Mayor, Council Discussing Upgrades for Huntington Public Access Channel

Updated 4 years ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor

Have you watched the “public access” channel? In case you don’t know what it is, the channel provides live telecasts from Huntington City Council chambers of meetings. A camera mounted in the rear of the chamber provides very wide video of the session. However, it’s so far in the rear, you have difficulty determining faces and voices unless you are already familiar with members.

Mayor Steve Williams addressed council Monday, July 22, stating the current kindergarten system needs  an upgrade.He asked members whether they would prefer  a“voice” by forming a committee to address ideas or prefer to have the administration present a proposal.

David Ball, Rebecca Thacker, Gary Bunn, and Pete Gillespie volunteered.

“Our production values have been elementary school-ish at best, and , of late, kindergarten-ish,” the Mayor said. “Huntington should have something more sophisticated than what we have been showing,”

Prior to the council meeting,  he described  the current 12 year old system as “nothing more than a surveillance camera.” Known for his quest for "exceptional city" status, Mayor Williams said Huntington should have something better, noting “our surveillance cameras out on the street are more sophisticated than what we have in there right now.”

The poor quality does not reflect positively on the city.

“When people come in to visit the area, as cable is streamed to the different hotels, they see a grainy [meeting picture],”

Williams compared the low production values to previously flashing Huntington’s Most Wanted (on the channel) to visitors. He turned off Channel 24’s rotation of fugitive faces.

 “That just draws attention to a crime problem. I’m not about to hide my head in the sand, but I’m not going to invite guests into our community and start unveiling our dirty laundry.”

Without diminishing the usefulness of Most Wanted, Williams explained, "it may have served a purpose, but the reason crime has diminished is more the efforts of the Huntington Police Department than what’s on the cable channel,” the Mayor said to HNN.

The Mayor then told council that the revamp of Channel 24 is something  “We can get  done quickly”, suggesting  an  “idea” from  Trifecta Productions.

Earlier, Joe Murphy, president of Trifecta, alluded to a programming plan already serving the area’s hotels. The 24/7 all local channel features programming developed by the Huntington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Trifecta and other sources. Some of the productions are also available via internet.

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