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Notice of Public Meeting: BEMC Commission to meet Fri, Nov 12, 2021 - Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Ohio Broadcast Educational Media Commission will hold a Commission meeting on Friday, November 12, 2021, at 10 A.M. Commissioners and required BEMC staff will join the meeting in person.

Given the continuation of COVID-19 cases, we are offering a virtual option for guests. Guests should submit a ticket to Video Support to RSVP for a virtual connection. We are asking all staff and visitors to continue to wear a mask when working/meeting with others in the same room or in common areas and especially when physical distancing is not possible. Any guests arriving at our facility for the meeting will be seated in an overflow conference room in support of physical distancing.

Click here for the agenda. Additional meeting materials will be posted on the Commission Meetings page as they become available.

 

NewsDepth Season 52 Features BEMC Funded “Career Callouts” - Friday, October 22, 2021

Photo of Heavy Truck Driver & Truck with employment states from OhioMeansJobs.com

Ideastream Public Media is producing the “Career Callouts” series to run within Ideastream’s weekly program for children NewsDepth. These segments focus on career awareness building for children in 4th to 6th grade. Topics are chosen based on input from NewsDepth’s Teacher Advisory Council, which consists of teachers from Northeast Ohio. So far this season, episodes have featured heavy truck drivers, cosmetologists, and environmental scientists.

The 52nd Season of NewsDepth will be available on multiple online and broadcast platforms. NewsDepth episodes are posted online on Thursdays at http://ideastream.org/newsdepth and PBS LearningMedia. WVIZ PBS airs full episodes on Fridays at 1 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Check your local PBS station for additional broadcasts.

The "Career Callouts" series is brought to you by the Broadcast Educational Media Commission, the Ohio Department of Education, and Ideastream Public Media. For more information about Career and College Readiness in Ohio, check out ODE's website at http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Career-Tech/Career-Connections.

📜 About the Multimedia Production Project: 

The Multimedia Production Project has a long history of supporting educational initiatives for Ohioans. This project is a joint initiative among Broadcast Educational Media Commission (BEMC), the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), and Ohio's Public Television Stations. Find more videos created using Multimedia funds on BEMC’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/BroadcastEducationalMediaCommission.

 

BEMC Plays Supporting Role in Cleveland Mayoral Debates - Thursday, October 21, 2021

Do you know the role that BEMC played in the Cleveland Mayoral Debates that occurred on August 10th, August 17th, and October 11th? Using the robust statewide OARnet network, BEMC Engineers uploaded the broadcast signal from Ideastream Public Media for each Cleveland Mayoral Debate to NPR's Content Depot. Ohio Radio stations could choose to stream the live audio from Content Depot or schedule the recorded debate for their local audiences later.

Special thanks to BEMC's connectivity partners Everstream and OARnet for providing connectivity to BEMC and Ohio's public broadcasters.

Missed the debates?  Catch up with Ideastream at https://www.ideastream.org/tags/election-2021.

 

State Supports Ohio Public Broadcasters - Friday, June 25, 2021

Broadcast Educational Media Commission (BEMC) is excited to announce the approval of capital items to support public broadcast partners by the State of Ohio Controlling Board.  This includes projects for the Ohio Radio Reading Services, Ohio Public Television and Radio, and the Broadcast Educational Media Commission.

State of Ohio's Controlling Board, via signature of OBM Director Kim Murnieks, approved the release of $82,939 for Capital Projects for Ohio Radio Reading Services affiliates participating in the FY 21-22 Capital Bill item. Participating affiliates include Cincinnati Assocation for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Cleveland Sight Center, Youngstown Radio Reading Service and VOICECorps

On June 14, 2021, the Controlling Board approved release of capital funds to the following Ohio Public Television and Radio affiliates for television and radio equipment and emergency communications.

Each station must provide a 50% match for the capital funds, resulting in a $4.2 million total investment in Ohio’s public broadcasting infrastructure.

Also approved during the June 14 meeting of the Controlling Board are requests from BEMC.  BEMC requested a waiver of competitive selection for continued maintenance and support of Ohio's Joint Master Control (JMC) for public television ($266,172.11), and release of capital funds for a new digital media storage system for the JMC ($199,651.44).

 

BEMC Transfers Final Tower Site to Dayton Public TV - Thursday, May 27, 2021

 Alina Gage, CFO of BEMC; J. W. Cline, Ohio DAS Real Estate; Kitty Lensman, President/CEO of Public Media Connect, Inc.; Geoffrey A. Phillips, Executive Director of BEMC; and Craig Stevenson, Chief of Engineering and Broadcast Operations of BEMC.After owning more than two dozen broadcast towers across Ohio over the past five decades, the Broadcast Educational Media Commission is broadcast tower and tower site free as of today. 

The Broadcast Educational Media Commission (BEMC) met representatives from Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Real Estate and Public Media Connect at noon on Thursday, May 27th to transfer the final tower site location off its books.   
 
In attendance were Geoffrey A. Phillips, Executive Director of BEMC; Craig Stevenson, Chief of Engineering and Broadcast Operations of BEMC; Alina Gage, CFO of BEMC; Kitty Lensman, President/CEO of Public Media Connect, Inc.; and J. W. Cline, Ohio DAS Real Estate. 

Over the past six years, one of the Broadcast Educational Media Commission’s (BEMC) priorities has been removing former tower site locations from agency assets. 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. 

Today, BEMC, the Ohio DAS, and Greater Dayton Television closed on the deal to transfer land for the Montgomery County tower site to Greater Dayton Television for $1. Public Media Connect is the governing arm of Greater Dayton Public Television. The Montgomery County tower site is part of Ohio’s public television expansion in the mid-1970s. The tower operated for what today is WPTD (Channel 16), now under Greater Dayton Public Television. With the Commission’s approval, the land joined the other assets given to the station in the mid-1970s. 

 

BEMC Finalizes Sale/Transfer of Lands - Friday, May 21, 2021

At the Commission meeting May 13th, Executive Director Geoffrey Phillips was pleased to share the news of the former Marion County Tower land sold for $26,584. The closing was earlier this month. Funds from the sale have been transferred into a non-GRF capital account for the agency to use at a later time.

In addition, BEMC and the Ohio Department of Administrative Services are scheduled to close on the deal to transfer land for the Montgomery County tower site to Greater Dayton Television for $1 to join the other assets given to the station in the mid-1970s.  The closing will occur on May 27, 2021 at BEMC.

 

BEMC Pleased to Continue Industry-Leading Service Levels - Thursday, May 20, 2021

Line chart of Joint Master Control On-Air AccuracyBEMC is pleased to report industry-leading service levels in a recent review of the agency's Joint Master Control (JMC).  In the discrepancy report shared with the General Managers at each of Ohio's Public Broadcasting Television Stations this month, BEMC's JMC has 99.99% average on-air accuracy. 

On-air accuracy is reduced by several factors, described generally as discrepancies, including weather events, satellite errors, and human error.  Rain, storms, and cloud cover can interfere with over-the-air and satellite transmissions, according to Broadcast Manager Josh Sorden.

Ohio Public TV stations share some satellite feeds to provide redundancy and reduce cost for all Ohioans. WBGU in Bowling Green and WOUB in Athens provide BEMC with backup satellite feeds from PBS. This PBS satellite feed contains the most prominent PBS channels offering uninterrupted programming, including the primary PBS channel, PBS KIDS, Create, and World. BEMC, WBGU, and WOUB ingest the PBS feed to the Joint Master Control via the OARnet network using the State of Ohio's fiber backbone. For channels not included in the PBS feed, such as Deutsche Welle, Ohio stations can provide the downlink from satellite to BEMC via the fiber network.

BEMC provides storage to Ohio Public TV stations so television shows can be saved from satellite and transmitted later. On tours of our JMC, we sometimes joke that BEMC serves as a big DVR for Ohio Public TV stations. BEMC currently has 2.55 petabytes of storage available for storing television programs.

All of this technology is fantastic but transmitting the beloved television programs to air (or to your cable company) does not happen without human hands. Programming decisions are made by each local Ohio public television station. An employee of the local public television station creates a schedule for each channel broadcast by the station, based on the decisions made at the local station, and uploads this schedule to BEMC. BEMC employees match the schedules for each channel with media, either located on existing storage or scheduled for satellite transmission. When everything goes according to plan, and you tune in from home, you’ll enjoy the scheduled programs from your local PBS station without any awareness of all the behind-the-scenes efforts of dozens of diligent individuals around Ohio, and beyond!

 

Speaker of the House Reappoints Stephen V. Freeze to BEMC Commission - Wednesday, May 19, 2021

photo of Stephen V FreezeStephen V. Freeze of Kettering was reappointed by Speaker of the House Robert R. Cupp to the Broadcast Educational Media Commission.  Mr. Freeze was one of the original Commissioners for BEMC, having been appointed in 2013. He previously completed two terms on the Commission – an initial partial term and a 4-year term -- and is a member of the Commission’s Policy Committee.

For more information about BEMC's Commissioners and 2021-2022 public meeting dates, click here.

 

BEMC Celebrates Public Service Recognition Week 2021 - Thursday, May 6, 2021

Service Pin Awardees - 5 years - 15 years -25 yearsPublic Service Recognition Week is celebrated the first week of May since 1985 (beginning on the first Sunday of the month) to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees.  This year, Public Service Awareness Week is May 3–7, 2021. The Broadcast Education Media Commission highlights our dedicated, hardworking employees as part of a national celebration of public service.  

Public servants do vital work to solve problems, lift up the vulnerable, fulfill the needs of our fellow citizens, build community, and much more. The last year placed a spotlight on the great significance and the critical need for experienced public servants. Public employees at all levels of government have pulled together to support their fellow Ohioans in a great time of need. 

The current situation makes it difficult to conduct our usual pin ceremonies during Public Service Recognition Week. In the meantime, please join BEMC in offering congratulations and sincere gratitude to the following employees:

  • David - 5 years
  • Richard - 5 years
  • Eric - 15 years
  • Steve - 20 years
  • Lisa - 25 years
  • Laura - 25 years
 

BEMC CFO Testifies Before Senate Committee - Wednesday, April 21, 2021

CFO delivers testimony for agency at Senate hearingYesterday the Broadcast Educational Media Commission's CFO Alina Gage delivered budget testimony to the Ohio Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee.   Our requested funding for the FY 2022-23 biennium will allow the Commission to continue supporting Ohioans access to State government messages and educational programming opportunities.

See recording of testimony on The Ohio Channel at http://ohiochannel.org/video/ohio-senate-workforce-and-higher-education-committee-4-20-2021.

 read more ...

BEMC JMC Service Levels Industry Leading at 99.99% On-Air Accuracy - Tuesday, April 13, 2021

BEMC is pleased to report industry leading service levels in a recent review of the agency’s Joint Master Control (JMC).  In a recent sampling of discrepancy reports shared with the General Managers at each of Ohio's Public Broadcasting Television Stations over the last year, BEMC’s JMC has 99.99% average on-air accuracy.

"On-air discrepancies can result from multiple causes, not all of which are directly under our collective control in Ohio. A "perfect" 100% week can only result when not only BEMC and Ohio's public television broadcasters excel within their numerous roles, but also, the diligent staff at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Network Operations Center (NOC), which originates a substantial number of hours of live-to-air programming via satellite every day." ~ Joshua Sorden, Broadcast Operations Manager

During the last Commission meeting, Chief of Engineering and Broadcast Operations Craig Stevenson shared recent on-air accuracy statistics for the agency's Joint Master Control (JMC) with the Commissioners. In the week before the Commission meeting, the Joint Master Control's on-air accuracy achieved 100%. During the meeting week, on-air accuracy fell to 99.99% due to a technical issue at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).Joint Master Control (JMC) Service On-Air Accuracy line chart

The eleven Ohio public television stations collectively broadcast 40 over-the-air channels. Of those, 20 of those channels originate from the BEMC's Joint Master Control (JMC). The JMC monitors 19 more channels for quality assurance and notify stations of on-air discrepancies, dead air, poor video quality, etc. BEMC provides an additional layer of support through monitoring activities for those broadcast channels that do not originate from the JMC. Monitoring and notification ensure that stations are notified promptly of on-air concerns.

In 2015, BEMC and Ohio's Public Educational Television broadcasting partners embarked on the journey of modernizing our system of delivery. Together we created one of the largest and most innovative public Joint Master Control operations in the country. During the pandemic, Ohioans have reaped the benefit of this investment from the State of Ohio by increased transparency in government and educational broadcasting for K-12 students.

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House Speaker Bob Cupp named State Representative Sharon Ray to Commission - Thursday, March 25, 2021

photo of Ohio State Rep Sharon RayOhio House Speaker Bob Cupp named State Representative Sharon Ray (R – Ohio 69th from Wadsworth in Medina County) as a non-voting member of the BEMC Commission. Representative Ray succeeds Representative David Greenspan on the Commission.

Representative Ray is a first-time Representative, who has previous government experience as a Medina County Commissioner, Wadsworth City Councilwoman, Member of the Medina County Board of Elections, and at the Wadsworth Municipal Court. Her background in public service includes the United Way of Medina County, Red Cross of Medina County, Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, and the Salvation Army of Wadsworth.

For more information about BEMC's Commissioners and 2020-2021 public meeting dates, click here.

 

BEMC Land Transfer Update - Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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 Announces Appointments for 2021-2022 for BEMC - Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Photos of State Senators Antani & FedorSenate 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

 

Two New Commissioners Tapped for BEMC - Tuesday, January 5, 2021

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.