How MCTV15- Channel 15 Started
Setting the Record StraightAs a major fundraiser for the annual 4th of July fireworks on the city of Mt. Shasta's local TV station, Channel 15, I wanted to put on a show about them. I approached the City Administrator at that time, Joe Riker about it. He then drove me to the Community center, opened up a door in the basement, we had to move chairs that were stacked all around, he took me to a corner where a funky tube TV sat on a rolling TV stand with an old VCR (we were already up to VCHR then) attached to it. Upstairs in the room where the Mt. Shasta City council held their meetings, there were fixed view, black and white security cameras attached to the live feed wire, and from there, the feed went to the TV and VCR. Someone had to personally go down to the basement and start the VCR to record the meetings each time. When there were no Council meetings to air, Channel 15 broadcast text messages on a blue screen with public service, and city announcements. I called it the Big Blue.
I asked Joe Riker how we could make it a truly PUBLIC access TV station and he asked me to meet with the full City Council to discuss it, which I did. There was absolutely no funding for this at the time, but that didn't deter me. The first thing I did was get community volunteers to start a committee to study the by-laws of over 30 public access stations across the United States to find a template that would work for a small town like ours.
All the while the committee was researching and writing our own bylaws, I was given access to the TV and VCR in the basement to put in shows that initially Joe Riker supplied me with, such as public information shows. In order to show my good faith and claim the station for the Public, I choose a night the shows would be played and my husband at the time, Tony Pollard would drive me to the Community center to physically put the show into the VCR and press play to start it! Neither rain nor sleet or snow kept us from doing this, even though only a handful of people would see it.
When we presented a viable set of bylaws for our community we had to decide on a name. The committee came up with Mt. Shasta Community TV, but my vision was to take over all the public access stations in Siskiyou county eventually, so I came up with Mountain Community TV-15 because all of the towns sat in the shadow of glorious, and magnificent Mount Shasta. It was shortened to MCTV15.
The next order of business was to form a 501-C3, non-profit corporation so that MCTV15 would have a legal presence and sponsors could write off donations. The city came up with an informal agreement at the time which allowed MCTV15 to manage channel 15. Thanks to local attorney Tim Stearns, for donating his time in filing all the corporate papers in order to make this happen.
Over time, I have noticed, in available information lately, about its origins. We founders have all become the "committee", or individuals from the community. I think it's important for people to know that the "committee" were people who had names, and I will try to remember them all as I go. It's important to remember them because they rank amongst the groups of individuals who actually contributed their valuable time and resources to the cause. Hence, without me, without them, none of you would be watching shows on Channel 15 today.