News

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  • 29 Jun 2020 6:09 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Are you interested in joining a small but mighty community media station with a big heart?  Are you fast, thorough and accurate while effectively prioritizing multiple computer and A/V tasks?  Are you technically skilled, but also flexible and able to provide responsive tech support to both external customers and internal team members?  Please visit our website to learn more about this opportunity!

    This employee works afternoons and evenings in our master control center in Inver Grove Heights, MN.  Master Control is the central nervous system of our cable TV and web streaming operation, where we distribute multiple format video programs for all (minimum of seven) cable TV channels, live streaming and archived viewing online, and social media sites. 

    • $37,000 - $41,000 DOQ
    • Full Benefits incl. Health, Dental, LTD, Section 125 Flex Plan
    • Retirement Plan with employer match
    • Paid Holidays, Vacation, Sick and Personal Leave

    Send resume AND wage history/requirements AND at least two professional references to: SEARCH@townsquare.tv or HUMAN RESOURCES, 5845 Blaine Ave, IGH, MN 55076. Applications must be received before 8:00 a.m. Monday, July 13, 2020.  (NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.)

  • 21 May 2020 7:40 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    NATOA Members and Friends, 

    As your NATOA President and Executive Director, we are deeply saddened to have to write this letter. After much deliberation and a survey of our membership, NATOA's Board of Directors has unanimously voted not to hold the 40th Annual Conference in person this fall in Denver, CO.

    We know that this is disappointing to many of you, as it is for NATOA leadership and staff. We carefully considered the costs to the organization, the well-being of our attendees, the economic hardship of our member communities and our responsibilities as individuals and as an organization to the public health and safety.  

    Now is more important than ever for local governments to connect and plan for the future so we are transitioning to an interactive, virtual format. While we know that it is impossible to preserve all parts of our in-person meeting and replicate direct in person connection, we want to bring you the education, experience and information-sharing that you have come to expect from us. It is too early for us to be able to provide the details about these events right now, but we are planning to offer a mix of prerecorded and live sessions. These are not just fancy webinars. There will be keynotes, panel sessions, roundtables and networking in online lounges and virtual gathering spots. There will be learning, connection and, as you can expect with any NATOA event, there will be fun!

    Stay tuned for more information on the timing and pricing for the virtual event(s) as well as opportunities for our sponsors, exhibitors and advertisers. We envision that this virtual event will provide a unique environment for large-scale participation across the country and will provide our vendors with greater visibility and reach. 

    If you have already registered for the conference, we will be contacting you directly to discuss options for both 2020 and 2021. If you already made travel plans for Denver, you are responsible for cancelling your airline and hotel reservations. Please make sure to reach out directly to your hotel to cancel your upcoming reservation. In addition, you'll need to reach out to your airline directly to cancel your flight. Each airline's policies for how they are dealing with reservations, cancellations and change fees in the wake of COVID-19 are different, but most are reportedly being cooperative and helpful. 

    We are thankful for the thoughtful and dedicated members and friends in our NATOA community and for your unwavering support. We appreciate every one of you and look forward to connecting with you virtually this fall.

    Sincerely,

    Brian Roberts
    NATOA President

     

    Tonya Rideout
    NATOA Executive Director

  • 18 May 2020 11:47 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Because of the health conditions and concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, the Alliance for Community Media is cancelling our 2020 Annual Conference which was set to take place in Chicago, IL June 30 – July 2.  This is a disappointing announcement for our organization and our members across the country as the Annual Conference is a celebration of the best of the work that happens in community media, and a unique fellowship opportunity for people who work in our field.

    It is necessary and not a decision we took lightly. We look forward to returning to Chicago at a later date.

    As an alternative, ACM is happy to announce the roll out of a workshop series which we are confident conference attendees will find useful in their work in community media. We will kick off the series in June and July, registration will be open soon. 

    Making the Case - How to Write the Essential Building Block for Fundraising Appeals (two parts)

    Re-visioning Community Media Centers- Building Relevance and Sustainability (three parts) Advocacy in the Age of Covid 

    In addition, ACM is excited to provide a platform for our partner organizations who will be presenting demonstrations of their products and solutions for channels and organizations.  Look for these presentations twice per month through the end of 2020.

    We want to give special acknowledgement to our sponsors who are instrumental each year in helping ACM provide a solid, successful conference each year. 

    We look forward to connecting virtually in a couple of weeks. 

    ACM Staff

  • 30 Mar 2020 9:31 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Now is our time.

    During our last call, we brainstormed how best to conduct meetings online.  

    As Minnesotans stay home, essential media, such as our PEG channels, can make a difference during these unprecedented times. Leveraging talent and resources, and the power of video and storytelling, now is our time to deliver content that matters.

    • Beyond meetings, what is your content plan
    • How are you connecting with your communities and stakeholders? 
    • How can we pivot our programming?

    We’ll also recap how your city meetings are going and spend time discussing challenges to online meetings such as public comments. How have you involved the public? What worked? What didn’t?

    Join us for our open forum call tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. 

    When: Tuesday, March 31
    TIme: 1:00 p.m. 
    Join the call: https://www.uberconference.com/mactamn
    Optional dial-in number: 651-300-1528
    No PIN Needed

    I look forward to another productive conversation.

    Be well and stay safe,
    Mark Martinez
    President
    Minnesota Association of Community Telecommunications Administrators (MACTA)

  • 25 Mar 2020 3:59 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Attached is Governor Walz’s “Stay at Home” executive order.  It is extremely comprehensive.  Since California Governor Newsome issued the first of these orders, they have steadily gotten better and more specific.  On page 10 - bullet point h - defines all forms of media as essential.  So you have that - you are officially essential.

    Governor Walz indicated that he has been in contact with the Governor of North Dakota and Wisconsin to ensure that what we were doing did not wildly conflict with what Wisconsin had done or North Dakota was about to do.  

    Further, Governor Walz indicated that although the duration of the order was for two weeks that was subject to change, and it could be extended for a longer period.  The intent of the Order was to further separate people to slow the spread of the virus.  By doing that, the hope was that collectively the ability to respond would improve.  Meaning, we would have more ICU beds available, we would have more ventilators, masks, and other equipment, and we would be better able to identify who was at risk.  

    He said that most of us will get the virus. Many will have no symptoms or mild symptoms, about 15% will need to be hospitalized, and 5% will need to be in the ICU. In other countries like Italy and China, they ran out of ICU beds and people were turned away and thus mortality rates skyrocketed.  By slowing the infection rate, we can better respond by having more equipment and spreading the need for ICU beds.

    Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home.

  • 13 Mar 2020 1:24 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    The Minnesota governor is announcing a plan to help communities fight the spread of COVID-19 around the state.

    Gov. Tim Walz held a news conference at the state capitol Friday with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm. They are announcing "community mitigation" strategies for Minnesotans, and Walz has declared a peacetime state of emergency.

    On Friday, the MDH announced that there are now 14 presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the state. The counties affected so far are Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Stearns and Wright.

    Wisconsin has also announced a total of seven cases, with one positive case listed as "recovered."

    As part of the community mitigation strategy, the MDH is recommending postponing or canceling:

    • Large events where 250 people or more would gather, including but not limited to:
      • Concerts.
      • Conferences.
      • Professional, college, and school performances or sporting events.
    • Smaller events (fewer than 250 people) that are held in venues that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person.
    • This includes gatherings in crowded auditoriums, rooms or other venues.
    • Events with more than 10 people where the majority of participants are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including gatherings such as those at:
      • Retirement facilities.
      • Assisted living facilities.
      • Developmental homes.
      • Support groups for people with health conditions.

    MDH is also recommending:

    • People and families at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness staying at home and avoiding gatherings or other situations of potential exposures, including travel.
    • Employers making telework arrangements for workers whose duties can be done remotely.
    • Employers staggering work schedules and limiting non-essential work travel.
    • Health care facilities and assisted-living facilities more strictly limiting visitors.
    • Faith-based organizations offering video or audio events.
    • Hospitals and other health care facilities implementing triage before entering facilities (for example, parking lot triage, phone triage, and telemedicine to limit unnecessary visits).


    The full plan of action is available online.

    The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920. The hotline will be open weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. this week (March 9-13).

    MDH maintains a regularly updated webpage with "Situation Updates," including the status of "persons under investigation" who are being tested. MDH also has a larger COVID-19 coronavirus information page, with links to additional facts and resources about coronavirus.

    The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also keeps this page updated with numbers of tested cases, and those that tested positive, along with more information for Wisconsin residents.

    Minnesota has issued some "social distancing" guidelines for schools as well, but did not recommend schools closing as of March 13.


  • 13 Mar 2020 7:29 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Join us on Monday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. and/or Thursday, March 19 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss best practices for continuing your PEG operations during the COVID-19 outbreak. Bring your questions and share ideas with the access community here in Minnesota. We hope this forum will be of value to you as we plan to continue our community and public information mission.

    Topics will include:
    • The impact on public meetings, our coverage of public meetings, and open meeting requirements.
    • High school sports and other public event coverage.
    • Focusing staff and resources on public health communications support for the community.

    As a current MACTA member, you will receive conference call information via email Monday morning. If you are not currently a MACTA member and would like to join the call, please contact me directly for information.

    Thank you, and we look forward to talking with you,

    Mark Martinez
    MACTA President
    president@mactamn.com


  • 3 Mar 2020 1:01 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Brian Wilson Scholarship
    Apply by Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 at 5 pm CT

    The Brian Wilson Scholarship is an annual offer to provide $1,000 in college financial assistance by the Foundation of the Alliance for Community Media, promoting the values of former Board of Directors Chair Brian Wilson. Applicants are individuals currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree granting program in media arts, broadcast journalism, community & public service, government administration, public education administration or teaching. Visit our website to learn more!

    Emerging Leaders Scholarship
    Apply by Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 at 5 pm CT

    In 2019, the Foundation of the Alliance for Community Media took the step of investing in future leaders of our field by creating the Emerging Leaders Institute, a two-day intensive training for folks who are new to leadership or are on the cusp of becoming leaders. The Emerging Leaders Scholarship provides Institute registration, full ACM Annual Conference registration, lodging at the conference hotel, and travel assistance to up-and-coming community media leaders. Visit our website to learn more!

  • 3 Mar 2020 12:53 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    We invite you to join us at NATOA’s 40th Annual Conference being held August 31-September 3 in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Together we will ascend the very pinnacle of local government programming and communications policy from our luxurious base camp at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. (Ok, let me take a deep breath, give the mountaineering metaphors a rest and tell you about the plans we are making for a terrific conference.)

    The Conference Committee and Colorado Communications and Utility Alliance (CCUA), NATOA’s Colorado Chapter, are planning an agenda that will provide you with useful information that is custom designed for our field. As always, NATOA’s Conference will provide a unique blend of educational sessions, roundtable discussions, networking events, keynote speakers, a tailor-matched exhibit hall with the vendors and consultants that you want to meet, and an exciting video awards event to close out the Conference. Be sure to check out the pre-conference opportunities for additional training opportunities that can be added on for a nominal fee.

    On Wednesday we’ll be building in some free time with an opportunity to see a little of Denver prior to our reception at the Denver Athletic Club. Within walking distance of the hotel, you will have an opportunity to visit the nearby, stunning Denver Art Museum; stroll to the bustling 16th St. Mall or take-in the golden domed State Capitol. We will reconvene at the Denver Athletic Club for a fantastic event featuring delicious food, fun and games, plus an outdoor deck overlooking downtown Denver.

    If you have time before or after the conference, you can take advantage of Denver’s beautiful mountain setting by hiking at the nation’s highest municipal parks, such as Echo Lake or Summit Lake, or drive all the way to the top of 14,264 ft Mt. Evans.Rocky Mountain National Park is a mere 90-minute drive from our hotel!

    If you are staying in Denver after the Conference, join fellow NATOAn’s for a Colorado Rockies baseball game as they host the Cleveland Indians on September 4 at 6:40 pm at Coors Field. Colorado has so much to see and do, we encourage you to take advantage of the time there and the holiday weekend to make the most of your trip.

    We look forward to seeing everyone as we hear from experts, learn from our colleagues, and introduce newcomers to the field at NATOA’s Annual Conference in Denver!

    Sincerely,

    Brian Roberts

  • 21 Feb 2020 12:58 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    MACTA members from across Minnesota gather annually for this powerful event designed to educate legislators on issues impacting community media programming and cable franchise funding. It's important that lawmakers fully understand the issues that are important to us and how they affect our local municipalities and community. 

    We’ll begin the day at the League of MN Cities building (free adjacent parking!) at 9 a.m. for a two-hour workshop, then walk over to the capitol complex for meetings with your legislators, lunch, and optional press tour.

    At MACTA Day at the Capitol, you will:

    • Meet your state legislators.
    • Inform lawmakers about your work with PEG programming, right-of-way management, and cable franchise funding.
    • Interview your legislators for your PEG channels
    • Members are encouraged to make appointments now with your local delegation.
    • Lunch will be provided
    • Thank you League of Minnesota Cities for providing free parking

    We’ll provide you with updates and talking points before you meet with your legislators. All Day at the Capitol experience levels are encouraged to attend. If you do not feel comfortable meeting with your legislators alone, we can team you with seasoned MACTA attendees.

    This event is a great opportunity to bring your cameras and microphones to record interviews or short video updates with your legislators for your PEG channels! Show your legislators how the services you provide support our communities and maximize citizen engagement right in their own backyard.

    Register today!

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