Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This morning MNN played this tape right after Democracy Now. Even though I am supposedly banned by Dan Coughlin from doing ANYTHING on MNN. Little did they know that is wonderful tape was a project I spent a year on. It's a wonderful series, and it BLOWS away the stupid PBS recent series on Latinos. Beyond the Browning is a wonderful project that was a collaboration between Deep Dish and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies: The Satellite University Network (SUN). I await the day that MNN can produce a program of this caliber. Cynthia Lopez was the series coordinator and Pedro River and Susan Zeig produced this compilation from many wonderful producers. Please write to Dan and tell him to run the rest of the series (there are 6 programs in all) Don't tell him it's my series or he will ban it!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Commercialization of Manhattan Neighborhood Network

The Following Is Included in the Program Policies of MNN (on their web site)

"Program Content Restrictions
The following restrictions apply to all public access programming. Programs may not contain:
•    Solicitation, advertising, bartering or promotion of commercial products, services or transactions;

There is a CLEAR VIOLATION of those policies by a group called "Specialized Fitness and Nutrition" which has a program (made in 2012 at Harlem Week Festival) which is a blatant "informercial" for a commercial service.

Given the many rumors about staff being "paid off" "under the table" that surfaced this week at the producers meeting, I wonder if there is some sort of payment involved in the presentation of this program.  I have seen it transmitted several times. Why hasn't the staff outlawed this obvious violation of MNN content rules??

Sunday, September 8, 2013


This is how WSKG, the Binghamton radio station announces their board meetings.  MNN is in violation of the NY State Open Meetings Law by not announcing when their board meetings (and the committee meetings) are scheduled.  They are supposed to be open to the public.

To begin at 5:30 PM in the Hoyt Conference Room.
August 27, 2013
October 22, 2013
December 10, 2013
February 25, 2014
April 22, 2014
June 24, 2014
To begin at 3:00 PM in the Garbade Conference Room.
July 17, 2013
September 18, 2013
November 20, 2013
January 15, 2014
March 19, 2014
May 21, 2014
The Executive Committee met March 12, 2013, and April 15, 2013, to discuss matters of personnel and proprietary concern.
To begin at 3:00 PM in the Garbade Conference Room.
July 2, 2013 (canceled)
September 3, 2013
November 5, 2013
January 7, 2014
March 4, 2014
May 6, 2014
To begin at 3:00 PM in the Garbade Conference Room.
July 11, 2013 canceled
September 12, 2013
November 14, 2013
January 9, 2014
March 13, 2014
May 8, 2014
To take place in the Garbade Conference Room.
April 3, 2013, at 11:00 am
April 16, 2013, at 2:00 pm
May 10, 2013, at 10:30 am
1. Reasonable notice of all company Board of Trustees, Board Committee, and Advisory Board ''meetings"(1) will be made at least one week prior to the meeting. WSKG will air the notices on both WSKG-FM and WSKG-TV. The notices will also appear on WSKG's web page.
2. The station will give advance notice of the fact that a regularly scheduled meeting, which is usually open to the public, will be "closed"(2) and the notice of the closing will be disseminated in the same manner as the notice of an open meeting. If a meeting or portion of a meeting is closed to the public, a written statement containing an explanation of the reasons for closing the meeting will be made available to the public within a reasonable time thereafter or, in the alternative, the written explanation for a closed meeting will be made available to the public at the offices of WSKG or a copy of the explanation will be mailed to any person requesting one.
3. Persons specifically requesting to be notified of meetings will be informed by letter, e-mail, facsimile, or phone at least one week prior to the meeting.
4. Once each quarter, the station will make on-air announcements for at least three consecutive days to explain the station's open meeting policy and provide information about how the public can obtain information regarding specific dates, times, and locations.
5. Copies of the minutes of all open meetings will be made available to the public upon request. A reasonable charge to cover copying or mailing costs may be considered for this service. If a member of the public wishes to inspect the minutes at the station, it would not be unreasonable to require an appointment be made with the station as long as the process is not burdensome to the public.
(1) The term "meeting" means the deliberations of at least the number of members of a governing or advisory body, or any committee thereof, required to take action on behalf of such body or committee where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of the governing or advisory body's business, or the committee's business, as the case may be, but only to the extent that such deliberations relate to public broadcasting.
(2) The law provides exceptions to the open meeting requirement. "Closed" sessions can be conducted to consider matters relating to individual employees, proprietary information, litigation, and other matters requiring the confidential advice of counsel, commercial or financial information obtained from a person on a privileged or confidential basis, or the purchase of property or services whenever the premature exposure of such purchase would compromise the business interests of WSKG.
The WSKG Board of Trustees ("Board") welcomes relevant constructive comment from the public at its meetings. So that the process will be efficient and productive, the following protocol is established.
1. A "Public Comment" line will be included in the agenda for regular Board of Trustees' meetings which will be placed after all Committee Reports and before Trustee Comments.
2. Public comments, and any matter submitted, where a response is requested from the Board must be in writing (e-mail is acceptable) and submitted to WSKG's Chief Executive Officer at least five (5) business days prior to the next Board meeting. All written responses will be reviewed by WSKG's General Counsel and will be entered in the public file of the corporation. The total time for public comments will be limited to twenty (20) minutes, with each person limited up to five (5) minutes. Priority recognition will be given to those persons who have not previously addressed the Board.
3. Written inquiries sent to the Board, or comments made at Board meetings, must be relevant to the Board's functions and responsibilities, i.e., station mission, policy, finances, strategic planning, and must not address issues to which the Board has responded in the previous nine (9) months, a determination of which will be made by the Chair.
4. This policy is subject to cancellation or modification, at any time, in the discretion of the Board.
This policy will be published on WSKG's web site, will be available at WSKG's front desk, and will be handed out to the public at Board meetings.
WSKG's management and staff are also available to hear and respond to public comments. To submit a comment to WSKG directly, rather than the Board of Trustees, please click here.

Friday, August 23, 2013

New York Citizens for Responsible Media

New York Citizens for Responsible Media was an ad hoc organizing group to pressure NYC and Time Warner to set up studios and proper access for community media. 

The above notes look like the handwriting of Martha Wallner.  The group researched what other cable access centers had. The top is about Austin, Texas, which at that time had one of the most active and successful access centers in the country.  We also looked at Chicago which hadn't started.  And the lower half are notes for making a flyer to enlist people to the struggle for access and better service from Time Warner.

Many public hearings were held, thanks to the pressure from Ruth Messinger's office.  NYCCRM showed up at every meeting with facts and figures and demands for access.

From Bob Devine:

One slight correction. Diana Agosta and I worked with the board and the Borough presidents office throughout 1990-1991 to put the organization in place.  I took the capital, policy and staffing plans to Albany to get the funding for MNN released and scouted locations. 
If I'm not mistaken, Alex Quinn (my recommendation) was hired well before 1994. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

This is the letter from
Dan Coughlin
banning me from

I never threatened
anyone at MNN. I
defended Papoleto
who was removed
from a "leadership
class" because he
tried to attend an
MNN board meeting.
MNN does not
want the public to
attend their meetings.
raised the

Public accèss
is our free

Free speech includes criticizing public institutions that misuse public
funds. I am being censored for trying to make MNN live up to the
utopian ideals for which we founded it. MNN was founded by NY
Citizens for Responsible Media: Paper Tiger TV, FAIR and several
other media activist organizations.  We worked for four years to
pressure the city council and the borough president (Ruth Messinger)
to use the city cable revenues to create a proper media facility for
the city. We marched in front of Time Warner; we testified at the
City Council; we held endless meetings and strategy sessions.
The current management has banned me from the channel and the
facility on trumped up charges. See the video on this blog which
Dan Coughlin claims is a threat to a staff member.
Judge for yourself.
DeeDee Halleck