West Allis' Channel 14 dims from view

Aug. 28, 2012

As things stand now, the Community Media Center, known as Channel 14, that has provided public access programming to West Allis residents for 30 years will go dark at the end of the week.

By a 17-13 vote Monday, the membership of the center rejected an offer of help from West Allis because it would have restricted the kind of programming it could show. In return for studio space and a part-time station operator, the city would have banned religious programming and put restrictions on political shows.

But the type of restrictions are irrelevant, said Bob Schramm, who became president of the center last night after Sharon Rhode resigned the post in protest. The station's mission is to promote freedom of speech, the free exchange of ideas and not to discriminate on the basis of religion or anything else, he said.

The station plans a symbolic sendoff at 8 p.m. Thursday, consisting of a five- to eight-minute video of highlights from the last 30 years.

The station's equipment will be moved out of the studio on Greenfield Avenue and put into storage on Wednesday until the board decides which nonprofit groups should get it.

Rhode said this morning that an effort might be mounted to vote again on the West Allis offer, given that some members who support it could not attend Monday night's meeting.

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