FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2020
Chief Philanthropy Officer
Spokane, Wash. — It has been twelve years since Community-Minded Television (CMTV14) entered the cable television market, providing original programming, offering classes, and giving local access to the citizens of Spokane. From a tiny office to a state-of-the-art studio, the station has grown without compromising its mission to give a voice to the voiceless and empower people through digital media. “We are committed to the mission and serving Spokane,” said Lee Williams, Executive Director of Community-Minded Enterprises, the station’s parent company. “But late last year we realized that something had to give.” Despite dollars for equipment and space, the funding just wasn’t there to keep the station running. “We could no longer operate in the red.” Williams said.
The station needed money for staff, or it risked closing its doors and ending more than a decade as Spokane’s go-to community access television station. “We do our best to help anyone who comes to us with a project,” said DaShawn Bedford, long-time CMTV14 staffer. “The emphasis has always been on the work and the community.”
It was that track record of service to Spokane, that resonated with members of Spokane’s City Council during site visits, among them Kate Burke. “It is more important than ever that we are investing in accurate and localized news and educational programming for our community. I am a huge supporter of local television stations,” said Council Member Burke, “They provide local, diverse and engaging programming that is for all!”
What followed was an effort to secure operational funding from the City. “We made our case and the city said yes. We are thrilled,” said Williams.
The 2020 City funding, totaling $160,000 keeps the station operational, and more importantly, it means CMTV14 can continue to provide free programming, equipment checkout, and access to its editing suites. “We are an incubator for anyone who wants to tell their story through video,” said Bedford. “It’s a great day at CMTV14.” The funds will also be used to build capacity to expand the work of CMTV14 and to build partnerships in the quest for sustainability. The City’s financial support is the first step, but the station recognizes it will need on-going community support and will look to expand its membership in the next twelve months.
Community-Minded Television is located at 104 3rd Avenue (3rd and Browne) in Spokane. CMTV’s 24-hour programming can be found on Comcast Channel 14. The station’s services include classes, equipment checkout, video production, program submission, studio rental, and membership.