RCAC-Channel 11: It’s Our Show

ch-11-van

There’s a little known secret in Redding, and it’s your community access television station: A TV studio, cameras and all, exclusively for public use. And yes, that means you!

For years, the bleached-whale-carcass look of the production van parked at 5831 Eastside Road obscured the lifeless appearance of the TV station, tucked away in a little corner of a pale metal building.

You could drive by it a hundred times a day and never notice it, but no longer.

The showpiece has left the showroom floor. Today, the RCAC studio is adorned with the freshly rehabbed and boldly painted Mobile Production Unit van. The van screams Channel 11, and the brilliant colors pop better than gum. It is one of the happiest looking signs I’ve seen around town in quite a while.

Now for anyone passing by the intersection of Hwy 273 and S. Bonnyview, it’s hard to avoid the striking mobile billboard. Our community access station definitely looks like it’s on the move.

But if the wheels are going to get rolling, the community needs to get in the driver’s seat.

For years RCAC has quietly struggled with employee fraud, embezzlement, lawsuits, in-house conflicts, along with the tumultuous sea of 501(c)(3) funding and staffing necessities that often confound non-profits.

But, alas, as shadows fade and minds blur, Redding Community Access Corporation is reinventing itself. Under the direction of a new board of directors, presided over by Ed Ballantine, RCAC is emerging in a new light, with new life that needs new blood flowing through its system.

Armed with the fully equipped Mobile Production Unit van, modernized in-house editing ability, an updated Web site and additional trained employees, RCAC, Charter Cable Channel 11, is fast becoming a community access station that can meet your needs.

And it couldn’t happen at a better time. Having television exposure to support grassroots ideas, political commentary, religious beliefs, public health and safety issues, business news, educational concerns, school activities, or entertainment for entertainment’s sake, is a privilege and tool that could foster drastically increased cohesion and communication throughout Shasta County.

The audio visual medium of TV as a form of entertaining communication is essential in today’s edgy and expectant world. CATV gives us the opportunity to work together, create, perfect and share using this captivating realm of communication.

Individuals, businesses, organizations, clubs, charities, churches, schools, government agencies, all have legal access to RCAC and its services. Some restrictions and certification may apply, but over all, almost anyone, for the good and enlightenment of the community, is allowed access.

This legally mandated anomaly wherein we can exercise our freedom of speech and expression through television is made possible through the 1984 Cable Franchise Policy and Communications Act requiring cable providers, in exchange for municipality right-of-way use, to provide cablecast capability to the public. Our local Charter Cable also donates the building for our RCAC television studio.

In the spirit of freedom and fairness, community access stations were created to provide studio use and broadcast time to the public at no or very minimal cost, but Redding Community Access Corporation, dependent on paid employees, charges studio, broadcast, rental and class fees to supplement the monthly fee paid by Charter Cable subscribers which is funneled back into RCAC.

Certified users of our community access station can produce and air a 30-minute show for approximately $100. If however, production requires paid staff assistance and crew, the prices, of necessity, increase to $325 for a half hour show with an additional $65 per hour for editing.

“On Call,” the most current series locally produced and edited at RCAC is an example of the improved production and editing services now available at RCAC, 11. Produced by Brenda Ballantine, CEO of Northern California Burn Foundation, ‘On Call’ can be seen Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. and illustrates the flexibility in broadcast liberties allowed for charities and businesses through the use of our Community Access Television.

People of Progress, YMCA, Shasta County Women’s Rescue, Good News Rescue Mission, or any other non-profit could put together compelling series featuring their work in the community, and garner support without spending a fortune, simply by utilizing the exciting electronic medium of television.

Community Access Television can empower communities.

Local police departments could do a “Most Wanted”, “Case Solved” or “Graffiti Beat” type series that could heighten awareness and minimize crime. And footage depicting our firefighters in action, and videos on seasonal dangers and preparedness could spur awareness and proactive behavior. Medical groups and hospitals could air a series covering health issues, and education, or possibly a series on plastic surgery options and procedures.

Anything is possible with today’s audio visual technologies and having live, simulcast capabilities, along with an interactive website, and that beautiful Mobile Production Unit van, the communities of Redding, Anderson and Shasta Lake City have an invaluable asset and money generating tool at their fingertips.

With an audience of over 30,000 Charter Cable serviced households, and government buildings and public schools, as well as hospitals, hotels and restaurants equipped with Charter cable TV, and anyone with Internet access, the potential to affect change, motivate behavior and encourage community action is as wide and vast as the ingenious and resourceful minds that have inundated the North State.

We live in a creative community with a rising subculture of entertainment industry professionals, and entertainment, as a universal form of communication, is a vibrant business. Facilitated by the global sophistication in technology and the mounting spectrum of communications delivery methods, from radio, TV and computer, to cell phone, I-pods and GPS units, skill in the audio visual field creates genuine potential for future economic gain.

Could we write a better script for success? Yes! With the additional benefit of Community Access Television at our disposal, serving as a nexus for creative minds and movers and shakers, the possibilities are limited only by our imaginations.

RCAC, our forgotten Community Access Television station operating under a cloak of obscurity for years, has been exposed. The secret’s out, the lights are on, the wheels are rolling and the cameras are ready. All it needs is you!

sharon-waranius

Sharon Waranius is a concerned citizen who would love to see Redding and neighboring communities retain their beauty and charm as they grow. She is owner and CEO of Shasta Entertainment Group.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar John Dixon says:

    Great and timely article. In this most difficult of economic times this is a method of broadcasting your message in an economical and effective manner. It is great to see the veil of anonymity lifted and RCAC CH11 brought out in the open for all to see and utilize. Kudos to Sharon Waranius for recognizing and bringing forth this "hidden treasure"!

  2. James Montgomery James Montgomery says:

    Now that's what positive local news is about! Letting the commnity know about unknown or underused local resources! Nice going, Sharon.

  3. Avatar Sherry Ferguson says:

    I couldn't agree more! Sharon, you have a hidden talent for writing; very informative as well as enlightening. As a board member for the local Salvation Army, we might want to consider doing a public service message, as the need is greater than ever this year; our current clients were our previous donors, which says it all. Kudos to you Sharon!

  4. Avatar Craig Padilla says:

    Hey! I got my professional start with video production here (and KIXE) back in 1991! Back then, my friends and I produced a once-a-month sketch comedy show called "=BIZZARRO WORLD=" because we thought it would be a great way to corrupt the town for the cost of two packs of cigarettes. (LOL!) Those were the days when it was free to air your own programming (okay, it cost the price of a Super VHS tape to record your show on which to be broadcast). I loved it when people called to complain about some of the offensive juvenile humor because IT MEANT THEY WERE WATCHING!! But I also loved being stopped around town by strangers who said that they really enjoyed watching the wackiness of the show. It ran every fourth Wednesday of the month at 9:30pm, in between "BIKER TV" and "AMERICAN ATHEIST FORUM". (I called it "Wacky Wednesday"!)

    I stopped running the show after three years because it was too much work for the amount of creativity (or lack thereof – heh!) that was going into it. But I created 18 episodes of Bizzarro World plus a two hour "best of" special, and three live concert videos of my first concert performances! I made some great friends who enjoyed helping with it, too. It was a blast!

    But the best part of the story is that it helped land me a full-time job at KRCR TV where I eventually became their chief-editor as well as production manager. I got hired because of my self-taught television experience creating videos to run on Channel 11 (formally Channel 28, but now I'm dating myself). I worked there for ten years.

    Now I have my own creative video and sound production business (Craig Padilla Productions) as well as a new joint production company called Summit Creative Group. My music is also now heard around the world thanks to the music labels that release my CDs and the internet.

    My hard work has paid off for me. I love doing what I do and I get to make money with it all! And it all started at the community access station… 🙂

    Thanks for the article. It was great to read about that place again.

    Yours musically,

    Craig
    http://www.CraigPadilla.com – creative video and sound productions
    http://www.youtube.com/synthwiz – concert clips and more
    http://www.youtube.com/summitcreativegroup – our production demo reel

  5. Avatar Ron says:

    Great story !

    But I hate to burst your bubble 🙁 Cable TV is over.

    If you want to be seen or heard you must either go over the air broadcast, so that Sat based subscribers can be offered on a local package. Or broadcast on You Tube.

    Thanks for the story !!!!!!!!!!

    • Avatar sharon Waranius says:

      Ron,

      Thats the beauty of technology today, even with community access television, the enternet easily serves as an additional media outlet. Last year SEG produced the Anderson and Redding City Council Candidates Forums and they were both simulcast live on KIXE as well as made available on line.

      Our community access station, RCAC provides more than just a place to broadcast your production on TV. Basic Production classes and more advanced hands-on training is available, as well as a fully equiped studio where cast and crew and community can work together to create and communicate.

      In addition, there is the Mobile Production Unit van that is also available for public use. (With proper certification)

      We can continue to let RCAC sit and be utilized by a special few until it can no longer sustain itself, or we can use it, promote it, and make it into something great.

      User-friendly internet access, media outlet compatiblity, and economics being what they are, accessible and affordable Community Access Television could experience a rebirth!

  6. Avatar Michael Allison says:

    Great story. Thanks for reminding us all of our hard won democratic institutions — like public access. And dont be discouraged by the nay-sayers. Whenever I'm flipping around the channels, I always stop at the locally produced shows. They're real, human, and important.

  7. Avatar Janet Tyrrel says:

    Cable TV is going, going,…almost gone. Surely wish Channel 11 was available via satellite tv. Any chance? jt