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 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.