DRACUT – Dracut Access Television is making a small change in its street address, but the change should allow big changes for local television programming.
DATV held a ribbon cutting Tuesday afternoon at its new headquarters 91 Mill St, Unit 8. The old address was 91 Mill St., Unit 7.
According to DATV Executive Director Gary Meuse, the $800,000 project took four months to complete and “went extremely well.”
It helped that the old space and the new space are side-by-side. If something came up in one space, it was easy for him to go next door and take care of it.
The new space is more than double what was available in the old space. Now, the DATV team has more than 4,000-square-feet in which to operate up from 1,700-square-feet next door.
Rep. Lori Trahan was among the dignitaries on hand for the ceremony.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of local access television,” she said.
But the Federal Communications Commission has proposed a plan that could have dire economic consequences for these local stations.
She advised against listening to cable news stations. Instead, she favors local news outlets, both broadcast and print.
State Sen. Barry Finegold, whose district includes Dracut, also was among the speakers at the opening ceremony. He serves on the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and that “every single year we have to protect” franchise fees that cable companies like Comcast and Verizon pay to communities in which they operate.
He said that he is a strong supporter of local access television because “it gives local people a chance to say what they feel.”
After the ribbon cutting, Meuse led a tour of the new studios and office space. He pointed to the largest of the new studios and suggested that Trahan might find it useful for holding a town hall with constituents.
What Meuse envisions is the congresswoman holding a town hall with many constituents in the studio and the content widely available throughout the 3rd District.
Meuse sees other possibilities for the new space. Local artist Amy Roberts, who is affiliated with Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, has her acrylic work on display along the walls now. Meuse would like to invite other local artists to show their work.
And there’s the breakroom which Meuse believes could function as a kitchen studio for a cooking show.