Columbia Access Television eager for future despite funding questions
COLUMBIA - Columbia Access Television (CAT) is now settled in after its change of location. April 20 was the grand opening of the new spot on North Second Street. Originally CAT housed the studio and media center in two different buildings, but both are now housed in one. Questions can be raised about the funding of this station though.
In 2014, the city of Columbia cut funding to Columbia Access Television. According to Managing Director Sean Brown the funding was cut from $200,000 a year to $35,000, but he continues a positive relationship with the city.
“We’re working with the city right now to try to increase that amount and to get a permanent amount placed into the annual budget so we don’t have to go through the fight every year and make our case. It seems like a lot of negative attention in my estimation. We have a great relationship with the city,” said Brown.
CAT currently uses the money gained from the city, but it also participates in grant writing and fundraisers. Brown would like the permanent amount to be placed, but is hopeful for the future of the public television station regardless.
“If we make the right efforts and the right strides to help service the community the best way we can then I do believe people will recognize that and the funding will follow,” said Brown.
The studio is available for anyone in the community to learn camera and editing skills. Brown believes the accessibility to the resources at the studio is valuable to Columbia.
"We really do feel like we are providing a skill set for our members that they can take beyond a hobby or interest. If that’s the case then that means we’re helping support the local economy and the local workforce as well. Just trying to help the community,” said Brown.