Richer content in store for both cities; government channel new for Albany
SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—JUNE 28, 2019—Local free speech just got stronger.
Albany’s community media outlet Channel Albany has merged with Open Stage Media at Proctors, in Schenectady, which previously had managed Public Access, Arts and Education and Government channels solely in the Electric City. Together, the paired outlets will now be Open Stage Media Albany-Schenectady.
“It just makes sense,” says OSM Director Zebulon J. Schmidt. “Here at OSM, we have so much content and such a wide scope that it’s wise to partner, especially given today’s harsh media climate.”
Both entities will retain current studios, at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady and Albany Public Library Main Branch, 161 Washington Ave, Albany.
“Working together will relieve some of the technical pressure so that (Channel Albany studio coordinator) Kirk Daniels can concentrate on creating more great Albany-specific programming.”
From today forward, both cities, Albany and Schenectady, will receive shared content on Spectrum cable channels 1301, 1302 and 1303—featuring Public Access, Arts and Education and Government respectively.
“Our continuing goal,” says Proctors Collaborative CEO Philip Morris, “is to focus on our region as a whole, instead of separating our cities. This is a fantastic step in that direction and a way for all of us to communicate together.”
“It’s a media bridge,” echoes Schmidt. “It’s a way to see a bigger picture of your local community.”
Schmidt, who, as vice chair of the Alliance for Community Media—Northeast Region, has done a considerable amount of national advocacy, says that this corner of the country is one of the most “access rich” areas, allowing citizens to “gain perspective, express ideas and learn about local government’s role in their own lives.”
“We embrace all viewpoints,” he adds.
Combining the stations will allow for stronger coverage of city council meetings and the like, as the government channel is new for Albany, with additional content already in the planning stages.
“This is a wonderful and strategic partnership that will create more opportunities and increase programming for both the Albany and Schenectady audiences,” says Mary Rozak, chair, Albany’s Public, Education, Government Access Oversight Board. “Our viewers may live in one community but they work, shop and conduct business throughout the Capital Region. Their interest is in diverse local public, education and government programming, and this accomplishes that while allowing Albany to focus its resources on creating more local programs in its studio, covering additional community events, and freeing up the studio coordinator’s time by allowing scheduling operations to be handled in Schenectady. It is a winning combination.”