Pickerington Times-Sun

City getting on board for internet 'TV' station

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The city of Pickerington will have its own channel on an informational multi-media internet program called "Pickerington TV."

Pickerington City Council unanimously approved a sponsorship agreement with Gahanna-based SOH Productions at its Nov. 15 meeting.

The city now joins the Pickerington Local School District and the Pickerington Public Library, who each have their own channel on the community-based endeavor.

Area churches and the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce also are involved in the programming portfolio.

Ron Smith, President of SOH Productions, said it will allow viewers access to what is going on is their community.

"We can share, through the use of multi-media, meetings going on in Pickerington on a regular basis," he said.

Smith said the goal of SOH is to establish a media presence in 22 central Ohio communities.

He said Gahanna, Cintonville, Grove City and Westerville are already on the air, with Pickerington TV expected to be "up and running" by Dec. 7.

"We're doing a roll-out schedule so we don't get overburdened," Smith said.

He said Pickerington TV will be able to be accessed from anywhere. "For example, if you're trying to watch your son play basketball for a Pickerington High School, but you're stuck in Denver and you're flight's delayed, you can whip out your iPad while sitting in the Denver airport and watch it,' Smith said.

He said none of the organizations that have a channel on internet television have to pay for the service, instead paid sponsorships, in the range of $347 to $497 monthly, provide the financial means which allows the company to produce the content.

"We don't ask for any financial support," Smith said.

"We're doing it as a catalyst to have a mutual meeting point people can come to, through a multi-media means for people to find out what is going on."

Smith said it is up to each channel to also provide story material. His production company then goes out and shoots, edits and produces the content.

"We provide all the video production services, we'll provide the website and we'll maintain the website," he said.

Pickerington City Councilman Chris Schweitzer is the city liaison for Pickerington TV.

Each channel has a representative to help the programming committee determine what material to submit for production.

"Each channel presents a few different 'shows' which can range, from my initial understanding, from three to five minutes in length," Schweitzer said.

"Material and information can cover anything pertinent to the city, whether government, events, (or) important resident and consumer information," he said.

Pickerington's Administration Committee had to take a special vote Nov. 7 to allow the use of the city's seal on Pickerington TV because the City Charter requires approval of any use of the city seal by any private or other public entity. The motion passed by a 2-0 vote.

"We checked with our law director regarding the use of the logo and made sure there were no conflicts with the (City) Charter or with any brand or message requirements, there are none, so we will be using our logo on the city channel," Schweitzer said.

Although Pickerington app-roved a three-year contract with SOH Productions, Violet Township officials remain on the fence regarding having a channel.

Smith gave his pitch to the Violet Township Trustees at their Nov. 21 meeting.

Trustee Terry Dunlap asked Smith "why can't it say Pickerington/Violet TV?"

Smith said he would bring the question up to the programming committee Nov. 29 and get back with the trustees.

Dunlap told Smith the Fairfield County Prosecutor's Office needs to review any contractual agreement prior to the trustees voting on the matter.

"I can see the benefits, (but) we've got to flush out the details," Dunlap said.

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