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Dayhoff: Executive Director Richard Turner brings to life Carroll Community Media Center

Richard Turner, the executive director of the Community Media Center in Carroll County, gave the keynote address at the recent annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast., hosted by the Carroll County Chapter of NAACP.

Turner comes to Carroll County with more than 40 years of experience in television and media. The Carroll Community Media Center board of directors elected Turner as the executive director after the former director, Marion Ware, had led the organization for many years. Turner’s first day on the job was Dec. 1, 2016.

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The Carroll Community Media Center board of directors elected Richard Turner as the executive director after the former director, Marion Ware, had led the organization for many years. Turner’s first day on the job was on Dec. 1, 2016.
The Carroll Community Media Center board of directors elected Richard Turner as the executive director after the former director, Marion Ware, had led the organization for many years. Turner’s first day on the job was on Dec. 1, 2016. (Community Media Center)

At the breakfast Turner took the opportunity to talk, “about the great work that is going on at the Community Media Center (CMC)."

“You’ve seen our team and cameras at various events covering our community where most TV stations choose to be a no-show. But our greatest strength is when we can get you involved in making sure your voice is heard among all the voices in Carroll County,” Turner said. "There is no greater example than our history project, in which the CMC [is] collaborating with a number of partners including the NAACP to record oral histories.

“The CMC was formed as a nonprofit and has been serving Carroll County for over 30 years,” explained Turner. "[It] was initially known as Carroll County Community Television. As new digital media [it] began to disrupt the marketplace, the organization transformed and looked more broadly at digital media to include web services and video streaming … the (CMC) represents its community, reflects the interests of that community, and is created by the community…”

It was in March 1989 that Carroll County’s local PEG Channel 19 first went on the air as Channel 55. Over the years, the CMC has called many places in the community home.

On April 18, 1992, I was part of a group of artists who filmed a project at one of the original production studios in the Charles Carroll Hotel building on East Main Street. At that time, I joined artists John Sosnowsky, Linda Van Hart, Patti Anne Battaglia, Cathy Leaycraft, Dan Shapiro, and Kevin Stevens, in a painting exploration of synesthesia. In this project it was the transference of sound into an 8-foot high by 12-foot wide color painting.

It was in March of 1989 that Carroll County’s local PEG Channel 19 first went on the air as Channel 55. Over the years, the CMC has called many places in the community home. On April 18, 1992, a group of artists filmed a project at one of the original production studios in the Charles Carroll Hotel building on East Main Street. Public Access Television Channel 55 taped the project in process.
It was in March of 1989 that Carroll County’s local PEG Channel 19 first went on the air as Channel 55. Over the years, the CMC has called many places in the community home. On April 18, 1992, a group of artists filmed a project at one of the original production studios in the Charles Carroll Hotel building on East Main Street. Public Access Television Channel 55 taped the project in process. (Carroll County Times/Alan White)

According to an article in the Carroll County Times, August 7, 1992, by Matt Levy, written for the grand opening of the film at the “Carroll Arts Council’s “new facility” in the Winchester Exchange Building on East Main Street, “Public Access Television Channel 55 taped the project in process …” Folks with Channel 55 such as Pat Flaherty, Dave Annen, Paul LeValley, Tom Forsythe, Greg Whitehair, and Jeff Mather, worked on the project.

Today, the Community Media Center programs three local cable channels: Channel 19, the public access channel, Channel 23, the municipal channel, and Carroll County’s new, HD 1086, a channel that is shared with Carroll County Government, Carroll County Public Schools, and Carroll Community College.

In an article by the title of “Carroll County’s Community Media Center: Alternative TV that matters,” written by Barbara Pash for Carroll Magazine on June 1, 2010, it is explained that “PEG TV dates back to the late 1960s, when disenchantment with the commercial broadcasting system gave rise to an alternative TV organization. In 1972 … the FCC required all cable systems in the top 100 U.S. television markets to provide three access-channels, one each for educational, local government and public use. In effect, it sought to bring information directly to the public without going through a media filter. Now, federal law requires cable companies to provide local governments with funding for PEG TV in return for the use of the air waves.”

In Carroll County, the Community Media Center’s funding comes from “local governments dedicating 2% of their franchise fees to support public access to local, government, and educational content,” according to the CMC website.

Today, Turner explained, “CMC’s budget is just less than a 30-second Super Bowl commercial was … in 1995. Today, the Super Bowl 30-second ad is averaging at $5.6 million. An interesting note, the very first television ad was on July 1, 1941 for Bulova Watch and was $9 for 60 seconds."

“The CMC helps citizens and organizations document, inform, educate, and celebrate the life of their local community,” wrote Turner in a recent email interview. “Our goal is to create and distribute content that bolsters community involvement, educates, and informs the citizens of Carroll County. The CMC provides organizations and institutions the means to engage the public. It also provides affordable, easy access to equipment and expertise that gives the average citizen a voice and a presence on local cable channels and the Internet.”

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. His Time Flies column appears every Sunday. Email him at kevindayhoff@gmail.com.

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