Carroll Community Television officials have appointed Paul Breeding and Tom Crowl as interim directors, filling the position vacated by former coordinator Paul LeValley.
Meanwhile, Prestige Cablevision Inc. has announced plans to add the E! entertainment channel to its list of basic options, offer a lower tier of service for $9.95 per month and offer Home Team Sports free to customers with existing premium service.
Mr. LeValley, who had worked with CCTV since its inception in 1989, left in June for a job with Arlington Community Television in Virginia.
"We are trying to keep the momentum and enthusiasm between the producers at Channel 55," said Micki Smith, the county's public information director. "[Mr. Breeding and Mr. Crowl] are qualified to do that."
Mr. Breeding will handle training new recruits to the community access system.
Mr. Crowl will cover all aspects of production.
"These two have two different sets of skills," Ms. Smith said. "Paul is an excellent instructor with lots of experience, while Tom is very involved in the production end of Channel 55."
Neither has applied for the permanent coordinator position, Ms.Smith said.
"When we were interviewing people for the interim position, we specifically didn't want anyone who was applying for the permanent position," she said.
The county is still searching for one person to fill both aspects of the job that Mr. LeValley vacated.
The county received 158 applications by the end of July, Ms. Smith said. The county Human Resources Department has narrowed that field down to 20 candidates who may be interviewed by a selection committee before the end of August.
Ms. Smith will interview the committee's five choices and make a recommendation to the county cable committee.
"I've got my fingers crossed for [getting the person in place] by October," Ms. Smith said.
In other cable news, Prestige Cablevision Inc. has added the E! entertainment channel to their $21.50-a-month basic lineup in Carroll.
The Hollywood gossip channel, similar to "Entertainment Tonight," will join American Movie Classics as the two channels Prestige was able to add when county municipalities lent their community access channels back to the company earlier this year.
"It shows how movies are made, interviews stars and starlets and talks about current movies," said Richard Caswell, vice president of the Georgia-based company.
Also, in response to community requests, Prestige has begun offering a lower tier of service for $9.95 per month.
The 20-channel Lifeline service, available around Oct. 1, will include all the network shows, community access channels and Prestige's local programming on Channel 3.
Full basic service will continue to consist of 40 channels.
"We thought we had enough people requesting the service to try and do it," Mr. Caswell said.
He added that the federal bill requiring cable companies to splitfranchises has not yet been signed by President Bush.
"We were waiting to see what came out of [the bill], but it has
dragged on for more than a year," he said.
"We decided there's no point in waiting any longer for something that may not happen."
Customers don't need to purchase the full basic service to subscribe to premium channels or pay-per-view events, Mr. Caswell said.
In addition, Home Team Sports -- now a $12-a-month premium channel -- will be free with the purchase of any other special channel.
Purchase of HTS alone will cost $9.95.
"We are trying to make people aware of the reduced rate," Mr. Caswell said.
"So, if someone purchased Disney at the regular $9.95, they would be getting two for one price," he said.
All premium movie channels will remain at $11.50 per month each, Mr. Caswell said.