President's Message | October 14, 2019

Motion Filed for FCC to Stay Cable Franchising Order

Our colleagues at NATOA along with the National League of Cities, US Conference of Mayors, and several other municipal associations filed a motion with the FCC to stay its cable franchising order this last week (here’s the motion).

I expect the FCC will reject the stay – and it will set the stage for the real legal fight against the FCC in court later this fall. ACM will be among many parties who expect to be suing the FCC in court for overstepping its authority and harming local communities.

At this stage, ACM is asking its members to document any requests for franchise modification that are coming from cable companies so we can document possible harms – and that you consider supporting the legal fight with a contribution to our legal and public policy fund.  

Our next steps will be reaching out to Congress once again to ensure the FCC doesn’t attempt to count channel capacity as a separate “in-kind” benefit that can be used to discount franchise fee contributions to local communities and PEG operations. We are reaching out to all of the 67 members of Congress who helped push back the FCC in its rule-making and will need MORE members in the coming months to say that the FCC should not be harming PEG operations and channels. Please let me know if you are interested in sending a letter to your Congress member – we’ve developed a sample you can adapt or use with local elected leaders and commissions.

Community Media Day

This Sunday is October 20, Community Media Day. Media centers across the country are planning celebrations and open houses as part of the day recognizing the work that community media does every day. 
If your organization is planning Community Media Day events, please take pictures and send them to ACM at so we can help document this year’s celebration. And be sure to list yourself as a partner in Community Media Day at

And if you’re NOT celebrating this year, it’s time to put October 20, 2020 on your calendar so you can join others around the country in the event!

Happy Community Media Day!

Call for proposals - ACM National Conference

The deadline for proposals for speakers and sessions at the ACM National Conference in Chicago next June 29-July 2 is coming up soon. Send me your ideas and proposals by email by November 1. Here's the online proposal form.

Member News

Passing along some interesting member news:

Cape Cod Community Media has started a collaboration with co-working space CapeSpace – the sort of partnership that makes a lot of sense because of complementarity.

Northampton Community TV has relaunched as Northampton Open Media reflecting the work the organization does in many media environments for the local community – they are hosting a relaunch party this Friday.

Malden Access TV is doing a similar rebranding – take a look at this video they put together for their Annual Meeting this last week. It’s pretty good!

PhillyCAM’s Executive Director Gretjen Clausing was profiled in PhillyMAG this last week.

And a big congratulations to Access Sacramento on presenting their 20th Annual A Place Called Sacramento Film Festival!

ACM Central States Regional Conference

I’ll be at the ACM Central States Regional Conference in Wyoming, MI this week – there’s still time to register here.

Hope to see you in Michigan!

Mike Wassenaar
ACM President & CEO