Thursday, August 28, 2014

Election Programming and The FCC

Tune to KOCT - Channel 18, Thursday September 4th at 6 pm for a one-hour “live” Journalist Roundtable program. KOCT’s election season programming begins featuring a special Journalist Roundtable questioning Oceanside City Council Candidates. You’ll want to watch this special Journalist Roundtable and be an informed voter.

Our Guests will include:

Candidate Dana Corso, president of Alliance of Citizens To Improve Oceanside Neighborhoods (ACTION), says that she was a leading voice in speaking against Proposition E, which threatened to end rent control in mobile home parks.  She commented that as a councilwoman she will have a greater opportunity to serve the people and neighborhoods of Oceanside as a voice for the people that is currently absent in the City Council majority decision-making. 

                                           Dana Corso                                                 Gary Felien
Gary Felien, a current council member, is seeking re-election and he says he will continue to keep improving Oceanside. He says that as a result of his election in Nov 2010, a new council majority based on fiscal responsibility was formed and they immediately set to work to turn the city around from the dire straights the past majority had placed the city in. 

Candidate Chuck Lowery, an active Board Member of the Oceanside Charitable Foundation, says he wants to create jobs, and that he has the experience and expertise necessary to cultivate a thriving economic environment. According to comments he has made he will cut spending as he will fight tirelessly for balanced budgets. He said he cares deeply for the City of Oceanside and its residents.

                                       Chuck Lowery                                             Jerome Kern

Jerome Kern, an incumbent, is seeking re-election after a 6 year term. He indicates he has worked hard to bring positive change to Oceanside by championing issues that can make our city a better place to live, do business and enjoy our unique recreational opportunities.

Robert Tran is a first time candidate and an Oceanside native. He was born, raised and currently resides in Oceanside and said he is running for City Council to ensure that Oceanside continues to grow in all economic ownership sectors and that all taxpayers of Oceanside deserve a city that is fiscally responsible and is not in the hand of special interest groups or of personal interest. (Photo not available)

The host for Journalist Roundtable is veteran journalist Kent Davy and he will be joined on Columnist Logan Jenkins from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Currently the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Public, Education and Government (PEG) advocates have submitted a number of comments they hope the FCC will consider before they allow for further consolidation of big media entities. For example, American Community Television believes this potential merger will put PEG TV stations at risk saying “We request that the FCC protect PEG access television by rejecting the proposed transaction or conditioning the proposed merger on curing the various problems we have outlined”—Example cited included loss of channels, PEG closures in many states, lack of programming guide description and charging governments to provide PEG programming.

Access Humboldt has also filed FCC comments and they suggest that if the transfer were to occur the FCC should prohibit discrimination against PEG channels and ensure that PEG channels have the same features and functionality and signal quality as they do for local broadcasters as well as requiring PEG channels to be distributed on the HD tiers.

KOCT is and has faced many of the issues cited above: Cox Cable & AT&T will not post our program schedule which makes recording KOCT programs via their DVR’s time consuming and complicated. And AT&T’s DVR won’t even record the PEG channels manually!

Over the past 20 years there have been more & more media  mergers and less requirements for public interest programming—this despite the fact that these communications giants use the public right of ways to conduct private business for a profit. It is not to much to ask that out of the thousands of channels they provide that they not only allow a few channels to be dedicated to the communities they do business in but to actually support those entities by treating them with the same level of support they do for the commercial channels. And in fact, according to grandfathered local franchises and the new state franchise they should already be doing so!

I am hopeful the FCC will not agree to the merger of these two communications giants without an agreement of better support for the many small community PEG channels across the country like KOCT-YOUR community channel. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Independent Media = Local Election Programs

KOCT is celebrating 30 years of service to our community and we are very proud of the many election programs we have produced since our creation in 1984. And, as you will see, we have an exciting election 2014 line-up we are ready to announce.

KOCT is the San Diego County leader when it comes to the number of local election programs we produce. Why is that? It is because we are not, a government agency nor a commercial cable TV channel.  KOCT is a independent  non-profit corporation focused on and driven by our mission to provide programming for, by and about our community—even in the challenging battleground that is often local politics.

KOCT’s first election program was on October 1st 1983—a debate about Proposition L (Pier & Groin?) and our second was a candidates forum on October 20, 1986. Every year since then we have refined our Election guidelines, improved our coverage and increased the number of races and programs that we provide.

It has not been easy and with our reduced staffing and budget we have reluctantly had to charge a production fee for our formerly free service, Candidate Statements.  However this fee is far less than what most serious candidates pay for signs, mailers, flyers and consultants.

Earlier this week invitations went out to candidates inviting them to appear on the following shows:

Journalist Roundtable -    September 4th (LIVE) -  Candidates for Oceanside City Council
Voice of Oceanside -       September 18th - Candidates for MiraCosta College Board of Trustees
Voice of Oceanside -       September 18th - Candidates for Oceanside Unified School District
Journalist Roundtable -     October 2nd (LIVE) - featuring candidates for Tri-City Medical Center Board of                                         Directors
Voice of Oceanside -       October 9th - Candidates for Oceanside City Council
Voice of Oceanside -       October 9th (recorded for later airing) - featuring candidates for the Tri-City                                                Medical Center Board of Directors

In addition to these programs the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with MiraCosta College, have agreed to share with KOCT viewers their televised coverage of Candidate Forums on September 11 & 18, featuring City Council, Hospital and College candidates.

Candidates for these offices as well as regional races have been invited to take advantage of KOCT’s Candidates Statement service in which each candidate can make a five-minute statement directory to their voter/viewers in their own words.

All of these programs will be replayed extensively on KOCT throughout October and right up to the last weekend before the election. All of these election programs can also be viewed on your smart phone, computer or tablet by using our extensive Video-On-Demand service available at

And don’t forget to send in your questions for city council, school, college and hospital board candidates to KOCT at  We would love to hear what issues, topics and subjects you care about and we’ll try to incorporate them into our shows if we can.

It takes a lot of planning, effort and diligence to produce election programs but we believe it is one of the most valuable services that KOCT can provide.   However this is only effective if you, the Voter,  watch these programs, research the  candidates, listen  to their positions and vote in the November election.

If by chance you are running and did not hear from KOCT, it means we do not have your contact information and we need to hear from you. KOCT's Election Programming will air soon and we want all candidates to participate!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Community Connection - Week Three of our Throwback Edition

Continuing the Community Connections Throw Back Edition to celebrate KOCT's 30 years of service to our north county community!

We have another election in November of this year so it’s appropriate & fun to look back to past elections. Here, in 2002, are the candidates for Mayor of Oceanside on the Voice of Oceanside. Left is incumbent Jim Wood, Host Tim Aldrich, an unknown candidate and Rocky Chavez—then a City Councilmember and now a state Assemblyman, 76th District.

Talk about a lot of candidates for City Council! Too many to name but standing is the former host of the Senior Scene, Dick Johnson,  and it looks like the Flag Man, Alex Kapitanski, provided the set decoration.
Late 90’s?

One of our most popular shows in the late 90’s and early 2000’s was Lawyers on the Line by the North County Bar Association. Viewers could call in with general legal questions and the show featured some of the many talented Lawyers and Judges in North County tackling a variety of legal issues & topics.

HealthCare Matters (Top) was a health program KOCT produced that was hosted by radio personality, Meg Banta who now teaches Radio at Palomar College. KOCT’s Inside Oceanside, below, was a video magazine about Oceanside that was initially hosted by their Public Information Officer, Don Williamson and Camp Pendleton’s Amy Forsythe. Amy later served numerous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and continues to enjoy a varied communications career in the US Navy. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Community Connection - Week Two of our Throwback Edition

Our next few Community Connections will be Throw Back Editions because KOCT is celebrating 30 years of service to our north county community!

The entire community came out to the Oceanside band shell in 2001 to celebrate our local Little League teams Western Division Championship! They lost in the World Series even though it was later discovered the other team’s pitcher was older than allowed for a little league participant!!

Below the team answers questions from the audience and then KOCT Sports Announcer Tom Sheridan just prior to the ceremony by the Mayor and elected officials to honor our young sports heroes!

Brian Cook was our 2nd Oceanside Spectrum host and was instrumental in promoting the show to the many non-profits and city departments to help promote their events. KOCT’s Executive Director, Tom Reeser, below presents Brian with the Beacon Award for ‘shining light on our community’ with his many years of dedicated volunteer service to our community. 

Brian was also the originator of the annual ‘Sock Drive’ for Brother Bennos. Below, (with the KOCT production team) are the founders of Brother Bennos, Harold and Kay Kutler along with Voice Host Bill Fritsche and the late Dick Goodman who was the Director of Housing for the City of Oceanside for many years. This was in 1992.