The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on October 7, 1982 · 56
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 56

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Location:
Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 7, 1982
Page:
56
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"TS 5'TTTTTT 's: ''; I" ? - if f . iiiiiiipKt"' r 111 11 PHMHHMi If t S atft.xtwYjiiirinirini Dr. Richard Cttlnger (above), director of the telecommunications commission, points out that it was the school system that approached the state, not the other way around. But the state has been interested for some time In assuming ownership of Channel 30, according to board members, who say that the state would like to cut the competition for public funds, a fact Ottinger does not attempt to deny. 'I think anyone would like to eliminate his competition,' he said. Van Joyner (rl.t), the stations' ccra! manassr, ssld that self-suKiclency U as attainable goal for WETV and on well worth the strifes. 'I thhk there's a f'.zta fr Chsnnsl 33 as local television stsiion In a marketplace the size of Atlanta's,' he ss.'d. -I . ' ' From Page 1 and the biggest, playing to an area comprised of 40 percent of the state's population. About 152,000 families watch the station, which offers not only in-school instructional programs, but also a wide variety of programs for the community including news, cultural affairs, children's shows and college credit telecourses. ' Joe Martin, another board member, said he supported maintaining the stations, particularly in an age when telecommunications are playing an increasing role in instruction and communications in general. But, Martin said, if the state agrees to offer the same quality, quantity and type of services and programs as the stations now offer, why not make the prudent decision to save $1 million worth of dwindling funds, v "I see an advantage to that (minority control)," Martin said. "But I still say our fundamental loyalty is 7 see an advantage to that (minority control). But I still say our fundamental loyalty is to the Atlanta Public Schools, and the question is what's the best way to spend a million dollars' Joe Martin to the Atlanta Public Schools, and the question is what's the best way to spend a million dollars." Robert Waymer, chairman of the board's finance committee, is the man leading the effort to hold on to the stations. Waymer is convinced that with a little ingenuity and aggression, the stations eventually could' support themselves, costing the school board nothing and possibly even making money. Last year, for instance, the TV station made $84,-000 through Blairsat, a company that transmits advertisements via satellite. With Channel 30's hook-up to the satellite, local stations can get commercials produced in Los Angeles and New York much faster from Atlanta's local studio than through the mail. Teleconferencing, another technological newcomer, . yielded $6,000 last year in unpursued revenue. Like conference calls by telephone, teleconferencing enables individuals in different cities to meet as a group via television. - ' , Van Joyner, the stations' general manager, indicated that while Waymer's profit-making propositions may be a bit lofty, self-sufficiency is an attainable goal and one well worth the struggle. "I think there's a place for Channel 30 as a local television station in a marketplace the size of Atlanta's," he said. His plan, consistent with Waymer's, is to concentrate Channel 30's programming on Atlanta shows, -thereby eliminating the duplication and overlap that have plagued Channel 30 and the statewide networks in the past Such programs as "Yesterday's Atlanta," a six- fart series airing this fall and featuring local historian ranklin Garrett, would distinguish the Atlanta station from the others. "It's something we can do that the state won't be likely to do," Joyner said." But according to Ottinger, local programming is precisely what the state has in mind for Channel 30 if it . ever takes over . t Though Ottinger likes to point out that it was the school system that approached the state, not the other way around, the state has been interested for some time in assuming ownership of Channel 30, according to Waymer and Joyner. For one thing, the state would like to ' cut the competition for public funds, a fact Ottinger does not attempt to deny. - !'I think anyone would like to eliminate his competition," ha said. As one possible compromise, Waymer has suggested that the school system enter into a partnership with the commission rather than be assumed by it. ' Ottlnger's reaction to the suggestion was cool. "The same basis for partnership is not there," he said. "If the license transfers, I don't know what the partnership would mean." Meanwhile, everyone agrees that ultimately it is up to the school board to determine the future of Channel , 30 and WABE.; -. ... .. ... .

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