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City Slashing Media Bridges Funding

By German Lopez · December 5th, 2012 · City Desk
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In his 2013 budget proposal, City Manager Milton Dohoney suggested eliminating $300,000 in support to Media Bridges, an organization that provides public access TV and radio stations in Cincinnati.

Tom Bishop, executive director of Media Bridges, called the cuts a “meteor” to his organization’s budget. He said Ohio originally cut funding to Media Bridges in June 2011, leaving the organization with $198,000 from remaining money in the state fund and $300,000 from Cincinnati’s general fund. The state fund was provided by Time Warner Cable, and lobbying led to its elimination. 

City spokeswoman Meg Olberding said Media Bridges was a target for cuts for two reasons: The program ranked low in importance by public feedback gathered during the priority-driven budget process, and Media Bridges isn’t seen as a core city service.

With the proposed city cut, Media Bridges is essentially losing $498,000 in 2013 — about 85 percent of the organization’s budget. 

When it was notified of the changes a few months ago, Media Bridges proposed alternative plan keeping $300,000 in yearly funding after a six-month transition period.

That plan would force Media Bridges to cut four staff members, become more dependent on automation and charge $200 a year for memberships with a sliding scale for low-income members.

Bishop plans to reach out to government officials to make the plea that public access outlets are important for low-income families. 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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