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President mulls future of Schenectady public TV station in cooperation with Proctors

President mulls future of Schenectady public TV station in cooperation with Proctors

The president of the city’s public access television station on Thursday night promised to discuss a

The president of the city’s public access television station on Thursday night promised to discuss any offer to sell the SACC-TV building with membership prior to making a decision.

President Gary McCarthy said there is no valid offer on the table for the building at 115 N. Broadway, which SACC-TV obtained for approximately $96,000 in 1996. However, the SACC-TV board is looking to unload the building, a former Goldstock’s store, as part of a plan to move operations to Proctors.

SACC-TV in May entered into a management contract with Proctors, paying it $1,000 per month through Sept. 30. Proctors is managing SACC-TV’s finances and paying its bills during this period, McCarthy said.

In September, Proctors will present options to SACC-TV’s board about how to proceed with the relationship, said Proctors Chief Executive Officer Philip Morris, who attended Thursday night’s annual membership meeting.

Morris said one option is for Proctors to oversee management of SACC-TV and for SACC-TV to become part of Proctors.

McCarthy said a relationship with Proctors would move SACC-TV to the next level, allowing the television station to improve its programming and reduce its costs. Proctors would handle most of the “back room” operations, such as accounting and membership organization, and would tie in its education programming with SACC-TV.

SACC-TV would gain access to state-of-art production equipment and would benefit from association with Proctors, which McCarthy called a premier regional venue.

“We are looking at ways to make SACC-TV better, to expand it,” he said.

McCarthy told members Thursday night that the Capital District YMCA approached SACC-TV to buy the building for $1 for a proposed daycare center downtown. The YMCA is planning to relocate its State Street fitness center to Center City, and the SACC-TV building is about a block from the site.

McCarthy said the SACC-TV board rejected the proposal, saying the building has a value of approximately $300,000. He said that SACC-TV’s by-laws allow the board to sell the building without approval from members but he will discuss any proposal with the them first.

Several SACC-TV members Thursday night objected to the proposal to sell the property, suggesting that the board invest in the building. Others approved of the proposal or wanted to see what Proctors would offer in September before offering an opinion.

Jeff Beller said SACC-TV should partner with Proctors but it should also remain separate from Proctors.

“This whole thing has been real sleazy,” he said.

Longtime member Jim Lewis said the Broadway building is salvageable and is already equipped with two cable drops, which can allow the station to stream video and offer high-definition programming.

“The point is you own this building forever,” he said.

McCarthy said SACC-TV spends about $30,000 annually on maintaining the two-story building, money that could be used for programming. SACC-TV uses a small portion of the building’s 20,000 square feet. Its studio, offices and equipment rooms occupy the first floor. The second floor is vacant. McCarthy said the building has other code violations and would cost up to $750,000 to repair.

SACC-TV has an annual budget of $125,000. It receives $80,000 from fees paid by city cable subscribers to Time Warner; the rest comes from fundraising and rentals.

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