Tight Budget Could Force LTV Off the Air - WSET.com - ABC13

Tight Budget Could Force LTV Off the Air

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Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Parker Slaybaugh

Lynchburg, VA - There's a chance Lynchburg could pull the plug on its television channel. Lynchburg's cable access channel, which many know as LTV on Comcast channel 15, broadcasts city council meetings and big events. It's one way residents can keep up with city government. But the tight city budget means LTV could be scrapped.

Two full time jobs and a handful of part-time contracted jobs would get cut, if this goes through. And, of course, Lynchburg residents would have less access to their city government.

LTV is regular viewing for Arthur Strunk.

"I think the citizenry ought to be informed as to what their government is doing," said Strunk.

A political junkie, government has always peaked Strunk's interest. But, life made getting to city council meetings inconvenient.

"My wife was experiencing health problems at the time, and so I started watching on TV," said Strunk.

LTV has given Strunk his political fix - a regular dose of planning meetings and work sessions. But, that could soon change.

LTV is on the list of possible budget cuts. Shutting down the channel would save $154,000. But, is that money well saved?

"We do know that people watch. We hear all the time that people watch," said JoAnn Martin, Lynchburg's Communications Director.

JoAnn Martin has seen the public good of LTV.

"LTV has allowed us to be very transparent for the public to see the workings of inner-government, and we would hate to lose that ability to do that," said Martin.

Strunk would hate it too.

"The more you know about what your government is doing, the better the government is going to be. If you don't care, I'm sorry, I think that's part of our problem today - too many people are not paying attention," said Strunk.

If city council does not accept the city manager's proposed budget, then council will start chopping at city services. What will get axed, and if LTV is on that list, comes in May.

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