I am writing in response to the Sept. 27 article "City Council Green Lights Funds for Cable Television Bureau." Unfortunately the article is misleading and paints an inaccurate picture of Pittsburgh Community Television (PCTV) and its stewardship of the funds it has received over the last several years.
At issue is the way funds provided by Comcast and Verizon were allocated to both PCTV and the city of Pittsburgh's cable bureau. The article implies that somehow PCTV received more money than it should have at the expense of the cable bureau. The truth is that PCTV has received exactly what it should have according to the contract for services PCTV signed in 2011 and had no choice in what those amounts were. I took part in the process of negotiating this contract. The only parts of the contract that were "negotiated" were nonmonetary. The funding included in the contract for PCTV was decided by City Information Systems. PCTV did not negotiate for these amounts; rather we were told what they were going to be.
PCTV also had no part in deciding how we would receive the money. In the first year of the contract the funds were received by the city and then distributed to PCTV. Abruptly in early 2012 we were told that funds would start coming directly to us from Verizon and Comcast. Again, this was not our decision. This change had no effect on what PCTV received. The allocation was still exactly what was specified in our contract with the city.
PCTV has been an outstanding steward of the funds provided by the agreements with Verizon and Comcast for public access in Pittsburgh. We can account for every penny of the funds that have been received. Our books are independently audited each year and a copy of each year's audit is provided to the city. Recently, the city of Pittsburgh reallocated funds away from PCTV to the cable bureau. We understand that this was its prerogative, just as it was in 2011 when it allocated funds to PCTV.
Pittsburgh Community Television
First Published October 16, 2013 8:00 PM