Xpress Files: A look at documents related to URTV and Buncombe County funding issues

Buncombe County and The WNC Community Media Center, which operates public access television station URTV, continue to wrangle over funding issues. The nonprofit is in danger of shutting down operations and is threatening legal action against the county.

We’ll have a full report in the May 4 issue of Xpress.

In the meantime, we’ve made several documents that help illustrate the dispute available for download at Xpress Files:

• This report on PEG channel funding and URTV was delivered to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners on April 5 by John Howell of Telecommunications Consulting Associates, who advises the county on media issues.

• This legal memo was written by Buncombe County Attorney Michael Frue at the instruction of Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair David Gantt. It outlines the county’s legal position as it relates to PEG channel funding and URTV and was released to interested parties on April 25.

• This is the original Management Agreement between public access television station URTV and Buncombe County. Whether or not the contract remained valid after Feb. 1, 2010 is in dispute.

• This presentation by the WNC Community Media Center was put together to make its case to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners for more funding. The request by the WNC Community Media Center’s board to present the Powerpoint at the April 19 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners was denied.

• (UPDATED MAY 1) This working draft of a letter from the WNC Community Media Center Board of Directors demands that Buncombe County distribute “outstanding fees” to the nonprofit organization so it can continue operating public access station URTV. As of May 1, The WNC Media Center Board was still working on the final text of the letter and had not yet delivered it to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. 


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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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6 thoughts on “Xpress Files: A look at documents related to URTV and Buncombe County funding issues

  1. Oh, good. A publicly-funded nonprofit is going to sue its benefactor to stay afloat.


  2. NotUrtv

    Hmmm, must need a new $400. coffeemaker, or staff needs their monthly iPhone account paid for by the people.

    Outrgeous waste of money.

  3. Andy Gumpous

    Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest! mat apostrophe’s comment is snarking and has nothing to do with the thread or Tim’s comment.

    I say, let URTV either get private donations to stay afloat, like most everyone else, or let them sink. The taxpayer cannot afford to keep this station on the air. And I must say that the times I’ve tuned in, the shows haven’t been worth watching anyway.

  4. According to the hand delivered letter (linked above) from URTV to the County Commissioners, they’re saying the County is out of compliance with the agreement. Yet URTV has been out of compliance with various important sections of that same management agreement since Jan. 2007. They have also been out of compliance with laws governing a non profit.

    See ongoing coverage of these facts at this link: http://www.mountainx.com/search/results/fc535be3dbafcefe1e871c82cb2146ca/

  5. bill smith

    Am I the only one who finds irony in a man who sued the government to stay afloat being critical of others for the allegedly doing the same?

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