Cincinnati’s Media Bridges Announces Closing

PEG organization is no longer being funded by the city or by cable franchise fees
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Media Bridges, the organization that has managed Cincinnati’s public and education cable television channels since 1989, will close its doors by the end of 2013 because it is no longer receiving funding from the city or from cable franchise fees.

Tom Bishop, Media Bridges’ executive director, has posted a notice on the organization’s website announcing that Media Bridges will cease operations late this year.

“It is with great sadness that I must announce that Media Bridges will close its doors by the end of 2013,” Bishop’s notice said. “The city has made it extremely clear that we will not be receiving any more funding from them. While we have tried many other avenues for revenue it has become clear that we will be unable to sustain operations beyond 2013,” he wrote.

In 2012, Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney cut the funding for Media Bridges from Cincinnati’s 2013 budget. Prior to 2012, Media Bridges annual operating budget—$498,000—was drawn from cable franchise fees ($300,000) and directly from Time Warner Cable ($198,000). But the cable money was not available in 2013 because under state law, all PEG funding from cable sources ended on Jan. 1, 2012.

A “schedule for closing” is included in the announcement. It lists a timeline for the elimination of services provided by Media Bridges, including a halting of all classes after July 31; it sets Sept. 13 as the deadline to checkout equipment and Sept. 30 as the date to return all checked-out equipment; it designates Oct. 15 as the final day to use the facilities editing equipment; and the deadline to drop off programming is Nov. 15.

Bishop notes that the “programming will continue until [the PEG] channels [Media Bridges is involved with] are transferred or until at least Dec. 13, whichever comes first,” the notice said.

Click here to read the notice.