Over the past six years, one of Broadcast Educational Media Commission’s (BEMC) priorities has been to remove from agency assets the last of the former tower site locations. BEMC previously built tower sites to provide microwave transmissions for public broadcasting communications in locations across Ohio. In 2017, the Commission authorized the sale or transfer of unused BEMC land in Marion and Montgomery Counties. Governor Mike DeWine signed the Land Conveyance Legislation (House Bill 481) in June 2020.
BEMC's predecessor dismantled the Marion County tower in April 2010. Notwithstanding, the State of Ohio retained the property. Auction announcements for the Marion site appeared in the local newspapers for three Sundays before the February 11th meeting.
The Montgomery County tower site is part of Ohio's public television expansion in the early 1970s. The tower operated for what today is WPTD (Channel 16), now under Greater Dayton Television. With the Commission's approval, BEMC and the Ohio Department of Administrative Services are in the process of transferring the land to Greater Dayton Television for $1 to join the other assets given to the station in the mid-1970s.
The agency expects to communicate the final announcements regarding the sale/transfer of these properties during the May 2021 Commission meeting.
Senate President Matt Huffman appointed State Senator Niraj Antani to the Broadcast Educational Media Commission. He succeeds State Senator Michael Rulli, who completed one term on the Commission. Senator Antani is the State Senator of 6th district of the Ohio State Senate, which covers most of Montgomery County. He is the former Representative of the 42nd district of the Ohio House of Representatives.
State Senator Teresa Fedor was reappointed by Senate President Matt Huffman to the Broadcast Educational Media Commission. She previously completed one term on the Commission. State Senator Fedor is the State Senator of 11th district of the Ohio State Senate.
For more information about BEMC's Commissioners and 2020-2021 public meeting dates, click here.
Rex Elsass was appointed to the Broadcast Educational Media Commission effective July 13, 2020. He succeeds George Sarantou, who completed seven years on the Commission. Commissioner Elsass is the founder and CEO of The Strategy Group Company. Previously, he held positions as Regional Director in Ohio for the 1988 Bush/Quayle campaign, Political Director and later Executive Director of the Ohio Republican Party.
Governor Mike DeWine named Meira F. Zucker to the Broadcast Educational Media Commission effective January 1, 2021. She succeeds Curt Steiner, who completed two terms on the Commission. Commissioner Zucker has been a licensed attorney in Ohio since 2007 and is admitted to the Bar in the State of Ohio and the U.S. Federal District Court of Northern Ohio. Previously, she was on the board of WGTE Public Broadcasting in Toledo, Ohio.
With these appointments, the Commission has a full slate of Commissioners. For more information about BEMC's Commissioners and 2020-2021 public meeting dates, click here.
2020 cast Broadcast Educational Media Commission (BEMC) in a brighter light as a Pandemic struck around the world. Ohioans increasingly became aware of BEMC as the State's Broadcast Team via the Ohio Channel and Statehouse News Bureau production of regular COVID-19 briefings from Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio's Health Director. BEMC played a key role in sharing the Governor's briefings to Ohio's Public Radio Stations via National Public Radio's (NPR) Content Depot, and to commercial stations across Ohio and the nation via satellite connections.
As the State of Ohio's Broadcast Team, BEMC:
BEMC Executive Director Geoffrey Phillips appreciates the faithful staff that supported public broadcasting in Ohio over the past months.
"Despite the challenges of COVID-19, through social distancing, separating work areas, and providing Proper Protective Equipment, BEMC's lights in our Joint Master Control never went out. Staff has been on duty on-site during the pandemic so Ohioans can continue to enjoy the enrichment of public educational television," said Phillips.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio, Broadcast Educational Media Commission (BEMC) has been dedicated to keeping Ohioans informed. Working directly with The Ohio Channel, BEMC connects Governor Mike DeWine’s daily briefings to Ohio Educational Television Stations.
“BEMC serves as a Joint Master Control and is available to all Ohio Educational Television Stations”, according to BEMC Executive Director Geoffrey A. Phillips.
To assist in bridging the digital divide for Ohio’s K-12 students, the Ohio Educational Television Stations will begin a new offering in most communities on Monday, March 30. Educators at the television stations select programming from PBS to provide age and grade-level appropriate, standards-based programs so Ohio students can continue to learn with limited or no internet access. BEMC employees match the schedules from each station with the media from the digital archives for playback in each community.
Additional details about this exciting opportunity for Ohio’s K-12 students are in the attached media release from Ohio Educational Television Stations.
For the first time since Broadcast Educational Media Commission (BEMC) opened its doors, educators are now broadcasting lessons to K-12 classrooms across the State of Ohio from BEMC's 63-year-old facility.
The Commission is excited to play a key role in supporting the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) Strategic Initiative through Partnerships. East Central Ohio Educational Service Center's (ECOESC) distance learning educators reach K-12 students across Ohio in partnership with Licking Area Computer Association (LACA).
ECOESC educators, whose specialties include American Sign Language and Mandarin Chinese, had been housed in the Fawcett Center on the OSU campus but were losing their space because of renovations. These educators officially relocated to BEMC’s facility for the 2019/2020 school year. Welcoming the ECOESC teaching staff is a natural fit as BEMC serves to connect academic courses with students across Ohio. While BEMC's primary focus is Public Television for Ohio’s 11 Public TV stations, BEMC connects Ohio’s K-20 classrooms for interactive video distance learning.
In addition to BEMC's Executive Director Geoffrey A. Phillips, Commission Chair Robert C. Smith and Commission Vice-Chair Dr Jan Osborn, the ceremonial event was also attended by State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, LACA Executive Director Chad Carson, ECOESC Superintendent Randy Lucas, MCOECN CEO Geoffrey Andrews, and State Senator Teresa Fedor, as well as staff from the partner organizations.
Governor Mike DeWine today named Robert C. Smith as the new BEMC Chairman effective July 1, 2019. He succeeds Mark Filippell who completes six years as BEMC Chairman on June 30. Chairman Smith, given a four-year term to the BEMC Commission by Governor DeWine, is Partner and Cleveland Market Leader for Cerity Partners LLC. In another state government role, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of JobsOhio, a private non-profit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion efforts. Chairman Smith is a former chairman of Ohio Public TV station ideastream in Cleveland.
With this appointment, the Commission has a full slate of Commissioners to begin the new Fiscal Year. For more information about BEMC's Commissioners and 2020-2021 public meeting dates, click here.
BEMC Chair Mark A. Filippell announced at May 9th Commission meeting that he would retire from BEMC Commission at the completion of his term on June 30, 2019. Serving as Commission Chair since September 2013, Mr. Filippell has ushered in an era of modernization for the agency. BEMC Vice Chair Dr. Jan Osborn noted that Mr. Filippell was appreciated by the Commission for his friendliness, enthusiasm, energy, and humor. Commissioner George Sarantou presented Mr. Filippell with a resolution of recognition from Governor Mike DeWine’s Office. BEMC staff also presented Mr. FIlippell with a certificate of appreciation for his service to the citizens of Ohio.