast programming is archival in nature, often obtained from sources outside the community, and is aired repeatedly.  The overwhelming majority of MCTV produced programming is of regularly scheduled government meetings.  Some new programming produced by others in the community and offered to MCTV has been rejected on technical grounds and occasionally for reasons of religious advocacy. ...

The Directors and Station Manager of MCTV acted on April 30, 2009 to eliminate the category of membership, as well as all rights associated with membership through a bylaw change.  The MCTV Board absorbed these rights, and became a self-perpetuating governing body.  It initiated this action, in part, to eliminate the burden of dissent from the membership.

In April, MCTV eliminated the rights of all members and made its board of directors self-appointing.

We’ll be writing more about this, but in the meantime, you can read the Grand Jury’s report.

Full disclosure: In 2008, I ran for a seat on MCTV’s board as part of a reform slate and lost to a board-nominated slate. More on that later, too.