Goodbye Howard County GTV
Anonymous

Baltimore, MD

#1 Jan 10, 2008
Howard County Government will be merging their own television station (Comcast 70/Verizon 44) with Howard Community College effective July 1, 2008. All government staff positions will be abolished and programming will consist of County Council meetings only. No public hearings or council debate is expected.
Steven

Baltimore, MD

#2 Jan 11, 2008
Is this really necessary? I'm sure there is much more waste in government spending than this!
Sherry

Baltimore, MD

#3 Jan 11, 2008
I thought GTV was required to exist. I watch it sometimes and it's decent.
Geren W Mortensen Jr

Rosedale, MD

#4 Jan 12, 2008
Hi, folks. First up, I am the station engineer for GTV -- the guy who keeps it all working. I'm also a director, studio camera operator, videographer and editor, as required. Everyone at GTV wears multiple hats.

Unfortunately, GTV is not required to exist, strictly speaking. The cable providers are required to provide a channel, should the local municipality desire it.

And, strictly speaking, GTV is not being merged with HCC TV. Instead, GTV is being shut down. HCC will be picking up certain programming, specifically, the live telecast of some Howard County Council hearings and legislative sessions.

The staff of GTV were caught completely by surprise by this move.

There will be more to the story posted on my blog. Just use google to search for me by name.
Paul Spause

Manassas, VA

#5 Jan 12, 2008
This how Ken Ulman responds to budget pressure, by eliminating our insight into the workings of Howard County government.

This action should make every citizen question Mr. Ulman's judgment and commitment to open government.

I hope the Howard County Council can work together and reverse this blatantly idiotic decision.
Paul Spause

Manassas, VA

#6 Jan 12, 2008
This is how Ken Ulman responds to budget pressure, by eliminating our insight into the workings of Howard County government.

This action should make every citizen question Mr. Ulman's judgment and commitment to open government.

I hope the Howard County Council can work together and reverse this blatantly idiotic decision.
Geren W Mortensen Jr

Powellville, MD

#7 Jan 27, 2008
Unfortunately, Paul, this is being handled as a budget cut. The way the budget process in Howard County works, the council cannot add anything to the budget -- only subtract items. They could also fail to pass the budget altogether, and require the County Executive to revise and re-submit the budget.
jake M

Baltimore, MD

#8 Feb 21, 2008
Yes. This is a bunch of hogwash. He Killed public TV and yet all these taxes increased and spending programs like crazy at the county schools the last 3 years???
They have increased their salaries immensely and bought $100 sneakers to these school teams and wonder why they cant operate a balanced budget. People left the county and those with Mortgage woes shrunk the county pie, now they need to reduce the govt, but not by killing GTV - a measly 500k Compared to 31Million budget???
Miser

Arlington, TX

#9 Jul 4, 2008
This is nuts. Has anyone seen the cost of the new Howard County Police Helicopter and its yearly operating budget. It flies constantly usually for very little reason. Cut its budget and save some real money for this not needed multi-million dollar piece of equipment.
Tim S

New York, NY

#10 Sep 18, 2008
Ulman said programming would continue. Yet none of the local shows have been on since July. I contacted HCC with no response. I also contacted Ulman's PIO, Kevin Enright, who gave no specifics as to what the channel will carry. He said it was up to HCC. Now how on Earth can HCC be responsible for that? What if they decide to air nothing? The Ulman administration just wants the issue to fade away by passing responsibility to someone else, and hope that nobody cares. No matter what Enright and Ulman say, programming WILL NOT continue if you leave that decision to an entity outside government.
Tim S

Rockville, MD

#11 Oct 20, 2008
So Enright tells me to go to HCC for information, and HCC has a link that directs you to the Govt. page. How is anybody supposed to find out what this channel is up to??

Compare what this channel has become to what Montgomery County is doing. They have a long list of original Govt. programming. Such a joke!
Geren W Mortensen Jr

Halethorpe, MD

#12 Oct 25, 2008
Hello again, everyone. Time for a little update:

I have moved over to HCC, and am now the contact for the remains of GTV. I return all phone calls or e-mails I receive as soon as possible.

GTV's new task is to cablecast the council meetings. Anything beyond that has to come out of the Community College budget. That means that, as of now, there is no original programming beyond the council meetings, hearings and work sessions.

That is not to say that there will not be any original production in the future. We are working now to come up with ways to fund new programming, and are hoping to bring two new shows to Howard County residents within the next couple of months.

In the mean time, our program manager is working hard to find other programming of interest to residents of Howard County. Stay tuned to Comcast Channel 99 or Verizon Channel 44.
Kenny

Rockville, MD

#13 Dec 8, 2008
On GTV closing:

Jan. 14, 2008
"The cuts are part of Howard County Executive Ken Ulman’s push to handle anticipated state budget cuts and declining revenue. The consolidation is expected to save Howard $500,000 a year, he said."

Nov. 26, 2008
"Howard County has a $6.6 million surplus left from the fiscal year ended June 30"

Source: Baltimore Examiner

Donna

Rockville, MD

#14 Dec 10, 2008
Must be nice to get a 7% raise like Ken Ulman did last week, in this recession. This is completely inappropriate. Just ask the county employees and their families he laid off to "save money", only to see his increased spending and pay raises for the remainder of employees. Have you had your 7% raise recently??
Garrison

Rockville, MD

#15 Dec 30, 2008
I moved to Howard from Montgomery in September, and the Howard Government station is a joke compared to Mont. Co TV. Nothing is locally produced. Montgomery may have a larger budget, but my son's elementary school here produces more than gtv.
Columbia resident

Baltimore, MD

#16 Mar 18, 2009
I just got rid of cable. One reason being I paid a franchise fee to fund community and government television and what do I get? I can't even find the government channel anymore. It seems like the Community College has programmed the same thing on 2 different channels.
Save $$$ dump cable and get digital television with all the expanded public television channels -it's way more interesting than anything on cable and IT"S FREE!!!
Pia Jordan

Baltimore, MD

#17 Mar 19, 2009
Garrison wrote:
I moved to Howard from Montgomery in September, and the Howard Government station is a joke compared to Mont. Co TV. Nothing is locally produced. Montgomery may have a larger budget, but my son's elementary school here produces more than gtv.
I can understand your frustration. Most of the staff of Gtv was laid off in June of last year. There had been quite a bit of original programming since the station began in the 1980's--talks shows, specials, newscasts,
targeted programs for children, teens, adults and senior citizens as well as live government meetings.
Chris C

Rockville, MD

#18 May 18, 2009
It's funny, Ulman never changed the description on the GTV webpage:
"The office facilitates public access to information and heightens awareness of government services by operating as a full-service communications agency to provide professional expertise through a network of professional, creative, technical and administrative staff skilled in the following communications fields; marketing and promotion; print, television and electronic media; media and public relations; and information and referral services."
Doesn't seem accurate to me.
Kenny

Rockville, MD

#19 Jun 24, 2009

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