SEPTEMBER 20, 2005 AMENDMENTS TO THE INTERIM PRODUCTION, PROGRAMMING AND OPERATIONAL POLICIES FOR RPV-CTV CHANNEL 33 SEPTEMBER 20, 2005 AMENDMENTS TO THE INTERIM PRODUCTION, PROGRAMMING AND OPERATIONAL POLICIES FOR RPV-CTV CHANNEL 33 SEPTEMBER 20, 2005 AMENDMENTS TO THE INTERIM PRODUCTION, PROGRAMMING AND OPERATIONAL POLICIES FOR RPV-CTV CHANNEL 33

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: CITY ATTORNEY

DATE: SEPTEMBER 20, 2005

SUBJECT: AMENDMENTS TO THE INTERIM PRODUCTION, PROGRAMMING AND OPERATIONAL POLICIES FOR RPV-CTV CHANNEL 33

RECOMMENDATION:

Approve amendments to the Interim Production, Programming and Operational Policies for RPV-CTV Channel 33 to 1) Expand the Programming Categories to include certain local programming to be eligible to be broadcast on RPV-CTV Channel 33; and, 2) Amend the Programming Guidelines to give the Manager of RPV Public Television Productions the authority to determine that such programming shall be broadcast on RPV-CTV Channel 33.

DISCUSSION:

The Manager of RPV-CTV ("Manager"), Ms. Gabriella Holt, recently identified the following two programs, which she feels would enhance viewership and be of general interest to the local community, but is concerned about airing them and other similar programs on Channel 33 because they were not commissioned by the City:

1. Peninsula Center Library presents “Biz Assist: A Forum for the Small and Home-based Business” sponsored by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and produced by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Library District.

2. Peninsula and Palos Verdes High School football games produced by local athletic booster clubs.

The Interim Programming Guidelines state that all programs either must be produced or commissioned by the City to be broadcast on Channel 33. This creates a problem for broadcasts of these types of events, which are of interest to the community, even though the programs were not produced or commissioned by the City.

In response to this concern, the City Attorney has revised the Interim Guidelines to allow events that feature the accomplishments of residents of Rancho Palos Verdes, which are produced or commissioned by another organization located on the Peninsula, to be broadcast on Channel 33. In so doing, the City Attorney has reorganized the Programming Categories to clarify that only this type of program is exempt from the requirement that programs must be commissioned or produced by the City. A redline version of the proposed revisions to the Interim Guidelines is attached to this report.
The redline version of the Policies also includes the appeal language previously approved by the Council on July 19, 2005.

CONCLUSION

The Manager has asked that the Council consider these issues at tonight’s meeting due to the fact that the two identified programs are time sensitive, with the Library District’s event scheduled to take place on September 21, 2005 and the high school football season already started.

Respectfully submitted:


Carol Lynch
City Attorney

Reviewed:


Carolynn Petru
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk

Attachment:

Proposed Revision to the Interim Production, Programming and Operational Policies for RPV-CTV Channel 33 (redline version)

Interim Production, Programming
and Operational Policies and Procedures
for RPV-CTV Channel 33

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of these Production, Programming and Operational Policies and Procedures is to define the function of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Educational Access Channel 33 {RPV City TV (RPV-CTV CH 33)}, provide direction to City staff, and assist the public in understanding the services offered by RPV-CTV.

II. MISSION AND GOALS FOR RPV-CTV

A. RPV-CTV is designated as an educational access channel, as provided for in the 1996 Cable Act and the franchise agreement between the City of Rancho Palos Verdes (“City” or “RPV”) and COX Communications (“Cox”).

B. The mission and goals of RPV-CTV are: (1) to provide educational programming and useful information, which is of particular value to the residents of Rancho Palos Verdes, in programs that are produced or commissioned by the City, and (2) to provide educational opportunities for students to learn pre-production, production and post-production of programs that are to be broadcast on cable television.

III. CHANNEL PROGRAMMING

A. Programming Responsibility

1. The City reserves the right to program RPV-CTV Channel 33 in accordance with the mission and goals identified above.

2. All RPV Television Programs shall comply with these policies and procedures, other applicable rules of the City, and applicable Federal and State regulations.

3. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes shall follow all FCC guidelines regarding programming on RPV-CTV and assure that all rights and clearances regarding licenses and copyrights have been secured.

4. Any disagreement with a programming decision shall be presented first to the Manager of RPV Public Television Productions (“Manager”). If the Manager is unable to resolve the issue in a manner that is satisfactory to the affected party, an appeal may be made to the RPV-CTV Cable Sub-Committee, which is comprised of two Members of the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council and will make the final decision regarding the appeal. However,. Decisions of the RPV-CTV Sub-Committee may refer an appealbe appealed to the City Council for a determination at a duly noticed City Council meeting.


B. Programming Categories INTERIM

AllExcept for the programs referred to in Paragraph 4 below, all programming on RPV-CTV shall be produced or commissioned by the City and. All programming on RPV-CTV shall fall within at least one of the following categories:

1. Educational Programs: Programming produced by a local educational institution in response to a request from the City.

2. Community Information/Public Affairs: Programming produced or commissioned by the City that provides information about City government or other useful information about issues of local interest to the residents of Rancho Palos Verdes. Examples include, but are not limited to:

Crime Prevention
Environmental Issues
School Information
Health Information
Public Safety/Emergency Preparedness/Neighborhood Watch
Local Talk Show regarding City government or issues of local public interest

3. Governmental Decision Making: Programming which provides direct coverage of the deliberations of elected or appointed legislative bodies of the City, as well as coverage of selected public issues forums. Examples of programming in this category include, but are not limited to:

RPV City Council Meetings
Election Coverage/Candidates’ Forums
RPV Commission and Committee Meetings
Public Issue Forums

4. Cooperative/Community Programming of Community Events: Programming produced or commissioned by the City in cooperation withor by other organizations, which contains useful information or that celebrates located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula of events that celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of Rancho Palos Verdes residents. Examples include, but are not limited to:

School Events/Information
Performing Arts Events
Recreation or Sports Activities
Unique Ceremonies
Health Organizations Information
Community Special Events

C. Programming Guidelines

1. AllExcept for the programs referred to in Paragraph B 4 above, all programming on RPV-CTV must either be produced or commissioned by the Manager of RPV Public Television Productions. All programming on RPV-CTV must support the channel’s mission and goals.

2. All programming on RPV-CTV must fall within one of the channel’s programming categories, which are described in Paragraph B above.

3. All programming on RPV-CTV must support the channel’s mission and goals.

4. 3. All programming on RPV-CTV must be of local interest and provide a community benefit.

INTERIM

5. 4. The Manager of RPV Public Television Productions, in consultation with the RPV Cable Subcommittee, shall allocate programming time among the programming categories. The City Council reserves final authority to prioritize RPV-CTV programming.

6. 5. The City of RPV shall archive video media of all aired programs for a minimum of two (2) years from the date of production. Tapes may be transferred to VHS or DVD format for storage purposes.

7. 6. Any City department may sponsor or co-sponsor a programming proposal from the community that complies with the mission and goals of RPV-CTV and these policies and procedures.

8. 7. The City may commission other media, municipalities and agencies to acquire and/or provide programming that meets the mission and goals of RPV-CTV.

9. 8. Public issue forums or debates carried on RPV-CTV must relate to the channel’s mission and offer a balanced perspective on the issues. Use of RPV-CTV by individuals seeking public office or reelection is prohibited unless they are participating in a public issue forum or debate.

10. 9. Duplication of tapes of original programming produced solely by RPV-CTV is possible, upon request, for a fee (see City fee schedule), and with the permission of the Manager of RPV Public Television Productions. Duplicates will be made available within two (2) weeks of receipt of the request and upon payment. One (1) complimentary copy of a tape will be provided, upon request, to the organizer of an event that is taped by RPV-CTV.

11. 10. All programming produced for RPV-CTV shall be copyrighted and may only be reproduced for personal, non-commercial home use by individuals. Retransmission or any unauthorized use of RPV-CTV programming (in part or whole) is strictly forbidden without the written consent of the Manager of RPV Public Television Productions. If a program was produced by any other person or entity in response to a request from the City, that person or entity’s written permission also must be obtained.

D. Prohibited Programming

The following types of programming shall be prohibited on RPV-CTV:

1. Programming that does not comply with the mission and goals of RPV-CTV or these guidelines.

INTERIM

2. Programming that violates FCC guidelines regarding governmental or educational television including: commercial/for-profit making programming, trade or business announcements, obscene, indecent, libelous or slanderous speech, lottery information or other illegal content.

3. Programming that promotes political candidates, issues or viewpoints other than during a debate or forum. A political candidate is one who has filed declaration of candidacy papers by the close of the legal filing date for that respective elected office.

4. The City reserves the right to refuse to transmit all or any portion of a program that promotes any activity which is illegal under City, State or Federal law or violates any of these procedures or guidelines.

IV. VIDEO BULLETIN BOARD

The Video Bulletin Board is designed to provide a source of timely information about a variety of upcoming educational and non-commercial community events, which will be displayed on the RPV-CTV video bulletin board system.

1. Video Bulletin information shall be displayed throughout the cablecast area (see Section V) on Channel 33, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, except at those times when other programming has been scheduled by the Manager of RPV Public Television Productions, or when the channel is experiencing technical difficulties.

2. A City of RPV Video Bulletin Request Form must be used when submitting messages for display on the Channel 33 Video Bulletin Board. The form can be obtained from the RPV/PVN Multimedia Studio or City Hall. The Manager of RPV Public Television Productions will make every effort to include all messages that comply with these policies and procedures on the Video Bulletin Board, but inclusion is not guaranteed.

3. Guidelines for use and submission requirements are included on The City of RPV Video Bulletin Request form. All requests shall be submitted to the Manager of RPV Public Television Productions at least 14 days prior to the requested air date. (See City Video Bulletin Board rate card)

4. Should an error result in the cablecast of incorrect information, neither the City of Rancho Palos Verdes nor its employees or agents shall be responsible or liable for the inaccuracy of the information or for actions taken by anyone as a result of the inaccurate information.

5. The City reserves the right to refuse to transmit all or any portion of a message that promotes any activity which is illegal under City, State or Federal law or which violates these procedures and guidelines.

6. A disagreement with a decision concerning the use of the Video Bulletin Board shall be presented first to the Manager of RPV Public Television Productions. If the Manager is unable to resolve the dispute in a manner that is satisfactory to the affected party, an appeal may be made to the RPV-CTV Cable Subcommittee, which will make the final decision regarding the appeal. However, the Sub-Committee may refer an appeal. Decisions by the RPV-CTV Subcommittee may be appealed to the City Council for a determination at a duly noticed City Council meeting.

V. CHANNEL 33 CABLECAST AREA

As determined by COX Communications, as specified in its franchise agreement with the City, COX cable customers residing within the boundaries of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, a portion of the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, and San Pedro, as defined by franchise, are within the Channel 33 cablecast area.

VI. EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Channel 33 may be used at any time for the purpose of governmental emergency communications and responses. In these cases, direction will be taken from the procedures outlined in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Emergency Plan.

VII. PROGRAMMING AUTHORITY

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes reserves the right to refuse a request for cable programming or operations which is illegal under City, State or Federal law or is in violation of the mission and goals for RPV-CTV.

VIII. OPERATIONAL AGREEMENT WITH PV ON THE NET

All operational policies and procedures regarding the technical support and operation, and airing, of programming, including production and post -production activities, shall be governed by the agreement between the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and PV on the Net. Use of the RPV/PVN Multimedia Studio shall be specified in the Use Agreement between the City of RPV and PV on the Net.

IX. SPONSORSHIP/UNDERWRITING

Sponsorship/Underwriting for Channel 33 shall be encouraged. All sponsorship/underwriting activities shall comply with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes rate card and sponsorship/underwriting policies and procedures.


“The Key to Your City…RPV-CTV Channel 33”