Categorized | Featured Stories, Legislative

Ready For Their Close-Up: Colo. House, Senate Vie For Broadcast Spot

By Don Knox, STATE BILL COLORADO
Is that session of the General Assembly live, or is taped?
We’ll soon know.
An independent governmental authority has been given the weighty task of deciding which chamber gets the privilege of live coverage on Comcast Channel 165, the “Colorado Channel,” Colorado Senate Democratic spokeswoman Abigail Vacanti said Tuesday.
In previous years, the honor fell to the House, because it was the only chamber of the Colorado General Assembly set up for the video broadcasts, which were championed by former Speaker Andrew Romanoff. That will change in January, when the Senate turns its new TV cameras on for the first time.
Internet users don’t have to worry, Vacanti said. Feeds from both houses will stream “live” on the legislature’s website at www.leg.state.co.us.
But there’s only one cable channel, which requires a decision: Will the chambers receive alternating days where their sessions are broadcast live? Or alternating weeks? Or will the decision be made based on the “newsworthiness” of a particular legislative calendar?
Earlier this year, Senate President Brandon Shaffer said he didn’t know how the broadcast time would be allocated.
But it’s now known that the decision is to be made by the Colorado Channel Authority, an independent agency set up to monitor and, if possible, increase legislative and other government cable and Internet telecasts.
The authority has only recently organized and, in fact, a full list of its members was not available at the time of this report. Its chair, appointed by House Speaker Terrance Carroll, is Rep. Debbie Benefield, D-Arvada.
The authority’s next meeting will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Monday, Dec. 7 — at which time it will consider its cable-casting options, Vacanti said.

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