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New system allows KTOO to expand legislative coverage

Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2003

KTOO-TV may offer 24-hour coverage during some of the 2004 legislative session with a new computer-based system, Bill Legere, the station's president and general manager, said Wednesday.

Legere said the new system will be automated and will allow the station to replay significant legislative events overnight and on weekends. The station's programming runs from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and requires the presence of a master control operator.

The system is estimated to cost $400,000 to $500,000, and the expanded coverage may start toward the end of the 2004 session or beginning of the 2005 session. KTOO has applied for federal grants and will seek state matching funds, Legere said. The 24-hour coverage could be viewed on television or the Internet.

Legere made his comments at a meeting of the Assembly, Juneau legislators and the Alaska Committee, a lobbying group whose goal is to keep Juneau the capital of Alaska. He asked the city for $240,000 in fiscal year 2004, up from $225,000 in FY 2003, to cover added costs associated with increased legislative coverage.

Besides offering 24-hour coverage in Juneau, KTOO also wants to expand cable TV coverage of legislative sessions to about 15 or 20 rural communities statewide, Legere said.

Legislative coverage currently is available only on cable channel 7, but that will change when KTOO installs a digital transmitter in the next six months. KTOO also will offer four digital broadcasting channels. Viewers will need a digital TV receiver to access that programming, Legere said.

• Tara Sidor can be reached at tara.sidor@juneauempire.com.



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