Show us the money Buncombe County!

It almost closed WNC Community Media Center/URTV, but as of July 7, Buncombe County finally delivered a portion ($48 thousand) of the money due since third quarter 2009.

But wait, Buncombe County manager said that “we get it [the money], we get it distributed” (PEG monies to WNCCMC, [as] reported by Mountain Xpress, June 3). Reported June 3 that county records indicate payments to WNCCMC in August (no payment), December (no payment), and “another on the way” (arrived June 11). Reported June 15 that now, “Buncombe owes URTV $48K in PEG funds payment made next week” (snail mail delivered it 7/7).

At the June 15 meeting, a commissioner admitted that the $1.5 million of ‘franchise fees’ (separate from PEG) collected from Charter is in a ‘black hole!”
BC gets that much money because they can certify they offer public access channels – they’d get less if URTV went away! In most cities, this money collected is used in the community to support public access channels (which can’t operate on PEG monies alone).

WNCCMC is asking for $200 thousand (13.3 percent) of [the funds] to provide stable funding going forward. Is anyone investigating the Buncombe County “black hole.”

But wait, it was reported June 3 that “URTV representatives have not answered Mountain Xpress’ calls for comments.”

That’s true, because they’ve previously sat down with MXpress for many hours to explain/answer all questions about funding and county payments way past due! They’re kind of pissed off (bridges burned?) that the “reporting” can’t get the facts right or checked!

Come on MXpress: we deserve better!

Lets see some “fresh” reporters take a truly in-depth look at public-access, PEG and franchise fees collected and distributed by Buncombe county or Raleigh, WNCCMC, etc.

Lets really inform the readers!

— Charles Magoffin


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4 thoughts on “Show us the money Buncombe County!

  1. Wow. That’s the first thing written about URTV in this paper, in a long time, that has not made my blood pressure rise. Thanks for that.

  2. Secret Service

    Finally, somebody asking questions about the County’s collection and use of PEG/ Cable Franchise money….

    In the June 15 meeting; John Howell actually said the County had money they owed to URTV and it “fell into a black hole for awhile.”

    (about 35 minutes in…)

    If $48,000 came out of a “black hole,” how much of URTV’s money fell into the “black hole?”

    Come on Mountain X! Since URTV has been cleared of any missing money claims despite all the implications/accusations made by this very paper; How’s about a follow up on the County’s channel and PEG/Cable Franchise Fees spending?

    Seems like there maybe a REAL story there….

  3. “WNCCMC is asking for $200 thousand”
    and that is what they do best..
    it looks to me like public access could be run for so much less..
    when i look at the programs on ch20 it looks like a rip off to me..
    what do you think???

  4. Secret Service

    What programs specifically?

    Wow! “Dr.” Blackwell says the programming on URTV isn’t worth the cost of operating the facilty. Really?!

    This from the guy whose marathon “Tea Parties” were joked by many people in the community as the WORST show on URTV.

    So now “Dr.” Blackwell is fit to judge other people’s program quality?

    Sheesh! Seems like the old, “if I can’t have it, can’t nobody have it,” attitude. Otherwise known as “Sour Grapes.”

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