MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- With only a handful of media outlets left in Westchester, it is more important than ever that communities retain their local news and sports coverage, says a Mamaroneck-based public access television station.
But fulfilling that public service mission in the most efficient way gets a little tough when your operation is spread over three locations, according to LMCTV’s Matt Sullivan.
Right now, the station has two production facilities, one in Mamaroneck High School, and the other at 145 Library Lane, just down the block from the Emelin Theater. Its administrative and broadcasting offices are squeezed into a space at the Mamaroneck Town Center.
Sullivan, a Mamaroneck native and the chief operating officer at LMCTV, says that may soon change.
The station is talking with the village about bringing its studios, offices and classrooms all together in a former red-brick firehouse on the east side of Mamaroneck Avenue.
(Built in 1902, Hook and Ladder Co. 1. was the first firehouse in the village.)
Being “smack-dab” in the heart of the community’s business district will make the nonprofit organization more accessible, increase its visibility and “allow for free marketing, in a way,” Sullivan said.
“Unfortunately, there are still some people that don’t know we exist,” he added.
Of particular note is its flagship program, The Local Live, which features a round-table discussion where folks can call, tweet, or email their two cents in. LMCTV also keeps an extensive news archive on its website.
The station gets about $130,000 a year through a franchise agreement between the cable companies, Optimum and Verizon, and the municipalities, Larchmont and Mamaroneck. That money is distributed through the Tri-Municipal Cable TV Board of Control, on which sits one member from each of the municipal boards.
The $130,000 is restricted, meaning it can only be spent on capital projects, such as equipment and building renovations or purchasing. Money for operating costs such as salaries and electricity bills is allocated based on a formula, Sullivan said.
In addition to its operating fees, LMCTV also receives $130,000 from the cable companies for capital expenditures.
The station has six full-time staffers, two part-time employees and dozens of freelance videographers. It’s always looking for volunteers and interns, Sullivan said.
(It runs an internship program for students from Rye Neck and Mamaroneck high schools, and Iona and Purchase colleges.)
Also important to its financial well-being are membership drives.
It may host a fundraising gala next year to help it finance the firehouse project, Sullivan said.
Having a dedicated space for classrooms will allow LMCTV to solidify its position as an educational resource in the community, too, he said. It is hoping to offer courses in film literacy and history and production and editing at the new facility.
While LMCTV, as a public entity, is prohibited from broadcasting programs that hawk products or services, it can teach businesses and organizations how to promote themselves and can train them on equipment such as editing stations and cameras, Sullivan said.
Sullivan, who joined LMCTV in 2011, comes from a film background. The Mamaroneck High School grad studied visual arts at Emerson College in Boston and worked for a number of years in Los Angeles on the production of such TV shows as “24,” “House” and “Castle.”
It’s a “matter of pride” for everyone at the station to reflect the community’s values and to support “freedom of speech, public dialogue and artistic expression,” Sullivan said.
“We believe in the community we represent,” he added.
Sullivan can be reached by emailing email@example.com, or calling (914) 381-2002.