Marc Gronich is Director of Legislative Affairs for the state affiliate, ACM New York and Vice-Chairman of the Oversight Board for Channel Albany in the state capital. With decades of experience as a community access intern and producer, he went to the Rivers to Cross conference to seek the policy and technological tools to help him build Channel Albany (currently staffed by one part-time person). He also found the network of “Public Policy warriors” to help him help others in upstate New York, as described in his letter to the Board:
Dear Karen, Erica, Barbara, Rob and the 12 other board members:
I want to thank all the board members with Alliance for Community Media, Northeast Region for allowing me to attend the national ACM conference in Minneapolis earlier this month (July 12 – 14, 2017). I certainly would not be able to attend without the generosity of the 2017 Paul Berg Scholarship award.
While I got a great value out of networking with other passionate community media executives and staffers, I felt the three-day national conference packed in too many interesting concurrent seminars and workshops in a short period of time. I attended four workshops: Conflict Resolution and Media Centers, Fundraising for Community Media, Radio Station Operations and The Challenges We Face.
As I am collecting information to install new equipment for the Channel Albany studios, I felt the number of vendors, only 17, was disappointing and could not give me the variety of information I needed to bring back to my fellow board members.
The SPNN studio in St. Paul was eye-opening. It shows what can be done when PEG is properly funded and receives support from the community. Tony Spearman-Leach gave an informative and substantive talk about fundraising for community media.
On Wednesday, July 12th, I volunteered for the seminar on low-power radio station operations where I had the good fortune to meet Erik Möllberg, station manager of WELT-LP 95.7 FM, for the first and last time. We received word that Erik was killed in a motorcycle crash on his way to work Friday morning. The few moments I got to speak with Erik I felt a kinship with him in that I got my start in broadcasting at my campus radio station, which is a low-power operation.
There was an inspiring aspect to the conference. The final day, during lunch, we heard from two people, one man and one woman who are both transgender. They run a group called T-Time in Olympia, Washington.
At the Northeast Regional meeting I had the honor, pleasure and privilege of letting the group know of the efforts we are undertaking in New York State to save community media from the dramatic results of cutting the cord. The Northeast Regional meeting was a blast for networking. For certain, the friendships I made during meals and at the few workshops I attended, will last far beyond the three days in Minneapolis.
Once again, I offer my sincere and heartfelt appreciation and thanks to the board members of the Alliance for Community Media, Northeast Region for allowing me to have this opportunity by receiving the 2017 Paul Berg Scholarship award.
Marc Gronich, Vice Chairman
PEG Access Oversight Board for Channel Albany (NY)