President's Message

April 1, 2019

The Seven Cs  

It's with great enthusiasm ACM is announcing a change: we are merging with several major cable providers under the banner "Seven C's".

The Charter/Cox/Comcast/Community Media/Cable Cooperative Consortium will be a first of its kind local/transnational merger, bringing about synergies that can only be called "locatran" media.

"CalTrans was taken," said ACM President & CEO Mike Wassenaar.  "We decided to relax and just give in."  The organization will focus now on the many joys and benefits on not providing consumers High Definition channels, Electronic Program Guide information or basic support for local media production on essential issues.

"Since the FCC will only allow us to support new buildings with our capital money, we expect to see media centers popping up everywhere like hotels on Baltic Avenue - all plastic and no equipment inside.  What better way to not produce local media?  It will be positively "locatran!"

When asked about the proposed merger, an FCC spokesperson noted the agency didn't have the authority to say no.  Nonetheless, the agency was excited about unleashing non-functioning media centers across the United States to ensure they don't lose the race for transnational local programming delivered on 20G.

Wassenaar added the market value of ACM membership will be deducted from franchise fee dollars as it provides in-kind support to local communities under the FCC's proposed rules.

"Sure it's a racket - we just decided to get in while the getting was good."


ACM's Website is Launched! & Misc.

ACTUALLY, on this April Fool's Day we're excited about the new ACM website!  It has a new fresh and functional look, and new features such as a member directory, members only content and a transaction gateway to make membership and event registration easier.  Take a look (and set up your member account) at

And we're excited about a new addition to our ACM staff in Minneapolis:  Kim Gilsrud joins our team as Chief Operating Officer.  Welcome aboard, Kim!

We're excited about upcoming deadlines for scholarships through the ACM Foundation. Tell prospective college students you know in media, journalism or public service to consider applying for the Brian Wilson Scholarship by April 11th.  The Foundation provides $1,000 in support to students in those fields.
And consider applying or telling other folks to apply for the Community Media Emerging Leaders Institute taking place July 8th and 9th in Portland, OR.  Deadline for applications is April 12th.

Innovative Idea from New Member JTV 

I had an interesting conversation with Bart Hawley of new member JTV in Jackson, MI.
The station operates on three cable systems in an area south of Lansing, MI.  Jackson County is mostly rural, but Jackson is a city of some 30,000 people.  Like a lot of communities its size, it's in an area where the local newspaper is publishing less and less, so the value of the service the station provides is more dear.
JTV produces local sports, community events coverage, government meetings coverage, public affairs and entertainment programming, but it does so as commercial service on leased access!  They do also receive a contract with local government for meeting coverage like many other PEG entities do.
Bart told me they have looked at grants and donations, but because of the population density and lack of philanthropic resources, they turned to spot advertising.  The cost of that leased access channel?  $5,500 a month! 
I'm not advocating you rent a leased access to start running commercials, although it may be an option to consider.  Rather, I'd suggest you look at the programming mix that JTV uses to attract folks and provide useful information to their local communities who aren't being served by Lansing or other media markets and consider ways to fund that mix (sponsorships, underwriting, grants and donations all qualify). 
Your mileage may vary, but local needs won't be met unless we innovate. 

Upcoming Public Policy Call on Thursday, April 4th  

Be sure to join us on the monthly ACM Public Policy Call this Thursday at 4:00 pm ET.  Let me know if you do not have the coordinates for this Members only discussion!
Mike Wassenaar
President & CEO
The Alliance for Community Media