-- A DIFFERENT KIND OF LA STATION!
communities have a citywide access channel on cable. You
know, it's the one that runs the city council meetings
and programs about whose on the council and so forth.
Los Angeles, though, is lucky -- it has two. They are
referred to as LA CityView 35 and LA36. Two weeks ago
we took a look at LA CityView 35 and it's mission. You
can find that story in our FROM THE FIELD Archives. This
week, we turn our attention to LA36 -- LA's other city
By Steve Grace
Over the past twelve months in Los Angeles where would you
find live broadcasts of the citys mayoral debates? Telecasts
of the city, high school basketball championship games; cultural
events ranging from an American Youth Symphony concert to
a live performance of Miss Evers Boys at
a local college; broadcasts of the Los Angeles World Affairs
Council and same-day telecasts of community affairs programs
produced by the citys two leading public radio stations,
KCRW and KPCC?
Answer. Only on LA36.
LA36 is one of two access channels available to cable television
audiences city-wide in Los Angeles and its on a mission
to educate, inform and connect the City of Los Angeles.
The station broadcasts 24/7 with programming that ranges from
college level, distance learning classes, to variety of community
arts and public affairs programming. And all this on a budget
of $600,000. Thats no typo.
The channel went on-air about six years ago as a joint public/educational
access station. That designation was changed to educational
access only after the mayor and city council received numerous
complaints about pornography and hate-filled programming.
It was a good news, bad news scenario. The station lost a
lot of programming, but was able to program more selectively..
Ive been at the station for a little more than a year
and have worked to supplement our limited budget by forming
partnerships with the citys colleges and universities,
key city agencies like Cultural Affairs, area non-profit and
community groups and the cable companies,. All seem ready
and willing to take a fresh look at the channel and help us
improve the quality of the programming and our impact on the
A few examples.
USC students currently produce three, thirty minute shows,
Monday through Friday for LA36. One, The Cutting Edge
is a clever adaptation of a film review show with two young,
energetic hosts who screen past and present student film makers
from the USC film school. Ever wonder what Steven Spielbergs
student films looked like? Tune in.
UCLA students have just finished the first semester of UCLA
Next, a hip, irreverent look at events on and off campus.
Cal State Northridge Journalism Students produce two shows
a week including a news show focusing on the San Fernando
Valley and a public affairs show with students as producers,
talent and teckies. Cal State Dominguez Hills uses LA36 for
live, call-in, college-level classes. And they recently wired
their campus theatre which has allowed us to broadcasts their
drama department productions, live, city-wide. The latest
collaboration is with LA City College. TV students are spending
their own time this summer to launch a new magazine-style
program on LA36.
Our future is limitless in terms of broadcasting events of
and about Los Angeles.
And its great timing for rethinking the funding of
the station . The city is negotiating new cable franchise
agreements and my goal has been to show all concerned parties,
just how far an community access station can go to make an
impact on a city, even one the size and as diverse as Los
Our goal is to offer viewers a window to the city, to present
exciting, timely programs that promote community participation,
interest and growth.
If youd like to learn more about the station, please
visit our web site, www.la36.org. You can also subscribe to
our weekly one-page e-newsletter which highlights two or three
programs a week worth your time and only on LA36.
About the Author
Steve Grace is the current president of the Los Angeles Cable
Access Corporation, LACTAC, and the Executive Director of
LA36. He is a
former NBC Today show producer and began his broadcasting
career as a
writer/producer with WQED, the PBS station in Pittsburgh.
He was a founding
partner of Popular Arts Entertainment, a Burbank based entertainment
producing reality and information programming for network,